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JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP'S SANCTUARY CITIES CRACKDOWN


A federal judge on Tuesday blocked one of president Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration, forbidding the White House to withhold funds from sanctuary cities— local governments that limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

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In his ruling, Judge William H. Orrick sided withSanta Clara County, the city of San Francisco and other jurisdictions, who argued that a threat to take away federal funds from cities that do not cooperate with some federal immigration enforcement could be unconstitutional.

In making the ruling apply nationwide, Orrick blocked the government from enforcing a key portion of Trump's January executive order on immigration, which ordered the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department to block cities who do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement from receiving federal funds.

In a statement, the Justice Department said it would continue to enforce grant requirements and compliance with the law.

"Further, the order does not purport to enjoin the department's independent legal authority to enforce the requirements of federal law applicable to communities that violate federal immigration law or federal grant conditions," spokesman Ian Prior said.

The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the ruling.

The judge did leave the government some wiggle room, saying that his order does not block the government from enforcing conditions on federal grants nor does it block the government from creating a definition of sanctuary jurisdictions -- but the government will not be able to block federal funds from going to those cities as Trump ordered.

Orrick wrote that the jurisdictions successfully showed they "are currently suffering irreparable harm" because the order violates rights granted to states by the Constitution and because, even if the order hasn't been carried out, it has "caused budget uncertainty" simply by threatening to take away hundreds of millions in federal funds.

In a statement, the Justice Department said it would continue to enforce grant requirements and compliance with the law.

"Further, the order does not purport to enjoin the department's independent legal authority to enforce the requirements of federal law applicable to communities that violate federal immigration law or federal grant conditions," spokesman Ian Prior said.

The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the ruling.

The judge did leave the government some wiggle room, saying that his order does not block the government from enforcing conditions on federal grants nor does it block the government from creating a definition of sanctuary jurisdictions -- but the government will not be able to block federal funds from going to those cities as Trump ordered.

Orrick wrote that the jurisdictions successfully showed they "are currently suffering irreparable harm" because the order violates rights granted to states by the Constitution and because, even if the order hasn't been carried out, it has "caused budget uncertainty" simply by threatening to take away hundreds of millions in federal funds.

"The Counties have demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge to Section 9(a) of the Executive Order, that they will suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction, and that the balance of harms and public interest weigh in their favor," Orrick wrote.

"This is an absolutely huge win," James Williams, counsel to Santa Clara County, told CNN. "The threat to withhold funds from state and local governments in this executive order is dead."

"Faced with the law, the Trump administration was force to back down," San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement.

"This is why we have courts -- to halt the overreach of a president and an attorney general who either don't understand the Constitution or choose to ignore it."

If the case is appealed, it will go before the 9th Circuit Court, a body whose judges trend to the left. It was the 9th Circuit that upheld a nationwide block on Trump's controversial first travel ban, a ruling that effectively forced the administration to re-write the law in a second attempt to get it past the courts. That second attempt has also been blocked as it works its way through the process. Williams said lawyers are "absolutely" prepared to defend the ruling and are "very confident" they will prevail.

My opinion: Dictator Donald Trump's ego returned to reality from fantasy-land after the power of his fake arrogance was shattered by "so called" Federal Judge who showed him who's boss.