Friday, February 18, 2011

Chancellor McCoy: U.S. A Party To 287(g) Challenge, Whether It Likes It Or Not

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 1:56 PM

The Scene mused Thursday on the many rabbit holes Elliott Ozment's challenge to Sheriff Daron Hall's 287(g) agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could travel down. In a letter from the Department of Justice presented in court last week, the United States said it didn't believe it was an "indispensable party" to the lawsuit, as Metro counsel has claimed, noting the challenge rests on Tennessee law and the Metro charter. Essentially, DOJ claimed no dog in the fight.

Chancellor Carol McCoy, however, had a message for the Feds today: You're in this whether you like it or not. Ozment must now add the United States as a party to the suit, which claims the Davidson County Sheriff's Office is violating the Metro charter by enforcing federal immigration law. It's likely the case will end up before a federal judge. It's also equally likely that a federal judge will remand the case back to Chancellor McCoy because Ozment's suit makes no claims against the federal government, negating its jurisdiction.

The suit could end up before the Tennessee Supreme Court now, depending on what tack Metro takes, but that's conjecture about as iron-clad as reading chicken bones. For a little background on the suit and Nashville's 287(g) program, check this piece.

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