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CA7 on Byrne JAG Grant Conditions: Chicago v. Barr

April 30, 2020 (1 min read)

Chicago v. Barr

"We conclude again today, as we did when presented with the preliminary injunction, that the Attorney General cannot pursue the policy objectives of the executive branch through the power of the purse or the arm of local law enforcement; that is not within its delegation. It is the prerogative of the legislative branch and the local governments, and the Attorney General’s assertion that Congress itself provided that authority in the language of the statutes cannot withstand scrutiny. ... Accordingly, we affirm the grants of declaratory relief as to the declarations that the Attorney General exceeded the authority delegated by Congress in the Byrne JAG statute, 34 U.S.C. § 10151 et seq., and in 34 U.S.C. § 10102(a), in attaching the challenged conditions to the FY 2017 and FY 2018 grants, and that the Attorney General’s decision to attach the conditions to the FY 2017 and FY 2018 Byrne JAG grants violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers. In light of our determination as to the language in § 10153, it is unnecessary to reach the constitutionality of § 1373 under the anticommandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment. We affirm the district court’s grant of injunctive relief as to the application of the challenged conditions to the Byrne JAG grant program-wide now and in the future, which included enjoining the Attorney General from denying or delaying issuance of the Byrne JAG award to grants in FY 2017, FY 2018, FY 2019 and any other future program year insofar as that denial or delay is based on the challenged conditions or materially identical conditions. We remand for the district court to determine if any other injunctive relief is appropriate in light of our determination that § 10153 cannot be used to incorporate laws unrelated to the grants or grantees. Finally, because the injunctive relief is necessary to provide complete relief to Chicago itself, the concern with improperly extending relief beyond the particular plaintiff does not apply, and therefore there is no reason to stay the application of the injunctive relief."