Federal judge tosses Attorney General Ken Paxton's 'sanctuary cities' bill lawsuit

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's preemptive attempt to have a federal judge declare Senate Bill 4—the "sanctuary cities" bill—constitutional was dismissed on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Sam Spark issued a ruling late Wednesday that granted the defendants'—Travis County, the city of Austin and its council members—motion to dismiss Paxton's lawsuit. The State of Texas will pay all legal costs related to the case.

SB 4, signed into law on May 7 and effective Sept. 1, is a controversial law that enables law enforcement officials to inquire about the immigration status of any individual and threatens to punish cities and government officials who fail to comply with the law.

The legal battle over SB 4 is not over. The state and the Texas cities that filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the bill now await a ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio.