California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion with a federal court in Sacramento on Friday, asking the judge to dismiss a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit challenging three of the state’s so-called “sanctuary” laws.
“California’s laws work in concert – not conflict – with federal laws and are fully constitutional,” Becerra said in a statement Friday. “The 10th Amendment of the Constitution gives the people of California, not the Trump Administration, the power to decide how we will provide for the public safety and general welfare of our state. The federal government has no grounds to intrude on California’s constitutional authority to enact laws designed to protect its people.”
The federal government’s lawsuit, filed in early March, targets three recent California laws: the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450), the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB 54).
Of these, experts say, the first two are unlikely to survive in the courts, because they interfere with the federal government’s exclusive power over immigration — an argument Democrats like Becerra used several years ago when attacking Arizona’s SB 1070, which sought to allow state and local police to enforce immigration laws.
The third, SB 54, is on slightly stronger ground, because it does not interfere directly with the federal government’s exercise of its powers, but critics argue that it makes federal immigration law enforcement more difficult anyway.
Becerra’s court filings (here and here) cite the Tenth Amendment, which provides that “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Democrats mocked conservatives as “Tenthers” when they used similar arguments against Obamacare in 2010.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.