Judge who ruled against sanctuary cities order was an Obama campaign bundler

by Marta Holmes April 27, 2017, 2:20
Judge who ruled against sanctuary cities order was an Obama campaign bundler

In response to the ruling, Trump sent out a flurry of tweets early Wednesday morning criticizing the decision as a "ridiculous ruling" and claiming it was the result of "judge shopping".

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Fransisco ruled that the federal government does not have the authority to cut "federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement ... merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves".

It was the third Trump executive order on immigration to be thwarted by the federal courts.

He said, "They used to call this 'judge shopping!' Messy system".

Then, in March, Trump blasted another federal judge's ruling that blocked a revised version of the travel ban, suggesting it was a politically motivated decision that made the USA look "weak".

The second statement showed the two California governments that sued to block the order - San Francisco and Santa Clara County - had good reason to believe they would be targeted, Orrick said.

In his ruling, Orrick said Trump's January 25 order targeted broad categories of federal funding for the sanctuary cities and that plaintiffs challenging it were likely to succeed in proving it unconstitutional.

Trump tweeted that the 9th circuit, which earlier ruled against his travel ban, has "a awful record of being overturned (close to 80 percent)".

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In February, he called the federal judge in Seattle who ruled against his first travel ban a "so-called judge".

These are cities - among them New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco - that have limited their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

If Trump is right about the ultimate destination of the sanctuary cities case, he'll face a court reinforced by his own nominee, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch.

At the same time, the judge said the Justice Department may hold back grant money that is awarded with immigration-related conditions, if those conditions are violated. The appeals court may yet side against him, and the case may end up at the Supreme Court, but it hasn't happened yet.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus described the ruling as another example of the "9th Circuit going bananas".

Orrick said Trump can not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

Orrick is a district court judge and is not part of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, although the latter will hear the Trump administration's appeal. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes the trust that is needed to get people to report crime. In the term that ended in 2015, 10 appellate circuits, including the one on which Gorsuch was serving, had reversal rates higher than the 9th Circuit.

Judge Orrick said that the language of the executive order made clear it sought to withhold funds beyond law enforcement.


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