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Ninth District Court Rules Trump Can't Defund Sanctuary Cities

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In a major blow to the administration and advocates of strong immigration policies, the Ninth District U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that President Trump’s threat to defund "sanctuary cities" that harbor illegal immigrants is unconstitutional

San Francisco v. Trump launched back in 2017 when President Trump vowed to defund any city that refuses to cooperate with federal immigration officials in apprehending illegal aliens, including those who've been arrested and convicted of crimes.

Chief Judge Stacy Thomas wrote the 2-1 majority opinion against Trump, stating that “ under the principle of Separation of Powers and in consideration of the Spending Clause, which vests exclusive power to Congress to impose conditions on federal grants, the Executive Branch may not refuse to disperse the federal grants in question without congressional authorization.”

Chief Judge Thomas also cited two essays in the Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison that both state that only members of Congress have the power of the “purse” because they are the “immediate representatives of the people.”

“The Justice Department remains committed to the rule of law, to protecting public safety, and to keeping criminal aliens off the streets,” said Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley, defending Trump’s executive order.

Some obviously found this ruling to be a win and one of those people is San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

"When a president overreaches and tries to assert authority he doesn’t have under the Constitution, there needs to be a check on that power grab," he said. "The courts did that today, which is exactly what the framers of the Constitution had in mind."

In the executive order, signed January 25, 2017, Trump argued that “ in order to ensure the public safety of the American people in communities across the United States” he had to make it clear that “Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.”


(Cover Photo: Daniel Lobo)

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