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 TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results 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 SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' 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.