Priebus calls 9th Circuit 'bananas,' says administration will prevail on sanctuary cities

Priebus calls 9th Circuit 'bananas,' says administration will prevail on sanctuary cities
© Greg Nash

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Tuesday said a federal court went “bananas” in blocking a President Trump order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities and expressed confidence the administration would prevail if the case reaches the Supreme Court.

The comments came hours after U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the temporary ruling in a lawsuit against the order. Orrick’s district falls in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously ruled against Trump’s travel ban. But he does not sit on that court himself.

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“It’s the 9thth Circuit going bananas,” Priebus told a group of reporters in his West Wing office Tuesday evening. “It’s clear forum shopping that’s going on in this country.”

He said the decision “is something that will be overturned eventually and we’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”

“We’re taking action to appeal this,” he added. “You’ll find out soon enough.”

The Obama-appointed judge ruled that the order violated the Constitution by attempting to punish local governments by seeking to “deprive local jurisdictions of congressional allocated funds without any notice or opportunity to be heard.” 

The California governments that sued over the order argue that more than $2 billion in federal funding could be at stake.

The ruling will remain in place while the lawsuit moves through the court.