The Geo Group v. Newsom

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Preemption
  • Date Filed: 09-26-2022
  • Case #: 20-56172
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nguyen, J. for the Court; Murguia, C.J.; Rawlinson, J.; Smith, Jr. J.; Ikuta, J.; Watford, J.; Owens, J.; Nelson, J.; Lee, J.; Forrest, J.; & Sung, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The Supreme Court has interpreted the Supremacy Clause “as prohibiting States from interfering with or controlling the operations of the Federal Government.” Washington, 142 S. Ct. at 1984.

GEO appealed the denial of a preliminary injunction of California’s Assembly Bill ("AB") 32. GEO assigned error to the District Court for dismissing GEO’s claims regarding ICE-contracted facilities. On appeal, GEO argued that pursuant to “the Winter factors”, there was a likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief because AB 32 would prohibit ICE from using private contractors to operate its immigration detention facilities. In response, California argued that intergovernmental immunity doesn't't’t apply to general state regulation of a federal contractor arguing the presumption against preemption.  However, the Supremacy Clause prohibits, "States from interfering with or controlling the operations of the Federal Government.United States v. Washington, 142 S. Ct. 1976, 1984 (2022)." The Court reasoned that even if AB 32 was a neutral regulation, it still violated the Supremacy Clause by giving California a “virtual power of review” over ICE’s discretion to arrange immigration detention in the way it finds appropriate. Further, the presumption of preemption doesn't't’t apply because allowing AB 32  would create conflict between AB 32’s requirement and Congress’ intent. The District Court’s denial of the injunctive relief is vacated, and remanded for further proceedings.

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