Appeals Court Reverses SCOTUS Decision Immediately 

Texas still isn’t able to enforce a new immigration law it passed last month, despite a favorable Supreme Court ruling earlier this week.

Only hours following the high court’s ruling that would allow Texas to enforce its new bill, dubbed SB 4, a federal appeals court put a stop to that.

The Supreme Court earlier on Tuesday allowed Texas to enforce the law, which gives local law enforcement agencies the power to arrest anyone who is suspected of entering Texas illegally from Mexico. The high court sent the case back down to a lower court for its decision, urging it to make a swift decision.

Later that night, the appeals court put a stop to enforcement of the law, scheduling a hearing for the next morning. 

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on the new law while oral arguments in the case before them were being prepared. 

The Biden administration had filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court to rule on Texas’ law, which the White House says violates the authority of the federal government.

The conservative majority on the high court rejected that application, though, sending it back down to the appeals court. All three of the Supreme Court’s liberal justices dissented, with Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor arguing that the law will invite “further chaos and crisis” in the enforcement of immigration law.

In making its ruling, the Supreme Court didn’t address if the law is constitutional. It just sent it back to the appellate court, which needs to rule on the case first before it can be fully appealed up to the high court.

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed the law last year, making crossing into Texas from Mexico illegally a state crime. Those who are suspected of coming into the U.S. illegally can be arrested. They then will either face being deported back to Mexico or being put in jail.

Critics of the new Texas law say it could ultimately lead to racial profiling and violations of people’s civil rights. In addition, there could be complications with the law, since Mexico isn’t required to accept the deportations of anyone other than citizens of their country.

The Associated Press actually reported last week that Mexican officials said they wouldn’t, “under any circumstances” accept the return of illegal immigrants from Texas.

The government told The AP:

“Mexico reiterates the legitimate right to protect the rights of its nationals in the United States and to determine its own policies regarding entry into its territory.”

The White House emphasized its opposition to the law earlier in the week, saying it’s “another example of Republican officials politicizing the border while blocking real solutions.”

The back-and-forth that is happening in regard to the law is “indefensibly chaotic,” according to Steve Vladeck, who’s a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. As he told the Texas Tribune this week:

“Even if that means SB 4 remains paused indefinitely, hopefully everyone can agree that this kind of judicial whiplash is bad for everyone.”