A federal judge has imposed an injunction on a directive from President Trump that would have cut federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities as well as other localities that have refused to cooperate in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, according to Politico.
The ruling came from U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick in San Francisco who issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday. Orrick said the language of the order sought to withhold funds beyond law enforcement, a broader sweep than allowed by 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." Politico reported:
The ruling is another high-profile blow to Trump's efforts to use executive orders to carry out major policy moves—a drive his staff is highlighting as he approaches the 100-days-in-office mark. Courts have also blocked key portions of two of the president's other immigration-related executive orders—his travel bans on visitors from several majority Muslim countries.
However, Orrick noted that his new injunction may not block much of what the Trump administration claimed in court it was trying to do through the portion of the Jan. 25 order targeting sanctuary cities. 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.
This ruling comes as the White House battles Congress over funding for Trump's border wall ahead of a looming government shutdown.