Protesters marching in the streets outside the Texas State Capital on 'A Day Without Immigrants' last year. Photo: Drew Anthony Smith / Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the majority of Texas' immigration enforcement law that imposed a crackdown on 'sanctuary cities' in the state. The statute gives law enforcement the ability to ask someone during a routine stop whether or not they are in the U.S. legally.

Why it matters: This is a major victory for Texas Republicans and the Trump administration which has been waging an aggressive fight against sanctuary cities. The Justice Department last week sued California over it's sanctuary law, alleging "obstruction of federal immigration enforcement."

The details: The Texas law, which is said to be one of the country’s toughest state-issued immigration policy, threatens officers with fines and jail time if they do not abide by immigration officials. It also prohibits cities and counties from adopting policies that limit immigration enforcement.

  • But, the court overturned the provision that imposes civil penalties for local officials who “endorse a policy under which the entity or department prohibits or materially limits the enforcement of immigration laws.” It said the "endorse" language could violate the First Amendment.

What they're saying:

  • Gov. Greg Abbott (R) lauded the ruling on Twitter, saying "Texas Ban on Sanctuary City Policies upheld by Federal Court of Appeals. Allegations of discrimination were rejected. Law is in effect."
  • Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas that represents some of the plaintiffs, said in a statement the group is "exploring all legal options going forward."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 32,844,146 — Total deaths: 994,208 — Total recoveries: 22,715,726Map.
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Graham hopes his panel will approve Amy Coney Barrett by late October

Sen. Lindsey Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Saturday he expects confirmation hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court to start Oct. 12 and for his panel to approve her by Oct. 26.

Why it matters: That would mean the final confirmation vote could take place on the Senate floor before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Texas city declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Texas authorities have issued a warning amid concerns that the water supply in the southeast of the state may contain the brain-eating amoeba naegleria fowleri following the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Details: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a "do not use" water alert Friday for eight cities, along with the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections centers and the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport. This was later lifted for all places except for Lake Jackson, which issued a disaster declaration Saturday.