President Trump acted unconstitutionally when he threatened to strip billions of dollars in federal funding from sanctuary cities and counties that refuse to cooperate fully with immigration officers, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III ruled in San Francisco. Orrick already had issued a preliminary injunction in the case.
President Trump acted unconstitutionally when he threatened to strip billions of dollars in federal funding from sanctuary cities and counties that refuse to cooperate fully with immigration officers, a federal judge ruled Monday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. U.S. District Judge William Orrick III had issued a nationwide injunction in April, blocking enforcement of Trump’s February executive order, saying it was likely to be found unconstitutional. The Trump administration has appealed that ruling and has sought to backpedal from the broad language of the president’s order.
Orrick went further Monday and issued a final ruling saying Trump had committed multiple constitutional violations: usurping Congress’ power over federal spending, seeking to defund programs unrelated to immigration and trying to coerce local governments to change their policies. “The president has called (his February order) ‘a weapon’ to use against jurisdictions that disagree with his preferred policies of immigration enforcement,” Orrick said. He said Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not credible in his claims that Trump was actually targeting only a limited number of grants that Congress had expressly tied to compliance with one immigration law. The injunction that Orrick made permanent Monday has no immediate impact, because the Trump administration is not trying to enforce the president’s February order against a broad range of federal funding.