CITY & COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO V. MERRICK GARLAND, No. 19-15947 (9th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
The Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (“JAG”) program is a federal formula grant that supports state and local criminal justice efforts. Effective Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) imposed new immigration enforcement-related conditions (“Conditions”) on Byrne JAG funds. In order to draw upon their Byrne JAG funds, grant recipients had to certify that their laws complied with independent provisions of the Federal Code, specifically 8 U.S.C. Section 1373, a provision of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act enacted in 1996, and 8 U.S.C. Section 1644, of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.
The district court for the Northern District of California and the district court for the District of Oregon determined that the Conditions exceeded the DOJ’s statutory authority and permanently enjoined their enforcement. The district courts also held that Sections 1373 and 1644 violated the Tenth Amendment, and permanently enjoined their enforcement.
In consolidated appeals, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part district court judgments. Addressing the facial constitutional challenges under the Tenth Amendment to Sections 1373 and 1644, the court held that these challenges were not justiciable in their present posture. The court explained that because Plaintiffs’ laws complied with the federal provisions, their facial challenges were no longer ripe. Having concluded that Plaintiffs’ facial challenges were either not ripe, or were mooted, the court narrowly vacated the district courts’ determinations that Sections 1373 and1644 were facially unconstitutional.