City of Chicago v. Jefferson B. Sessions III

In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 17‐2991 CITY OF CHICAGO, Plaintiff‐Appellee, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General of the United States, Defendant‐Appellant. ____________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:17‐cv‐05720 — Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge. ____________________ ARGUED JANUARY 19, 2018 — DECIDED APRIL 19, 2018 ____________________ Before BAUER, MANION, and ROVNER, Circuit Judges. ROVNER, Circuit Judge. This appeal is from the grant of a preliminary injunction in favor of the City of Chicago (the “City”) and against Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the At‐ torney General of the United States, enjoining the enforce‐ ment of two conditions imposed upon recipients of the Ed‐ ward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (the “Byrne JAG program”). See 34 U.S.C. § 10151 (formerly 42 2 No. 17‐2991 U.S.C. § 3750). The Byrne JAG grant, named after a fallen New York City police officer, allocates substantial funds an‐ nually to provide for the needs of state and local law en‐ forcement, including personnel, equipment, training, and other uses identified by those entities. The Attorney General tied receipt of the funds to the grant recipient’s compliance with three conditions which the City argued were unlawful and unconstitutional. The district court agreed with the City as to two of the three conditions—the “notice” condition mandating advance notice to federal authorities of the re‐ lease date of persons in state or local custody who are be‐ lieved to be aliens, and the “access” condition which re‐ quired the local correctional facility to ensure agents access to such facilities and meet with those persons. Compliance with those conditions in order to receive the funding award‐ ed under the Byrne JAG grant would require the allocation of state and local resources, including personnel. The district court granted the preliminary injunction as to those two conditions, applying it nationwide. The court subsequently denied the Attorney General’s motion to stay the nationwide scope of the injunction, and this court denied the stay on ap‐ peal. The Attorney General now appeals that preliminary injunction. Our role in this case is not to assess the optimal immigra‐ tion policies for our country; that is not before us today. Ra‐ ther, the issue before us strikes at one of the bedrock princi‐ ples of our nation, the protection of which transcends politi‐ cal party affiliation and rests at the heart of our system of government—the separation of powers. The founders of our country well understood that the concentration of power threatens individual liberty and es‐ No. 17‐2991 3 tablished a bulwark against such tyranny by creating a sepa‐ ration of powers among the branches of government. If the Executive Branch can determine policy, and then use the power of the purse to mandate compliance with that policy by the state and local governments, all without the authori‐ zation or even acquiescence of elected legislators, that check against tyranny is forsaken. The Attorney General in this case used ...

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