Court rules part of Trump order on sanctuary city funding is unconstitutional

Court rules part of Trump order on sanctuary city funding is unconstitutional
© Anna Moneymaker

A federal court has ruled against the Trump administration in a lawsuit over funding for “sanctuary cities.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones wrote in a Wednesday judgement that part of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE's executive order to end federal grant funding for sanctuary cities is unconstitutional.

Jones, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, ruled that it “would be unconstitutional” for the administration to withhold funding from the cities of Seattle and Portland, the two plaintiffs named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit named Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Trump-aligned group launches ad campaign hitting Doug Jones on impeachment ICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenActing DHS secretary says he expects Russia to attempt to interfere in 2020 elections House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena Trump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report MORE as defendants.

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The ruling follows a U.S. appeals court decision in August that also found Trump's executive order unconstitutional. That decision upheld a lower court ruling in favor of two California counties.

The city of Seattle filed its lawsuit in March 2017 seeking to clarify Trump’s executive order, which was signed just days after his inauguration in early 2017.

The order gave the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security the power to withhold federal grants to cities that did not comply with federal immigration law.

A number of cities have declared themselves “sanctuaries,” meaning that local authorities do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement to detain people solely based on their immigration status.

“Seattle will not be bullied by this White House or this administration,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) said at the time the lawsuit was filed.

The lawsuit was filed days after Sessions vowed that the Justice Department would withhold grants from cities unless they certified that they are not sanctuary cities.