Here is some of the legal news making the headlines this week:

The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily froze enforcement of a controversial Texas immigration law.

  • Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law last December. It creates new state crimes for illegal entry into the state and authorizes local police to arrest and detain individuals suspected of having illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • The Biden administration filed a lawsuit challenging the bill as violating the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which says federal law preempts state laws on the same matter, and the foreign commerce clause, which gives the federal government exclusive authority to regulate commerce with foreign nations.
  • Last week, a federal district court judge halted enforcement of the law, which was set to take effect in a matter of days. Judge David Ezra wrote, “If allowed to proceed, SB 4 could open the door to each state passing its own version of immigration laws.” 
  • Reversing the lower court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ordered the law to take effect unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervened before Saturday, March 9. On Monday, March 4, Justice Samuel Alito did just that: granting the Biden administration’s request to freeze the Fifth Circuit’s order and prevent SB4 from taking effect until at least next week.

Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pled guilty to perjury charges.

  • Weisselberg admitted to lying during a 2020 deposition with investigators in the New York attorney general’s office as part of Attorney General Letitia James’s Trump fraud probe. Weisselberg twice lied about knowing Trump inaccurately described the size of his triplex apartment on financial documents.
  • Weisselberg is expected to be sentenced in April. Prosecutors have requested that he be sentenced to five months in prison. Weisselberg already spent close to three months in New York City’s Rikers Island jail last year, after pleading guilty to 15 tax crimes.
  • Relatedly, former President Donald Trump is fighting his civil fraud judgment in New York. Trump filed a notice of appeal with a NY appellate court, and an appellate judge ordered Trump to post a bond for the full amount owed while the appeal proceeds.

Week In a Nutshell is part of the free weekly CAFE Brief newsletter. 

Sign up free to receive the CAFE Brief in your inbox every Friday: