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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sanctuary Cities and the Tenth Amendment

At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps writes that Trump has alienated the courts.
The latest Trump defeat came Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. That case, County of Santa Clara v. Trump, has now produced a nationwide injunction against another Trump executive order: “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” issued on January 25. On Tuesday, federal district judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California, blocked section 9(a) of the order. That’s the enforcement mechanism of the order’s ill-defined attack on “sanctuary” cities and counties that refuse to take orders from the Department of Homeland Security.
To a degree unusual in public law litigation, Trump’s legal setbacks flow from his personal flaws: constitutional illiteracy, governmental inexperience, contempt for law and lawyers, lust for executive power, and—most of all—simple inability to keep his mouth shut.
Henry Grabar at Slate:
We've known for months that the section of the president's January order making sanctuary jurisdictions "not eligible to receive federal grants" would be unlikely to stand up in court, for a few reasons that Judge William Orrick III, an Obama appointee presiding over the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, laid out on Tuesday:
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.