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 TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa 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 SessionsCongress is going to make marijuana moves Trump throws support behind criminal justice bill Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMattis defends border deployment, likens it to 1916 effort against Pancho Villa Trump says he will decide Nielsen's fate 'shortly' Possible Nielsen replacement Tom Homan: ‘She’s working hard and doing a good job’ 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.