Supreme Court Allows Texas Law, but Appeals Court Kills It

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 21, 2024

The last few days have been a whirlwind in terms of the Texas law that would have allowed local law enforcement to arrest illegal migrants, forcing them to leave the country on their own or face prosecution.

The Supreme Court stayed the law and then allowed it to go active, but then the Appeals Court, to which the Supreme Court referred the law, ruled against it again, putting it on hold once more.

Talking Points…
- Supreme Court reverses stay
- Appeals court blocks law
- Analysis

Supreme Court Reverses Stay

This was a really interesting week, specifically due to the decisions made regarding this new Texas law. When we released our initial report, I stated that I thought the court would rule in favor of the government, so when the Supreme Court announced that it was lifting the stay, everyone went crazy thinking that this was a permanent ruling, but it was not. In announcing that the court was lifting the stay, it also referred the law back to the Appeals Court for reconsideration. That, however, did not stop liberals and the White House from losing their minds, including members of the court, such as Justice Sotomayor, who stated:

"The court gives a green light to a law that will upend the longstanding federal-state balance of power and sow chaos."

The oddity of this was even Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton acted as though this was a final decision, and he should have known better. After the court lifted the stay, Paxton posted:

"Texas has defeated the Biden Administration's and ACLU's emergency motions at the Supreme Court.

"Our immigration law, SB 4, is now in effect. As always, it's my honor to defend Texas and its sovereignty, and to lead us to victory in court."

This is also impacting other border states, such as New Mexico, which is in a panic over the surge of migrants entering the country. New Mexico State Rep. John Block touched on this after seeing the back and forth regarding SB 4 (the new Texas immigration law). He stated:

"Without states like New Mexico joining Texas in apprehending illegal border crossers, our state's remaining 50-plus miles of open border will become ground zero for criminal trespass into the country.

"New Mexico will be crippled beyond compare with the next wave of criminal entry if we do not act now."

Appeals Court Blocks Texas Immigration Law

The celebration did not even last a day because the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals killed the legislation with a 2-1 vote only hours after the Supreme Court lifted its stay.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton immediately announced that he would be appealing the decision, which means that it is more than likely headed back to the Supreme Court, but that is not necessarily a good thing, even with a 6-3 tilt of conservative justices on the bench.


I honestly have no idea why everyone was celebrating the Supreme Court lifting of the stay. The court made it clear that the Appeals Court needed to make a final decision or the court would allow the measure to come back before the Supreme Court for a final ruling.

Based on Supreme Court precedent, it is doubtful the court will allow the law to remain in place if and when that happens. Historically, the court has ruled that all things immigration fall under federal purview. The only possible way I see the court allowing this law to stay in place is if the court takes into consideration that this administration is not enforcing our current immigration laws.

However, even on that front, the court has given the federal government the benefit of the doubt. If you recall, Mayorkas' new deportation rules were challenged, and the court decided in Mayorkas' favor. I just don't expect a positive outcome when the Supreme Court eventually finalizes this decision. My gut feeling is that the court will actually reject the case, citing precedent and the Appeals Court's decision to block the law.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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