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Getting ready for the first SB4 hearing

All eyes are going to be on this next week.

On Monday, June 26, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia will hear the City of San Antonio’s request for a preliminary injunction to block Senate Bill 4, the “sanctuary cities” law, from taking effect on Sept. 1.

The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) is representing the City in the lawsuit, along with the following nonprofit organizations: The Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, the Workers Defense Project, and La Unión Del Pueblo Entero. The hearing, which is open to the public, will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse at 655 E. César E. Chavez Blvd.

“Judge Garcia consolidated three separate lawsuits into one,” MALDEF Vice President of Litigation Nina Perales told the Rivard Report Friday. “The City of Austin is now a part of our case, [along with] El Paso County, Texas Organizing Project, the City of El Cenizo in Webb County, and Maverick County,”

[…]

On Friday, the State of Texas dropped MALDEF from a pre-emptive lawsuit asking a federal court to declare the “sanctuary cities” law constitutional.

“We wrote them a letter and said that if they didn’t drop us we were going to ask the judge to fine Texas for bringing a frivolous lawsuit against MALDEF,” Perales said. “We’re the lawyers – you don’t sue somebody else’s lawyers. MALDEF has five cases against the State of Texas right now, so it’s not just about SB 4. They were draining our resources in other cases, including school finance and redistricting.”

The pre-emptive lawsuit was filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 8 before any legal action was taken against Senate Bill 4. It still includes the following defendants: Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, all of Austin’s City Council members, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and Austin Interim City Manager Elaine Hart. El Paso County, El Cenizo, Texas Organizing Project, and LULAC have since been added to the list.

“Today, after MALDEF made very clear its intention to pursue all available remedies against the state of Texas for filing a completely frivolous lawsuit against a civil rights law firm, the state relented and filed a voluntary dismissal of all of its claims against MALDEF,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel, in a statement. “This now permits MALDEF to devote its energies to the appropriate forum for resolving the many constitutional questions surrounding SB 4 – federal court in San Antonio.

“Today’s dismissal represents only a partial cure of Governor Abbott’s and Attorney General Paxton’s apparent problem with premature litigation. A more complete cure involves dismissing the entire preemptive lawsuit they filed in Austin, which is illegitimate against the remaining defendants, just as it was against MALDEF.”

See here, here, and here for some background. I’m sure there will be national coverage of this, which will remind everyone that we’re not just about bathroom bills here in Texas. Houston City Council may have voted to join the fight by this time, though I’d expect it to get tagged for a week. Mark this one on your calendar, next Monday is going to be a big deal. The Observer, which notes that there will be a hearing in Austin on the 29th for “all pending matters” pertaining to his pre-emptive lawsuit, has more.

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8 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    “We’re the lawyers – you don’t sue somebody else’s lawyers.”

    Well, maybe they should be getting sued on a regular basis. That would cut down on BS suits if the lawyers faced real costs for losing the case.

  2. neither here nor there says:

    You have no idea of what your comment if followed would do to the justice system. Since you claim to be a very small business, let us assume that you did some work and you were not paid. You go to lawyers for representation and they say no because that company is going to sue us for representing you and it would cost us more than you are willing to pay.

    I understand that you hate brown people, whatever your rational, but suing lawyers is not going to help you with your hate. Notice that the State dropped them from the lawsuit.

  3. Ross says:

    @Bill, how do you define “losing”? Msny, if not most, civil cases end up somewhere in between full loss and full win. A friend who is a retired tort defense attorney defined winning as the plaintiff got a judgement less than or equal to the original settlement offer. In the SB4 case, getting one section overturned might be a win.

    Suing the other sides lawyers is just stupid.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    Neither:

    1) I take offense to your statement that I “CLAIM” to be a very small business. Why would I lie about that?

    2) I’m talking about a “loser pays” system, where the winning side gets the cost of defense plus a counterclaim, if applicable. Make the plaintiff attorney jointly and severally liable for that judgement if the jury or judge deems the case frivolous or prima facie worthless. 3

    3) We’ve already established that I hate brown people. WTF does that have to do with this? My suggestion is general, not specific to MALDEF. I thought that was clear.

  5. neither here nor there says:

    2) An attorney can be held liable for filing frivolous claims that is already the law.

    3) Since that organization represents “Mexican” Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the input from your statement seems to make it a WTF item.

    1) Why would I lie about that? Why does Trump lie about the size of the crowd and there are photos to disprove him. So anything you or I or anyone say that can’t be verified is questionable.

  6. C.L. says:

    @Bill… Hate isn’t the opposite of Love, Apathy is.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    @C.L.:

    Neither is this site’s version of the SPLC, a self designated arbiter of who is racist, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. Neither has pronounced me all of the above, so OK, let’s just go with that. Of course, what we have learned is, deplorables can’t be shamed into toeing the politically correct line anymore. I actually encourage people like Neither to keep up the name calling…..it just helps Trump more.

  8. neither here nor there says:

    Well thanks Bill, but your statements have given you the labels not me, but if you want to give me credit I will take it.

    Trump is Trump, 6 months thus far and he has not hit the red button, I actually hope he is not impeached, as I would rather have him then Pence. But he is a traitor for working with the Russians and the supporters are not much better.

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