Appellate court blocks Texas law criminalizing illegal border crossings hours after Supreme Court allowed it to take effect

In the dissenting opinion from the Fifth Circuit, Judge Andrew Oldham wrote that the stay issued by the Supreme Court should "remain in place pending" Wednesday's "oral argument on the question."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Just hours after the Supreme Court lifted a stay on the Texas law allowing local police to arrest and deport illegal immigrants, the law has been put on hold again, this time by the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Fifth Circuit issued a 2-1 ruling late Tuesday blocking the law from taking effect, with the court set to hear arguments in the case on Wednesday, Fox News reports. The Supreme Court had lifted a February stay issued by the appeals court, sending the law back to the Fifth Circuit which subsequently issued another stay pending the hearing.

Governor Greg Abbott signed SB4 into law in December, with the law remaining in legal limbo since then. The Biden administration has sued to strike down the measure, arguing that the law would take over federal authority on border matters.

In the dissenting opinion from the Fifth Circuit, Judge Andrew Oldham wrote that the stay issued by the Supreme Court should remain "in place pending tomorrow’s oral argument on the question."

In the Supreme Court ruling, the justices wrote that "Texas Senate Bill 4 (S. B. 4) permits the State to arrest and remove to Mexico noncitizens who enter, attempt to enter, or reside in Texas." The high court did not rule on the merits of the case.

"Before this Court intervenes on the emergency docket, the Fifth Circuit should be the first mover," Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote in the Supreme Court's decision.

"So far as I know, this Court has never reviewed the decision of a court of appeals to enter — or not enter — an administrative stay. I would not get into the business. When entered, an administrative stay is supposed to be a short-lived prelude to the main event: a ruling on the motion for a stay pending appeal," she wrote.
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