USA judge blocks key part of Trump's sanctuary cities order

27 April 2017, 02:24 | Noah Barnes

A federal judge in San Francisco blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take federal funds from sanctuary cities for the third time in two months.

"We'll see them in the Supreme Court", Trump said Wednesday in response to a question from a reporter while signing an executive order to look into rolling back the designation of some national monuments.

"First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities - both ridiculous rulings", he tweeted. "They used to call this 'judge shopping!' Messy system".

Following Judge Orrick's ruling, a further setback to the President's immigration agenda after his Muslim travel ban was also blocked, the White House launched a blistering attack on his decision.

But the White House said in a vitriolic statement late Tuesday, that "the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy". The suit had been brought by the city and county of San Francisco and Santa Clara County. "The rest of the order is broader still, addressing all federal funding", Orrick said.

In a series of tweets, Trump vowed that the White House was ready to bring the case to the Supreme Court and blasted the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which was part of legal decisions blocking Trump's travel restrictions on several Muslim-majority countries.

Lordes Reboyoso carries placard at a rally supporrting sanctuary cities outside of City Hall in San Francisco in January.

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Trump's tweets echo the White House statement released Tuesday night after the judge's ruling.

During the campaign, he called Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a sitting federal judge in California who was overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University, a "hater" and a "Mexican", saying his heritage meant he could not impartially oversee the case because of Trump's tough immigration policies.

In the last Supreme Court term, the 9th Circuit came in second on that score.

In the San Francisco case on sanctuary cities, Judge William Orrick Jr., an Obama appointee, linked his decision to the Constitution's provision giving Congress control over the federal purse.

Orrick does not sit on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but any challenges to his rulings would be heard in that court, NPR reported. "But we are confident we will ultimately prevail in the Supreme Court, just as we will prevail in our lawful efforts to impose immigration restrictions necessary to keep terrorists out of the United States".

Judge Orrick said that the language of the executive order made clear it sought to withhold funds beyond law enforcement.



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