The decision comes after Trump’s order was challenged by the city and county of San Francisco and the county of Santa Clara, California, two of the jurisdictions the administration considers "sanctuary cities".
It was U.S. District Judge William Orrick who issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the order’s enforcement, effectively preventing the administration from pulling federal funds from the sanctuary jurisdictions that sued and others that may feel their federal funding may be at risk if they don’t comply with Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
Less than two weeks after he heard arguments in the case Judge Orrick, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, wrote...
“The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds. 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 held that the executive order, which Trump signed during his first week on the job, was likely unconstitutional because it is too vague and would deprive the localities of monies that are rightly theirs, which would violate the Fifth Amendment.
In addition the judge said the order likely violates the 10th Amendment and the separation of powers.
Notably Judge Orrick cited comments by both Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that directly contradicted the Justice Department’s argument in court. One in which Sessions vowed to “claw back” funds from sanctuary cities and one from Trump in which he described using defunding as a “weapon” against cities that refuse to cooperate with policies targeting undocumented immigrants.
Judge Orrick wrote in regards to these utterances...
“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,”
In a most ironic turn, in several parts of his ruling, Orrick relied on none other than Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion in the 2012 Affordable Care Act case, which took aim at Congress and the Obama administration for placing a “gun to the head” of states that rely on Medicaid funding for survival.
Judge Orrick said of Trump’s order, which he likened to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, that...
“The threat is unconstitutionally coercive,”.
Also hurting the governments case was the fact that the Trump administration has yet to clarify what they exactly consider to be a “sanctuary city”.
You can read Orrick’s ruling HERE