San Francisco, CA - On Tuesday, Federal Judge William Orrick blocked the Trump administration from withholding any funding from sanctuary cities who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued a preliminary injunction in lawsuits brought by San Francisco and Santa Clara County against an executive order from President Trump which withholds funding to sanctuary cities. The judge ignored a major problem with the lawsuit, which is that no such executive order currently exists.
The Department of Justice had recently sent a reminder to many sanctuary jurisdictions that they had signed documents in 2016, when they applied for federal grant money, in which the sanctuary jurisdictions said that they had complied with a section of federal law that demands cooperation with immigration agents. By filing false information on the form, and refusing to comply with that agreement, the jurisdictions are at risk of losing federal funding related to law enforcement. However, no order to pull or reduce funding has yet been given.
That didn't stop Judge William Orrick from ruling against the non-existent order saying, "Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves."
The Trump administration was left attempting to defend an order which doesn't exist. They argued, unsuccessfully, that the lawsuit was premature because the order didn't exist. San Francisco and Santa Clara County countered that they needed to be able to plan their budgets so the looming threat was enough for a lawsuit.
Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general, said the threatened cutoff only applies to three DOJ and Homeland Security grants which would likely affect no money for San Francisco and less than $1 million for Santa Clara County.
However, Judge William Orrick wasn't buying Readler's explanation on the limits of the non-existent order, and made his ruling based on his interpretation of President Trump's past comments.
"And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments," Judge William Orrick said.
Do you think that Judge Orrick is making an unbiased decision based on the facts and law, or do you think he's gone off the rails? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.