Published: Mon, May 01, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Trump errs on the court system

Fresh from his tweeted attacks on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a district court decision against his executive order seeking to punish sanctuary cities that said court of appeals - being a court of appeals - did not have a thing to do with, President Trump went out of his way in an interview with the Washington Examiner to say he wants to break up the Ninth Circuit.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Francisco, blocked the bid to withhold funding to sanctuary cities on grounds the president lacks the authority to place new conditions on federal spending.

The ruling will stay in effect as the suit moves through court.

The judge who made the decision, U.S. District Judge William Orrick, was nominated by President Barack Obama.

In his ruling, Judge Orrick also said the president's repeated references to Katie Steinle, who was killed by an immigrant who had been deported five times, and the sanctuary policies in San Francisco where the death occurred further show Trump has it in for the Golden State.

It is not clear how close that link has to be, but Trump presumably would not be allowed to withdraw funding for, say, highway construction to force a city to stop protecting immigrants from deportation.

The injunction marks the second setback for Trump's immigration agenda.

Trump's promise of appeal could land the case in the Ninth Circuit court, viewed as one of the more liberal venues in the federal court system and so a more risky court for the government to lodge a challenge.

Michaelson said, "This is false: the ruling was from a district court, not the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. See you in the Supreme Court!" he tweeted.

The department singled out Chicago and New York as two cities "crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime", even though New York City is experiencing its lowest crime levels in decades and experts say Chicago's recent spike in violent crime has little to do with illegal immigration.

"This is why we have courts - to halt the overreach of a president and an attorney general who either don't understand the Constitution or chose to ignore it", Herrera said.

A Justice Department attorney, Chad Readler, previously defended the president's executive order as an attempt to use his "bully pulpit" to "encourage communities and states to comply with the law".

The Justice Department threatened last week to cut some funding to California as well as eight cities and counties across the US.

Meanwhile, a bill passed Wednesday in the N.C. Senate would limit funding to sanctuary cities. A violation of those conditions, they argued, would bar the local entities from receiving three Justice Department grants and nothing more. But Orrick said it could also be construed to apply to cities that refuse to hold jail inmates for immigration authorities. However, the Trump administration has said the amount of funding that will be withheld is much lower.

The policies of sanctuary cities vary but in most cases provide some protections to unauthorized immigrants by not fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities. San Francisco's lawyers argued that enforcement of the executive order could result in a loss of some $2 billion per year for the city.

Orrick rejected that argument in his April 25 ruling in County of Santa Clara v. Trump.

But the White House said in a vitriolic statement late Tuesday, that "the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy".

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