Sanctuary Ruling

PUBLISHED: 4:43 PM 2 Aug 2018
UPDATED: 11:19 PM 2 Aug 2018

California Appeals Court Declares Judge Cannot Block Trump’s Defunding Order Nationally

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California declared that while they could block the ban in relation to California, they could not apply that ban nationally.

A federal appeals court in California ruled that a lower federal court could not block Trump's 'defunding' order nationally. This is a win for President Trump.

When Donald Trump won the presidency over Hillary Clinton, leftists across the nation had very visceral and often absurd reactions. Some declared it a sign of the end times, politically speaking, while others suggested that there would be mass deportations and ‘targeting’ of various communities in the United States. In response to his election, a number of left-leaning jurisdictions began to declare themselves ‘sanctuary’ regions, meaning that they would decline to cooperate with the federal government when it came to a number of immigration issues.

While each jurisdiction’s rules and regulations concerning their cooperation with agencies like the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and others vary, the intent is the same. Donald Trump’s response was to threaten to cut certain federal funding to jurisdictions that refused to cooperate, a move that the courts blocked repeatedly. Now, however, an appeals court has suggested that one Obama-nominated judge may have overstepped his boundaries, weighing in on the lower court’s ruling in a way that is likely to leave sanctuary cities stunned.

On Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California and a number of states in the region, ruled on a case brought forth by the state, which claimed that President Trump did not have the authority to block money to cities.

Specifically, in a 2-1 vote, the court declared that the president exceeded his authority when he attempted to cut off funds to sanctuary jurisdictions that had already been included in spending packages voted on by Congress.

According to Chief Judge Sidney Thomas, in his opinion written for the majority, without congressional authorization, the White House may not “redistribute or withhold properly appropriated funds” in order to push forward its own policy goals.

Even if those policy goals happen to be attempting to compel states to comply with federal regulations.

However, there was more to the ruling than that.

Judge Thomas also pointed out that there wasn’t enough evidence to support the Ninth Circuit Court (sometimes called the Ninth Circus Court due to some of its more ridiculous rulings and its tendency to have cases overturned on appeal by the United States Supreme Court) or a lower federal court supporting a nationwide ban on the order.

The three-judge panel of the Ninth, therefore, remanded the case back down to a lower federal court for more hearings on the idea that they could prevent President Donald J. Trump from implementing his idea to withhold funds.

In November, U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick said declared that the order threatened all federal funding, and that the Trump administration didn’t have the authority to make such an order without the approval of Congress.

The ruling was the result of two lawsuits from California, filed by Santa Clara and San Francisco counties.

According to Judge Orrick, the order threatened hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the pair of counties, and he used comments by President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as evidence of the scope of the order.

On the other hand, the Donald Trump administration said that the order applied to a small pot of money, which already required compliance with federal immigration law.

According to Chad Readler, an attorney for the federal government, the order applied to only three grants from the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

Furthermore, Readler said that the order would impact less than a million dollars for Santa Clara county, and possibly no money whatsoever for San Francisco county.

During arguments before the Ninth Circuit, Judge Sidney Thomas asked what the court should make of statements by the president and members of his administration.

Chief Judge Thomas also wondered if the order would be constitutional if it had impacted all forms of funding.

The order, and similar threats, are part of the administration’s push to get certain jurisdictions to comply with immigration law, Like their democrat fore-bearers who wouldn’t comply with desegregation law.

The larger question, though, is this; why should the federal government send money to states and jurisdictions (counties, cities, towns, etc.) that are not in compliance with federal immigration authorities?

As President Trump has pointed out repeatedly, ‘sanctuary’ areas make things more dangerous for citizens.

Consider the shooting of Kathryn Steinle in the city (and county) of San Francisco.

She was shot by Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, who claimed that the pistol he allegedly found moments before (a SIG 239, not exactly a cheap pistol) ‘went off’ when he picked it up.

Steinle died from the gunshot wound to her back.

Zarate was an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times, most recently in 2009. He had a long criminal history, including charges for felony heroin possession and manufacturing narcotics in 1991.

Zarate had been in prison in San Francisco for a 20-year-old charge of selling and possessing marijuana. ICE issued a detainer, asking the city’s law enforcement to keep Zarate in prison until they could pick him up yet again.

Instead, the sanctuary jurisdiction let him go on April 15, 2015. The shooting occurred less than three months later.

It seems only right that jurisdictions that don’t want to comply with federal regulations should not enjoy the federal government’s largesse.