Judge Poised to Consider Migrant Flights Case

Judge Poised to Consider Migrant Flights Case

By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE — A Leon County circuit judge will hear arguments Friday about whether he should toss out a lawsuit filed by a South Florida state senator after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration flew about 50 migrants from Texas to Massachusetts in September.

Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach, contends in the lawsuit that part of the state budget used to pay for the flights violates the Florida Constitution and that the DeSantis administration improperly infringed on the federal government’s authority over immigration issues.

But attorneys for DeSantis, the Florida Department of Transportation and state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis filed motions last week to dismiss the case. Circuit Judge John Cooper, who rejected an earlier version of the lawsuit in November, is slated to hold a hearing Friday on a revised complaint.

The case focuses primarily on $12 million that lawmakers included in the state budget for the Department of Transportation to carry out a “program to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state.”

The DeSantis administration contracted with Vertol Systems Company, Inc. to transport two planeloads of migrants on Sept. 14 from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, with a stop in the Northwest Florida community of Crestview.

The Department of Transportation paid $615,000 to Vertol for the flights. Also, three additional Vertol purchase orders of $950,000 each are listed on a state contracting website for “relocation services.”

The flights spurred a national controversy and came as DeSantis, widely considered a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate, often criticizes federal immigration policies.

Pizzo’s lawsuit argues, in part, that the section of the budget violates the Florida Constitution because it revised such things as procurement standards and created a new program. It said such changes would need to be made in substantive laws — rather than through the annual budget.

The lawsuit said it is seeking a declaration that the section of the budget is unconstitutional and an injunction “preventing defendants from continuing to spend monies unconstitutionally appropriated and to recoup monies already spent pursuant to the unconstitutional provision.”

Also, the lawsuit contends that the state violated what is known as the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution because the federal government has authority over immigration issues.

The lawsuit said that under the U.S. Constitution, “Congress is vested with exclusive power over immigration and naturalization. Under that and other constitutional and statutory authority, the federal government has exclusive authority to enact and enforce regulations concerning which immigrants to admit, exclude, remove or allow to remain in the United States.”

But in a motion to dismiss the case filed last week, attorneys for DeSantis and the Department of Transportation argued that Pizzo does not have legal standing to pursue the lawsuit. The motion said, in part, that Pizzo had not “alleged that he suffered any special injury.”

Also, the motion disputed Pizzo’s constitutional arguments. As an example, the state’s attorneys refuted the argument that the budget was used to improperly create a new program. The motion said the budget is frequently used to create programs, including at least five in the current spending plan.

“Prior appropriations have included similar language, which appears not to have engendered constitutional controversy,” the motion said.

Also, the DeSantis administration disputed violating federal authority on immigration issues.

“It (the section of the budget) does not regulate the flow of aliens into or out of the United States or determine anybody’s citizenship status; rather it makes funds available to facilitate the transport of consenting unauthorized aliens from Florida to other states,” the motion said.

4 Responses to "Judge Poised to Consider Migrant Flights Case"

  1. @ Skeptic… nailed it dead-nuts-on. Without an exploitable victim class, the Marxicrat Party would cease to exist. It’s also why they are focused on grooming our children into the twisted Gender Dysphoria/Dystopia arena.

  2. What’s not said in the complaint, nor the response to it, is that this mass acceptance of illegals is necessary for the Democrat party to survive. Blacks and Hispanics, long the bedrock of Democrat platforms and voting, have been leaving the Democrat party in large numbers. This began in earnest during the Trump administration as many of them came to understand that there’s a better life out there than living on the Democrat Plantation and living on handouts. The Democrats are now faced with replacing those voters, but U.S. citizens don’t appear to be that resource so millions of illegals are allowed into the country with an intended future amnesty by the Democrats securing millions of reliable votes. With so many of those illegals settling in Texas the plan may add enough votes to move Texas blue, giving them Texas, New York, and California. The electoral college would then be a near lock.

    But they can’t be honest about that, so they’re working the fringes and hoping a few sympathetic judges can give them an air of legitimacy.

  3. Again what we have here in the eyes of the left is just step one on their master plan to hit the jackpot and hopefully next stop the action before the bench of leftist tool Federal Judge Hinkle. So what this means to you is if Leon County Judge Cooper rules in Desantis favor it will have been just step one for the Florida leftist process to next stop the lawsuit in front of leftist tool Judge Hinkle where the left knows they have the best shot at getting a favorable leftist leaning rulling. This is standard operating procedure and tried and true leftist best practice in Florida. Desantis knows this, Snidely knows this, and now the gentel reader also knows this. So if you already were totally aware of leftist best practices in working Florida’s legal system to their best advantage good on you! We get new readers every day and Snidely is preaching to the newbys so they will have a better understanding of how the left successfully operates with respect to Florida’s legal system. There is nothing wrong with how the left does this. Its very smart and effective for the left as long as Hinkle ends up with the case on appeal.

  4. Pizzo is a Biden clone…he frequently states he is a Catholic and he supports unlimited abortion and transgendered confused individuals.

    P.S. I worked for Vertol Systems Company…..never again.

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