The nationwide injunction that was made against President Trump’s Executive Order on Sanctuary Cities does not block the Department of Justice from taking action against lawless sanctuary cities.
A San Francisco U.S. District Judge, William Orrick, an Obama appointee, issued the temporary ruling after San Francisco and Santa Clara County argued that it threatened billions of dollars in federal funding.
Judge Orrick represents the Northern California District, a district that is widely known for their liberal, unjustified viewpoints. In 2015, Orrick issued a restraining order against the advocacy group responsible for undercover videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood employees plotting to sell baby organs. He also raised $200,000 dollars for Obama and donated more than $30,000 dollars to groups supporting Obama.
It is clear that Orrick not only misinterpreted Trump’s Executive Order on sanctuary cities but that he also violates the most basic knowledge of legislative interpretation which is to adopt a narrow reading of a statute if a broader one would raise constitutional issues.
It seems as though Orrick is just another liberal judge trying to re-write laws instead of enforcing them.
San Francisco and Santa Clara County’s issue with Trump’s Executive order 13768 is in Section 9 of the Executive order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”
If you have listened to the news coverage on this topic, you may have perceived that Trump ordered the cutoff of all federal funding to sanctuary cities including basic federal entitlement payments like Medicaid, etc.
The truth is Section 9 does not affect federal entitlement programs. It is very narrowly focused. It states that it is the policy of the executive branch to ensure compliance “to the fullest extent of the law with 8 U.S.C. 1373.”
According to Judge Orrick, Section 1373 law prohibits local jurisdictions from “restricting government officials or entities from communicating immigration status information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” San Francisco and Santa Clara’s policy that they have in place prevents their local police from notifying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when they arrest or detain an illegal alien, which violates federal law.
This provision is limited to grants only, and therefore does not affect entitlement funding. So no, there is no threat to cut off federal entitlement funding and access to programs like Medicaid, etc.
Orrick further claims that the Executive Order raises problems under the Spending Clause of the Constitution because the executive branch is adding conditions to the receipt of federal funds, something only Congress has the power to do.
Judge Orrick also defends his ruling by claiming that public statements made by the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have endorsed “the broadest reading of the order.”
The comments that were cited by Orrick claim Trump stated publicly that “his Executive Order is a weapon against jurisdictions that disagree with his immigration policies.” Orrick cites Sessions as saying, “those not complying with Section 1373 would suffer withholding grants, termination of grants, and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants.”
Sessions was simply trying to point that sanctuary cities who violate Section 1373 are not eligible for justice grants.
Judges that base their rulings around widely interpreted statements made by President Trump rather than the actual law seem to be on the rise.
In March, U.S. District Court Judge Derrik Watson, who is also an Obama appointee, ordered an injunction halting President Trump’s Executive Order on the first travel ban. Attorneys for the ACLU and other groups said that Trump’s statements on the campaign trail and statements from his advisers since he took office make it clear that the intent is to ban Muslims. This argument was made and taken into consideration by Judge Watson, resulting in his absurd ruling.
The 49-page order that Judge Orrick issued as a nationwide injunction is only against Section 9(a). On the last page of the judge’s order, Orrick stated the “injunction does not impact the government’s ability to use lawful means to enforce existing conditions of federal grants or 8 U.S.C. 1373, nor does it restrict the Secretary from developing regulations or preparing guidance on designating a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction.”
This exception in his ruling allows the Trump administration to cut off eligibility to grant programs that are in non-compliance with Section 1373. Sanctuary cities are still going to lose some federal discretionary funds from the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
The temporary injunction will stay in place while the lawsuit moves through the courts. However, in the meantime, the Trump administration will still be able to take federal action against cities defying the laws of our country.
While the news is focusing on the injunction and calling it a big loss for the Trump administration, it seems the real losers are the lawless sanctuary cities.