President Trump’s fight with the federal judiciary continues as his most recent push to withhold federal funding from cities which proudly fly under the banner of “sanctuary cities” has met resistance in a California courtroom. The idea was originally hatched by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to use the withholding of federal money as a means to persuade these cities to change their policy and begin cooperating with federal immigration officials on deportations and other immigration matters.
Report from Fox News:
President Trump on Wednesday accused political opponents of “judge shopping” in their bid to block some of his signature executive orders and vowed to take his case to the Supreme Court – after a federal judge blocked his attempt to cut off sanctuary city funding.
That ruling, and another suspending his ban on travel from certain majority-Muslim countries, both involved federal judges in California. The San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February upheld a Hawaii judge’s ruling against the travel ban. A District Court judge also based in northern California said Tuesday the Trump administration couldn’t threaten to take away funding from cities that have policies favorable to illegal immigrants. If appealed, the case will go to the Ninth Circuit.
“First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!” Trump wrote in the first of a series of morning tweets. “Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the ‘ban’ case and now the ‘sanctuary’ case is brought in the Ninth Circuit, which has a terrible record of being overturned (close to 80%).”
Trump is correct on the Ninth Circuit hitting his “Muslim ban,” but he’s mistaken on them hitting his sanctuary city policy. The new ruling came from a Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
More on the Judge who halted the sanctuary city funding policy from Heavy.com:
A United States district court judge has just blocked part of President Donald Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities.
Judge William Orrick on Tuesday granted a nationwide injunction, blocking the Trump administration from following through on its threat to take away federal funds from cities that do not comply with national immigration laws, according to CNN.
Judge William Orrick was appointed to his current position by President Barack Obama.
At the time of the appointment, Orrick was working at the law firm Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP. He has previously served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice.
Obama nominated Orrick in June 2012, but Orrick was not approved until February 2013. This was mainly a party line vote, though Republican Jeff Flake broke with his party to vote to confirm Orrick.
Back to the Fox News story. Judge Orrick, in a fashion similar to the “Muslim ban,” cited past statements from Donald Trump as a candidate and included them as part of his ruling against the administration:
Judge William Orrick’s ruling to halt Trump’s order on sanctuary cities instituted a nationwide injunction to stay in place while other pending lawsuits move forward.
In his decision, Orrick said the plaintiffs were likely to succeed and criticized the order as too broad, saying it potentially threatens to cut off a wide range of federal grants to targeted cities.
“And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments,” he said. [Emphasis added]
The judge further said that federal funding “bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement” and “cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves.”
Back to the Heavy.com article, the Judge in this case was a deep Obama donor before he was appointed to the court:
When Barack Obama was running for president, Judge William Orrick reportedly helped raise money for him and donated some of his own money as well.
According to Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group, Orrick donated approximately $30,000 to committees supporting Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign for president. In addition, he helped raise $200,000 in contributions to the Obama campaign.
President Obama spent years filling vacancies on the federal judiciary with judges that mostly mirror his political ideology, as evidenced by Judge Orrick’s prior political activities and donations. Aside from congressional Democrats, the federal bench may be just as successful, if not more so, in halting or frustrating President Trump’s agenda, especially when it comes to hot-button issues like immigration.