AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s already at least one legal challenge to SB4, despite Attorney General Ken Paxton’s pre-emptive lawsuit filed Monday.
Paxton is suing Travis County, its sheriff and the city of Austin—including the mayor and every council member—in hopes of stopping more of those challenges, but so far, none of the entities named have filed a suit to challenge SB4.
“You can’t prove that until it’s done, so we made our decision based on our best guess,” Paxton said on Tuesday. Despite the guessing, Paxton says he has proof officials in Travis County will put up a legal fight against SB4. “We have heard them just publicly discuss their opposition and talk about suing. They’ve made some private comments to my lawyers and we chose people that we thought were going to sue us.”
What Paxton wasn’t expecting what that a small Texas border town, El Cenizo, along with the League of United Latin American Citizens beat Austin and Travis County to the legal battle. “This is something LULAC had anticipated, it was just a matter of time,” said Gabino Fernandez with Austin LULAC.
LULAC’s lawsuit against the attorney general and governor simply states SB4 would violate various amendments including the fourth, which guarantees protection against unlawful searches and seizures.
“They are violating our rights by questioning our citizenship when they don’t do it to any other race or any other group of people,” continued Fernandez.
“They [Texans] should be, I think, happy because now they have a law in place that will protect them from illegals who have committed crimes,” Paxton said.
Austin City Council Member Delia Garza says there have been unofficial discussions about when Austin would jump into the legal battle against the state. The earliest formal discussions could happen next week.
LULAC says they do anticipate others joining their lawsuit.