Do You Know Why I Know that Sarah Palin was the Perfect Pick for VP? | Main | NRO Frustration Thread [Edited by Ace]
August 31, 2008

Judge Rules Against City Ordinance Restricting Illegal Alien Tenants

This story got lost in all the convention coverage last week.

Farmers Branch, TX, a suburb of Dallas, has been trying for several years now to reduce the effects of illegal immigration in the city. In 2006 the city council passed ordinances to designate English the official language, to train police officers in immigration enforcement, to fine businesses who employ illegals, and to fine landlords who rent to illegals. The ordinance was then passed by a voter referendum 68% to 32%.

The city was promptly sued in federal district court and years of litigation resulted. The rental restriction has faced the most criticism. It requires landlords to obtain and keep evidence that tenants are U.S. citizens or legal residents.

Last Thursday, Judge Sam Lindsay issued a final judgment against the city declaring the rental ordinance unconstitutional and unenforceable. He ruled that it infringed upon the plenary power of Congress in immigration matters and that its use of the phrase "eligible immigration status" was too vague to meet the requirements of due process.

Farmers Branch isn't done yet. It already passed a replacement ordinance which would go into effect 15 days after a final judgment.

Ordinance 2952 [the replacement ordinance], by contrast, would require prospective renters to pay $5 to the city and declare their citizenship or legal U.S. residency to obtain a license to rent a house or apartment. Landlords could rent to anyone with a license. The city would be responsible for checking the tenants' information against a federal database to confirm their legal status.

This one was designed to avoid the constitutional deficiencies identified by the judge. It doesn't place any burden on landlords to decide the immigration status of prospective tenants, nor does it give that power to the city government. Instead, it simply withholds a rental license from anyone the federal government doesn't have listed as a legal resident. Increasingly, courts have upheld state and local laws involving immigration so long as they leave actual immigration enforcement or determinations of immigration status to the federal government.

Lawsuits are already pending over the replacement ordinance. Incidentally, Judge Lindsay has made statements that indicate to me he's already come to a conclusion on it:

"The new ordinance is yet another attempt to circumvent the court's prior rulings and further an agenda that runs afoul of the United States Constitution," he said at the time.

By coming to a hostile conclusion before the replacement ordinance even became operative, is it reasonable for the city to ask if he can carry out his duties with integrity and impartiality?


digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:28 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Duke Lowell : "Hmmmmmmm. Weird. ..."

Slapweasel, (Cold1), ([b]T[/b]) Baseball Nut [/i] [/b] [/u] [/s]: "*Boom-Shakka-Lakka!* ..."

Alberta Oil Peon, survivor of GNAMM: "Coolest physics demo I saw was a standing wave, di ..."

buzzion: "[i]386 Oh dear, am I gonna go all militant German ..."

tu3031: "Went to school near there in the 80's - very Irish ..."

2009Refugee: "Oh dear, am I gonna go all militant German Left Wi ..."

buzzion: "[i]381 Baader-Meinhof. Posted by: flounder, rebel ..."

flounder, rebel, vulgarian, deplorable, winner: "Coolest physics demo I saw was a standing wave, di ..."

riktheYFITB: "Know how there's one (1) Howard Johnson's restaura ..."

Bob @ NSA: "[i]I had never heard of that bowling ball demo, th ..."

flounder, rebel, vulgarian, deplorable, winner: "Baader-Meinhof. ..."

Professor Chaos aka gumdrop gorilla: "This Damon Affleck thing is also not good for Jimm ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64