Saturday, April 15, 2017
Federal Court Weighs Injunction in Challenge to Executive Order's Threat to De-Fund "Sanctuary Cities"
Yesterday, Judge William H. Orrick III in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California heard oral arguments in a case brought by San Francisco and Santa Clara County challenging the "sanctuary city" provision (section 9) of the January 25, 2017 interior immigration enforcement executive order issued by President Trump. The Trump administration has threatened in the order, as well as in public statements by among others, Attorney General Jeff Sessions,to strip "sanctuary cities" of federal funding. The case raises serious constitutional questions concerning the relative powers of the federal, state, and local governments. And Santa Clara and San Francisco contend that billions of federal dollars for their localirties are at stake.
For cogent and thoughtful analysis of the questions raised by the case, see Vik Amar and Michael Schaps' article in Justia and Garrett Epps in The Atlantic.
After the oral argument, the City Attorney of San Francisco was declaring victory. According to press reports (and here), the U.S. government appeared to be on the defensive in the oral arguments, claiming that, while there had been threats to defund "sanctuary cities," no cities had been lost federal monies to this point. Judge Orrick did not rulke from the bench and is expected to issue an order in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.