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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Texas’ SB 4 in limbo again after late-night court decision

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024   

Story has been updated to reflect late-night 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.(8:01 a.m. MST, Mar. 20, 2024)


The U.S. Supreme Court handed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a big but temporary win Tuesday in his battle to stop the flow of migrants crossing the Texas-Mexico border.

Late Tuesday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals put the law known as Senate Bill 4 on hold again. It would give state and local law enforcement the authority to arrest migrants as they cross into the U-S.

The Biden administration argued that the law would interfere with federal immigration law and is unconstitutional.

David Coale, an appellate attorney in Dallas, said if the state gets the authority to make arrests, he thinks it will move with caution.

"I think that Texas will want to make some very high-profile moves under this statute," Coale predicted. "But they also don't want to potentially expose themselves to massive civil rights liability if it turns out they're wrong."

Under SB-4, crossing the border illegally is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail. The appeals court hears oral arguments in the case today. Meanwhile, a Mexican government official said his country won't accept migrants deported under SB-4.

The Supreme Court justices did not issue a reason for allowing the law to go into effect and there's been no clear timetable for how or when Texas will start enforcing it. In 2012, the Supreme Court struck down parts of a similar law in Arizona, saying an impasse in Congress over immigration reform did not justify state intrusion.

Coale noted if the law is ultimately upheld, it would give each state the right to make its own immigration laws.

"If you give Texas a pass, you know, New York will have a different policy and California will have a policy and Montana will have a policy," Coale pointed out. "And they will not be consistent."

All six of the court's conservative justices agreed with the decision to allow the law to take effect - a ruling that, at least for now, was in effect for only a few hours.


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