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California v. United States

filed: January 7, 1997.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA, PETE WILSON, GOVERNOR; JOE G. SANDOVAL, SECRETARY, YOUTH AND ADULT CORRECTIONAL AGENCY; JAMES H. GOMEZ, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; FRANCISCO J. ALARCON, CHIEF DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF THE YOUTH AUTHORITY; RUSSELL S. GOULD, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, STATE OF CALIFORNIA; SANDRA SMOLEY, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND WELFARE AGENCY, STATE OF CALIFORNIA; S. KIMBERLY BELSHE, DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; JANET RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL; DORIS MEISSNER, COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, UNITED STATES; ALICE RIVLIN,*FN* ACTING DIRECTOR, DIRECTOR, U.S. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, UNITED STATES, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. D.C. No. CV 94-0674-K. Judith N. Keep, Chief Judge, Presiding.

Before: Stephen Reinhardt and Cynthia Holcomb Hall, Circuit Judges, and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Senior District Judge.*fn** Opinion by Judge Merhige.

Author: Merhige

MERHIGE, Senior District Judge:

In this appeal, Plaintiffs-Appellants State of California*fn1 ("California") and state officials Governor Pete Wilson; Director of Finance, Russell S. Gould; Acting Secretary, Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, Joe G. Sandoval; Director of the Department of Corrections, James H. Gomez; Chief Deputy Director of the Department of the Youth Authority, Francisco J. Alarcon; Acting Secretary, Health and Welfare Agency, Sandra R. Smoley; and Director of the Department of Health Services, S. Kimberly Belshe (collectively, "California" or "the State") appeal from a judgment entered in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granting the motion of the Defendants-Appellees United States of America and federal officials Attorney General Janet Reno ("Attorney General"); Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Alice Rivlin; Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Doris Meissner ("Commissioner of the INS"); Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna E. Shalala; Administrator, Health Care Financing Administration, Bruce C. Vladek; and Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley to dismiss California's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).*fn2

In its Complaint, California asserts various constitutional and statutory claims premised on the impact of federal immigration policy on the State, particularly as it affects the State's fiscal burdens. California seeks monetary damages as well as injunctive and declaratory relief under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706. Jurisdiction has been asserted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1346, 1361, 2201 and 2202 against the United States and a number of its officials acting in their official capacities. The matter in controversy allegedly arises under the Constitution and laws of the United States. This Court has jurisdiction as well under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. The immediate issue before the Court is the correctness of the trial court's dismissal of the Amended Complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for the failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, the judgment of the district court is affirmed.

I.

This Court reviews de novo a grant of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Stone v. Travelers Corp., 58 F.3d 434, 436-37 (9th Cir. 1995). "[A] complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 10, 66 L. Ed. 2d 163, 101 S. Ct. 173 (1980) (citation omitted). When reviewing a district court's dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim, this Court must accept the facts alleged in the complaint as true. Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. California, 509 U.S. 764, 770, 125 L. Ed. 2d 612, 113 S. Ct. 2891 (1993).

In its Complaint, California asserts that the number of permanent illegal residents in California stands at 1.7 million - 5% of the state's population - and increases by approximately 125,000 a year. California further asserts that, in the fiscal year this action was initiated, it would spend nearly $2.4 billion in providing federally mandated education and health care benefits to illegal aliens and in incarcerating illegal aliens who commit crimes within the State.*fn3

California's Complaint consists of eight claims. In Count I of its Complaint, California asserts that the United States has violated its obligations to protect the State from invasion and to guarantee it a republican form of government under the Invasion and Guarantee Clauses of Article IV of the United States Constitution by failing to stop the intrusion of illegal aliens across the State's borders. U.S. Const. art. IV, § 4. In Counts II and IX, California asserts that the United States has violated the Guarantee Clause and the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by requiring the State to fund emergency health care costs for illegal immigrants, by causing the State to incur the costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants, and by causing the State to incur the costs of providing public schooling to illegal immigrants. In Count III, California seeks a declaration that the Attorney General has violated 8 U.S.C. § 1365 because she has not decided to reimburse the State for the costs incurred in incarcerating illegal aliens out of monies available, but not specifically appropriated, for that purpose. Finally, in Counts V through VIII,*fn4 California seeks declarative and injunctive relief because the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the INS failed to perform their statutory duties under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252(I), 1252(a)(2), 1326 and 1252(c) by not conducting deportation proceedings immediately following the conviction of aliens eligible for deportation; failing to take into custody aliens convicted of aggravated felonies upon their release from state incarceration pending determination of deportability; failing to prosecute deported aliens who illegally reenter the country; and by failing to effectively execute final orders of deportation and instead merely "dropping off" the deported aliens at the U.S.-Mexican border.

II.

A. Invasion Clause

In Count I of its Complaint, California contends that the United States has violated its obligation under the Invasion Clause of Article IV, § 4 of the Constitution to protect the State from invasion.*fn5 California's claim under the Invasion Clause presents a nonjusticiable political question. In Baker v. Carr, the Supreme Court set forth the analysis that governs the political question doctrine. There, the Court stated:

It is apparent that several formulations which vary slightly according to the settings in which the questions arise may describe a political question, although each has one or more elements which identify it as essentially a function of the separation of powers. Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it; or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion; or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government; or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made; or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question.

369 U.S. 186, 217 (1962).

In this case, the issue of protection of the States from invasion implicates foreign policy concerns which have been constitutionally committed to the political branches. The Supreme Court has held that the political branches have plenary powers over immigration. Fiallo v. Bell, 430 U.S. 787, 792, 52 L. Ed. 2d 50, 97 S. Ct. 1473 (1977). For this Court to determine that the United States has been "invaded" when the political branches have made no such determination would disregard the constitutional duties that are the specific responsibility of other branches of government, and would result in the Court making an ineffective non-judicial policy decision. See Barber v. Hawaii, 42 F.3d 1185, 1199 (9th Cir. 1994) (dismissing an Invasion Clause claim as a nonjusticiable political question). Additionally, even if the issue were properly within the Court's constitutional responsibility, there are no manageable standards to ascertain whether or when an influx of illegal immigrants should be said to constitute an invasion. The Court notes that the other Circuits that have addressed the issues before us in similar suits against the United States have reached the same Conclusions that we do. Padavan v. United States, 82 F.3d 23, 28 (2nd Cir. 1996); Chiles v. United States, 69 F.3d 1094, 1097 (11th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 134 L. Ed. 2d 777, 116 S. Ct. 1674 (1996); New Jersey v. United States, 91 F.3d 463 (3rd Cir. 1996); Texas v. United States, No. B-94-228 (S.D. Tex. Aug. 7, 1995), appeal pending, No. 95-40721 (5th Cir).

Moreover, California ignores the Conclusion set forth by our Founders. In The Federalist No. 43, James Madison referred to the Invasion Clause as affording protection in situations wherein a state is exposed to armed hostility from another political entity. Madison stated that Article IV, ยง 4 serves to protect a state from "foreign hostility" and "ambitious or vindictive enterprises" on the part of other states or foreign ...


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