Federal Judge Blocks Trump Order on Sanctuary Cities

President Trump’s Agenda Suffers Another Blow.

San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction Tuesday. The injunction bars federal officials nationwide from carrying out the portion of a Trump executive order. The portion in question is aimed at cutting off grants to local governments that won’t provide assistance to federal authorities in locating and detaining undocumented immigrants.

In his decision, Orrick cited public comments from Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Those comments led him to conclude that the order appeared intended to sweep more broadly than allowed by federal law. The judge, an Obama appointee, said it was “not legally plausible” that Trump was simply trying to secure compliance with current law.


“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote. “The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds.”

Another legal blow for Trump.

The ruling is another bump in the road for Trump’s efforts to use executive orders to carry out major policy moves. Something his staff is highlighting as he approaches the 100-days-in-office mark. Trump has been criticized for his apparent hypocrisy on the matter of executive orders. Prior to his election, Trump often ridiculed President Obama for his “excessive use of executive orders”. Courts have also blocked key portions of the president’s other immigration-related executive orders.

Orrick did note that his new injunction may not block much of what the Trump administration claimed in court it was trying to do. If all Trump wanted to do was cut off Justice Department grants to localities that are out of compliance with the law, he can still do that, the judge observed.

“This injunction does nothing more than implement the effect of the Government’s flawed interpretation of the Order,” Orrick wrote.

Spokespeople for the Justice Department and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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