Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Courthouse News reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit yesterday found the law clearly forbids the U.S. Department of Justice from denying grant funds to state and local "sanctuary" jurisdictions. However, the panel also found that district court overstepped its authority in issuing a nationwide injunction. The Trump administration has vigorously opposed nationwide injunctions in lawsuits challenging its policies.
“The district court abused its discretion by issuing a nationwide injunction without determining whether plaintiffs needed relief of this scope to fully recover,” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote for the panel. William Fletcher, a Clinton appointee, and Eric Miller, a Trump appointee, joined Clifton on the panel.
The panel noted that in some cases where a plaintiff does not operate in a limited geographic area, a nationwide injunction may be appropriate. That was the case when the Ninth Circuit upheld a nationwide block of a Trump administration policy that made immigrants ineligible for asylum unless they crossed the southern border at official ports of entry. In that case, because the plaintiffs were immigrant advocacy groups that operate outside of California and the Ninth Circuit’s boundaries, a nationwide injunction was deemed appropriate.
In contrast to the Ninth Circuit's ruling, the Second Circuit on the same day denied a rehearing in a case finding for the Trump administration on the sanctuary funding issue.