A U.S. appeals court ruled on Wednesday that President Trump’s executive order to withhold funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” is unconstitutional.
The vote was 2-1, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing that the order went beyond the president’s authority since only Congress can make decisions regarding federal funding.
Trump’s effort to cut federal funds to sanctuary cities dates all the way back to last year, just five days after he was sworn into office. In January 2017, Trump issued an executive order to withhold money from jurisdictions that passed laws allowing local law enforcement to shun cooperation with federal immigration authorities. This would “ensure the public safety of the American people,” a White House press release said.
In response, San Francisco and Santa Clara filed two lawsuits over Trump’s executive order. When his executive order was blocked by Judge William Orrick of the Northern U.S. District Court of California in November 2017, Trump appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit. This brings us to where we are today.
However, the fight over sanctuary cities is not over yet. The Ninth Circuit added that the lower court went too far by blocking Trump’s order on a national scale, so the case was sent back for additional hearings on this question.