By Keshia Hannam
November 21, 2017

A federal judge permanently blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut funding from so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ Monday.

The injunction comes after a similar ruling earlier this year, which resulted in a temporary hold on the order which targeted ‘sanctuary cities’ (a city that withholds cooperation with federal efforts to enforce immigration law). The Trump administration appealed the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to The Hill. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration’s claims that the executive order was relevant to a relatively small amount of money, saying Trump cannot set new conditions on spending that has been approved by Congress.

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Judge William Orrick went on to block Trump’s order – Executive Order 13768, titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” – permanently, calling it unconstitutional on its face, according to documents obtained by USA Today.

“The defendants are permanently enjoined from enforcing Section 9(a) of the Executive Order against jurisdictions they deem as sanctuary jurisdictions. Because Section 9(a) is unconstitutional on its face, and not simply in its application to the plaintiffs here, a nationwide injunction against the defendants other than President Trump is appropriate,” Judge William Orrick ruled.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera hailed the ruling as ‘a victory for the American people and the rule of law’, stating: “President Trump might be able to tweet whatever comes to mind, but he can’t grant himself new authority because he feels like it.” California municipalities had sued over the order, insisting the ruling could cost up to $2 billion in federal funding.

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The Department of Justice, however, rebuked the decision, saying the court had overstepped its authority.

“The District Court exceeded its authority today when it barred the President from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law,” DoJ spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement late on Monday. “The Justice Department will vindicate the President’s lawful authority to direct the executive branch.”

Judge Orrick disagreed, arguing he had a “pre-enforcement standing to protect hundreds of millions of dollars of federal grants from the unconstitutionally broad sweep of the Executive Order.”

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