Firm Authors Amicus Brief on Behalf of Legal Scholars in Chicago Sanctuary City Fight

September 18, 2017

On August 31, 2017, the firm filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of 13 scholars of administrative, constitutional, and immigration law supporting the City of Chicago’s effort to block the Department of Justice’s new requirement that the City assist federal immigration authorities to receive federal law enforcements grants. The scholars argue that “Article I of the Constitution grants the power of the purse to Congress, not to the President or to the Attorney General,” and that “[t]he Department of Justice does not have freewheeling authority independent from Congress to impose spending conditions under the Constitution.” According to the brief, the Court’s acceptance of the Attorney General’s conditions “would set a dangerous precedent”…with administration officials feeling “free to disregard the balance between state and federal authority and require states and localities to administer whatever unrelated priorities the executive wants to pursue in any particular fiscal year.” The scholars highlight “the need for federal courts to protect federalism by enforcing the constitutional limits on federal executive power.”

On September 15, 2017, a Chicago federal judge partially granted a preliminary injunction, blocking nationwide the Trump Administration’s efforts to enforce new requirements that tied the receipt of law enforcement grants to immigration enforcement efforts. U.S. District Court Judge Harry D. Leinenweber agreed with the City of Chicago, writing that “the harm to the city’s relationship with the immigrant community, if it should accede to the conditions, is irreparable.”

To read the full amicus curiae brief, click here.

To read press on the September 15, 2017 decision, click here.