Federal Court Weighs Injunction in Challenge to Executive Order's Threat to De-Fund "Sanctuary Cities"


Yesterday, Judge William H. Orrick III in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California heard oral arguments in a case brought by San Francisco and Santa Clara County challenging the "sanctuary city" provision (section 9) of the January 25, 2017 interior immigration enforcement executive order*issued by President Trump.* The Trump administration has threatened in the order, as well as in public statements by among others, Attorney General Jeff Sessions,to strip "sanctuary cities" of federal funding.* The case raises serious constitutional questions concerning the relative powers of the federal, state, and local governments.* And Santa Clara and San Francisco contend that billions of federal dollars for their localirties are at stake.**

For cogent and thoughtful analysis of the questions raised by the case, see Vik Amar and Michael Schaps' article in Justia and Garrett Epps in The Atlantic.*

After the oral argument, the City Attorney of San Francisco was declaring victory.* According to press reports (and here), the U.S. government*appeared to be on the defensive in the oral arguments, claiming that, while there had been threats to defund "sanctuary cities," no cities had been lost federal monies to this point.** Judge Orrick did not rulke from the bench and is expected to issue an order in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.


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About The Author

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1998. Johnson became Dean in 2008. He has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. In 1993, he was the recipient of the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.Dean Johnson has published extensively on immigration law and civil rights. Published in 1999, his book How Did You Get to Be Mexican? A White/Brown Man's Search for Identity was nominated for the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Dean Johnson’s latest book, Immigration Law and the US-Mexico Border (2011), received the Latino Literacy Now’s International Latino Book Awards – Best Reference Book. Dean Johnson blogs at ImmigrationProf, and is a regular contributor on immigration on SCOTUSblog. A regular participant in national and international conferences, Dean Johnson has also held leadership positions in the Association of American Law Schools and is the recipient of an array of honors and awards. He is quoted regularly by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other national and international news outlets.

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