Ninth Circuit dismisses Steinle family lawsuit against sanctuary

· March 26, 2019  
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Kate Steinle hearing
Mark Wilson | Getty Images

In this country, the inmates literally run the asylum. Our court system is of, by, and for illegal aliens, while Americans, including those killed by illegal aliens, are left out in the cold. The upshot of the latest ruling from the Ninth Circuit is that while illegal aliens can now sue our country and win judgments against law enforcement for enforcing federal law, victims of illegal aliens cannot sue sanctuary cities for thwarting federal law and causing the deaths of their loved ones. Welcome to the new America.

The Ninth Circuit and many other liberal courts believe they are a super-legislature, holding the sole and final say over broad public policy issues. They believe they are not constrained by rules of standing and can grant standing to any foreign national to sue American officials and law enforcement for rights to enter, remain, steal citizenship, be counted in the census, obtain welfare, and never be deported. Yet Kate Steinle’s parents, who are not seeking a public policy edict from the courts but rather an individualized claim against the city of San Francisco, are deemed not to have an actionable claim because government officials have immunity.

On July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle was murdered on a San Francisco pier by a bullet shot from the stolen 40-caliber gun of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal alien from Mexico who was deported five times and was released from San Francisco jail two and a half month before without notification to ICE. He remained in the country despite seven felony convictions. Like many recent California murders, this one would have been completely avoidable had the city not rebelled against the federal law. The family sued the city of San Francisco and former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi for negligence but has been rebuffed by the district judge and now the Ninth Circuit. Yes, the courts have finally found a non-justiciable claim: when it comes from Americans killed by illegal aliens thanks to city officials violating immigration laws.

In December 2017, a San Francisco jury acquitted Zarate of all murder charges, including manslaughter. The Justice Department responded by charging him with possession of a firearm, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a deadly weapon. Justice has not yet been served. Now the Steinle family won’t have recourse with any civil suit either.

One has to wonder if we are entering an era reminiscent of the Jim Crow South, where in certain jurisdictions we can’t get justice if the perpetrator is of the right group, in this case an illegal alien. Illegal aliens and their supporters can do no wrong, even when the law is on the side of the citizenry.

It’s not surprising that the Ninth Circuit would shield San Francisco from a lawsuit stemming from violating federal immigration law. The court itself just violated federal law by illegally adjudicating a case to grant constitutional habeas corpus rights for illegal aliens to obtain endless appeals. Yep, they are willing to give illegal aliens standing to sue when statute explicitly denies the courts such power, but will never hear cases from the families of citizens killed by illegal aliens.

In a vacuum, it’s understandable why, absent a direct federal or state grant of action to sue, a judge might dismiss this claim on grounds that public officials are immune. As the three-judge panel wrote, “The tragic and unnecessary death of Steinle may well underscore the policy argument against Sheriff Mirkarimi’s decision to bar his employees from providing the release date of a many times convicted felon to ICE.” What is indefensible, though, is how this same court grants illegal aliens the right to access federal courts when Congress has explicitly barred it. Somehow, we only become sticklers for discretionary immunity to shield government officials from lawsuits when it comes to victims of illegal aliens, but illegal aliens themselves can sue any law enforcement that follows federal law.

One of the judges on the panel, Stephanie Thacker, was actually a visiting judge from the Fourth Circuit. In 2017, she was one of the judges who ruled that foreign nationals can sue for a right to enter our country based on religious liberty rights under the Establishment Clause!

The actual opinion was authored by Mark Bennett, the left-wing former attorney general of Hawaii. Despite being nominated by Trump, he was supported by every single Senate Democrat. Twenty-seven Republicans voted against him because of his views on guns.

Countries have had revolutions over lesser infractions by their governments than what the courts are doing on illegal immigration. Yet we have witnessed numerous Kate Steinle stories in recent months, but there has been no call to action for the political branches to deal with sanctuary cities, judicial jurisdiction, and a private right of action for victims of illegal aliens to sue. I called for such a private right two weeks ago after Bambi Larson was murdered in San Jose by an illegal alien with over a dozen arrests and nine ignored ICE detainers.

As Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney and member of a Homeland Security advisory committee, told Axios, “At the moment, we have the closest thing to an open border that we’ve had.” That includes even under Obama. We have never had a scenario where our government asserted that anyone can just come right in and there’s nothing we can do to block, apprehend, detain, or deport them. And the consequences have never been graver. The fact that we got to this point is not necessarily Trump’s fault, but it doesn’t help if conservative media buries its head in the sand as if this is not happening. If this had occurred under the Obama administration, there would be nonstop outrage from conservative media and members of Congress, and it would have its effect. This is what happened in 2014, and eventually Obama got tougher on the border.

We have a judicial Jim Crow against the American citizenry and our sovereignty. If we continue to legitimize their actions, we will have no country left.


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.