City of Chicago v. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

No. 17 C 5720, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189589 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 16, 2017)



Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) allows a court to alter or amend a judgment if the movant clearly establishes: (1) that the court committed a manifest error of law or fact; or (2) that newly discovered evidence precluded entry of judgment. It does not provide a vehicle for a party to undo its own procedural failures, and it certainly does not allow a party to introduce new evidence or advance arguments that could and should have been presented to the trial court at trial.


The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program ("Byrne JAG grant") is an annual federal grant that provides financial assistance for state and local law enforcement efforts. The Attorney General has attached three conditions to the 2017 Byrne JAG. These are the notice, access, and compliance conditions, respectively. The Court assumed familiarity with the underlying facts of this case as recited in its previous opinion granting in part and denying in part Chicago's motion for a preliminary injunction, and will engage in only a procedural summary here. The City of Chicago moved for a nationwide preliminary injunction, arguing that all three conditions imposed on the 2017 Byrne JAG grant were unlawful and unconstitutional. The Court granted a preliminary injunction as to the notice and access conditions, but denied the preliminary injunction as to the compliance condition. The Attorney General filed an appeal and moved to stay the nationwide scope of the injunction pending appeal. Two Motions were filed before the Court. The first is the city’s Motion for Partial Reconsideration of this Court's opinion granting in part and denying in part the city’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction against certain conditions on the 2017 Byrne JAG grant. The second is the United States Conference of Mayors' Motion to Intervene as of right and, alternatively, permissively. For the reasons stated herein, the city’s Motion for Partial Reconsideration [ECF No. 99] and the Conference's Motion to Intervene [ECF No. 91] were both denied. The Court denied the Attorney General's Motion to Stay the nationwide scope of the injunction. At the same time, the Attorney General petitioned the Seventh Circuit to stay the nationwide injunction, and the city moved for partial reconsideration of the denial of the preliminary injunction as to the third condition, the compliance condition. 


Is the city entitled to reconsideration?




A city was not entitled to reconsideration of 8 U.S.C.S. § 1373 because nothing in the DOJ's letter contravened the court's prior ruling, which did not rest on either the DOJ's or the city's interpretation of § 1373's requirements but, instead, rested solely on the text of § 1373, the DOJ had yet to make a determination about the city's eligibility for funds, and litigating a policy position based on a preliminary assessment was premature; [2]-The U.S. Conference of Mayors was not entitled to intervene under Fed. R. Civ. P. 24because, while the Conference's motion was timely and it established associational standing, intervention was premature, the interests of the member cities were currently protected via the nationwide injunction, and the Conference's involvement as amicus curiae was strongly preferred.

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