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 TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe 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 SessionsSessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report Hillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Minority lawmakers call out Google for hiring former Trump DHS official 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.