Judges Approve Key Parts of Sanctuary Cities Bill: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: The NFL’s sideline politics and how to fund Houston’s Harvey relief.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger . . . But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made-we all love our country!
—President Donald Trump in two tweets Tuesday morning. Trump, who devoted a large part of his Twitter feed to the politics of sports over the weekend, continued his commentary after the entire Dallas Cowboys team—including owner Jerry Jones—took a knee before the national anthem ahead of Monday’s game. The team then stood, with arms interlocked, for the performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” More on that later.
After much of it was blocked from going into effect in late August, a panel of appellate judges allowed key parts of Senate Bill 4 to move forward even as the law remains in the appeals process. Three judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals green-lit the provision of the so-called sanctuary cities legislation that requires jails to honor all detainer requests from federal immigration authorities, according to the Texas Tribune. The ruling puts local law enforcement bodies like Travis County back at the mercy of the law—at the very least until another scheduled appeals hearing on November 6. “Contrary to the state’s position, SB 4 is neither clear nor simple,” Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said in a statement to the Tribune. “The Fifth Circuit and the Trial court have both recognized the complexity of the issues, some of which were conceded by the state. I look forward to further clarification from the courts after oral argument in November.” Hernandez has been at the center of the debate on sanctuary cities since she told her office to only honor limited detainer requests earlier this year. The directive, which preceded SB 4’s passage, spurred Governor Greg Abbott to withhold state funds for Travis County programs. As of Monday, however, Hernandez has ordered her office to comply with the court’s ruling, undoing a key part of the sanctuary policy that she promised to put in place during her campaign for sheriff. Attorney General Ken Paxton, meanwhile, celebrated the ruling. “We are pleased today’s Fifth Circuit ruling will allow Texas to strengthen public safety by implementing the key components of Senate Bill 4,” Paxton said in a statement. “Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into Texas communities. I am confident Senate Bill 4 will be found constitutional and ultimately upheld.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The Cowboys beat the Arizona Cardinals Monday night, but the entire game seemed secondary to actions on the sidelines before anyone took the field. After President Trump spent the weekend tweeting his opinions about NFL protests, all eyes went to America’s team—which, going into Monday’s game, was one of only six left in the league that did not include any players who had publicly demonstrated on the field. Reports began to surface before the game about unnamed players who planned to take a knee during the anthem protest, which Cowboys owner Jerry Jones previously spoke out against. But Jones, along with his entire roster, took a knee before the anthem, then collectively rose and stood with interlocked arms as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played. Trump, who tweeted over the weekend that “standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable,” seemed to both condemn and praise the Cowboys in two consecutive tweets Monday morning (see above). It’s still unclear if Robert Jeffress, First Baptist Dallas pastor and member of Trump’s evangelical advisory group, has in any way softened his stance after his home team took a knee. Jeffress went on Fox & Friends earlier on Monday to say that players should be “thanking God” that they don’t have to worry about being “shot in the head for taking the knee like they would be in North Korea.”
As officials squabbled at a Houston City Council meeting on Monday over who should pay for the city’s Hurricane Harvey recovery, Mayor Sylvester Turner turned to the Texas Tribune to offer clarity on his take. Turner has been criticized for proposing a year-long property tax hike to help pay for recovery efforts, but he said that if Governor Greg Abbott had decided to tap Texas’s $10 billion Rainy Day Fund, he wouldn’t be in this situation. “If he told me he was going to tap it, I wouldn’t propose [the property tax hike],” Turner said in an interview with the Texas Tribune. For his part, Abbott has previously said that the state will likely utilize the resource, but has offered no clarification on when or how much aid the state would offer. In a public hearing on Monday, city and state officials butted heads over the proposal, with Senator Paul Bettencourt standing up for residents who he says are already facing significant financial woes. “I don’t think we should be kicking Houstonians while they’re down,” Bettencourt said at the hearing, drawing applause. Houston’s city council will vote on the temporary tax increase next month, which would bring in an additional $50 million and cost the average Houston homeowner $48.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Hey Dallas, do you want your donuts delivered by a creepy clown? Eater
The Texas oil industry has sprouted “the biggest global tax break ever” Forbes
This is what a $575 homecoming mum looks like Guide Live
Mark Cuban thinks the Lege could scare off Amazon The Dallas Morning News
“Democrats Don’t Need to Win Texas—But They Just Might, Anyway” Mother Jones