The Trump Administration has yet again run head first into the wall that separates the branches of government. U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco has issued a temporary order against enforcement of the Administration’s January executive order threatening to withhold federal funds from cities that do not cooperate with the federal government in enforcing federal immigration policies, so-called sanctuary cities.

 

Officials in San Francisco and Santa Clara County took the case to court, stating that the executive order was unconstitutional overreach. Justice Department lawyers asked for a ruling in their favor, claiming that there’d been no enforcement action and the order only applied to funds from the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Attorneys for San Francisco and Santa Clara argued that the executive order targeted ‘all’ federal funding, and Judge Orrick agreed. In his ruling, Orrick wrote, “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.”

 

The judge is also reported to have said that DOJ can still withhold grants, but it cannot enforce the order in a way that violates the Constitution.

 

It appears the Trump Administration, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have yet to learn that they are not above the law. Thanks to our Founding Fathers, we have an independent judiciary that stands ready to remind them of that fact.

Published by Charles Ray