Judge Rules Trump Can’t Defund Sanctuary Cities

Yesterday, a federal judge in San Francisco blocked President's Trump's order cutting off federal grants to sanctuary cities. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County. The suit, filed in January, was the first to challenge the proposed defunding of sanctuary cities.

In his ruling, Judge William Orrick III, of the Northern District of California noted,  "The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds. Further, the Tenth Amendment requires that conditions on federal funds be unambiguous and timely made; that they bear some relation to the funds at issue; and that the total financial incentive not be coercive. Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves."

This ruling is definitely not the last word on this issue. As the Chicago Tribune notes, there are similar lawsuits pending in Seattle, Massachusetts, and several other California cities. White House reaction was swift, saying, "an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our nation" and handed "a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country." Prince Reibus vowed, "We'll win at the Supreme Court level at some point."

The Northern District Court set up a special web page on the case here for more information.