The 2nd Circuit holds that Trump can withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities

In 2017, as part of efforts to crack down on uncontrolled illegal immigration, Trump's Justice Department announced that it would withhold federal monies from so-called sanctuary cities and states that prevented Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from having access to illegal aliens within those "sanctuary" jurisdictions.  Within the ambit of the Second Circuit appellate court, New York City, Connecticut, New York State, Washington, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island raced to a Manhattan federal court, claiming that it was unconstitutional.  Although an activist lower court agreed, the Second Circuit has now reversed that ruling.

When seven states and NYC sued, they had every reason to believe they'd be successful.  For example, in 2017, a San Francisco–based federal district court had already blocked Trump's attempt to withhold funds from "sanctuary California" using one of the now infamous nationwide injunctions that had become the "resistance" judges' stock in trade.

The winning argument in California was that Trump's order was unconstitutional because it was trying to force state and local officials to enforce federal laws.  (The opposite was true — sanctuary jurisdictions block federal officials from enforcing federal laws.)  San Francisco also claimed that working with the feds would break its bond with illegal aliens, damaging public safety.  These are the kinds of arguments that work before leftist judges.

Other activist federal courts followed the same track.  In 2018, the Seventh Circuit upheld a nationwide injunction that a district court in Chicago imposed against Trump's move to block funding.

Underlying all sanctuary jurisdiction cases was the contention that he who pays the piper does not get to call the tune: even thought sanctuary jurisdictions actively interfere with federal law enforcement and public safety, the federal government (and the American taxpayer) nevertheless need to keep the spigot open.

In the two to three years since that rash of decisions, Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell have been working steadily to break the stranglehold activist judges have on the federal judicial system.  To that end, they have placed 193 new judges in the federal system.

These are judges who do not believe that it is their role to legislate from the bench, who do not believe that the Constitution is a "living document" that can be folded, spindled, and mutilated to justify any outcome they want, and who do not believe that their emotional responses override the law.  Instead, strict constructionists believe that it is their responsibility to interpret the Constitution and the law as written, and as the drafters intended, regardless of their preferred outcome.

Donald Trump is finally able to fulfill his promises regarding immigration.  And unlike what Obama did, when he unconstitutionally implemented his "DREAMer" policies, Trump is not rewriting or ignoring existing law.  Instead, Trump has been working to enforce federal immigration laws as written.  It took getting a majority of strict constructionist judges on the federal bench to stop activist judges from blocking his efforts to enforce the law.

On Wednesday, Trump scored another significant judicial victory when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the White House can withhold funds from sanctuary cities.  The court reached this conclusion by looking at the law rather than making up the law:

The 2nd Circuit said the plain language of relevant laws make clear that the U.S. attorney general can impose conditions on states and municipalities receiving money.

And it noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the federal government maintains broad power over states when it comes to immigration policies.

[snip]

"While mindful of the respect owed to our sister circuits, we cannot agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue," the 2nd Circuit three-judge panel said in a decision written by Judge Reena Raggi.

"These conditions help the federal government enforce national immigration laws and policies supported by successive Democratic and Republican administrations. But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight," the appeals court said.

This is a wonderful holding, one that recognizes the Supremacy Clause (when federal and state laws are in direct conflict, federal laws win).  It also frees taxpayers from the burden of providing massive funds to jurisdictions that are not only violating federal laws but are also damaging public safety and wrongly increasing their influence in the House and the Electoral College.  Because there is now a split in holdings at the appellate court level, the issue will go to the Supreme Court, but it's reasonable to believe that the resistance will lose.

A country without a reliable legal system is nothing more than a two-bit banana republic.  By appointing judges who believe in the Rule of Law, Trump has taken a major step toward making American great again.

In 2017, as part of efforts to crack down on uncontrolled illegal immigration, Trump's Justice Department announced that it would withhold federal monies from so-called sanctuary cities and states that prevented Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from having access to illegal aliens within those "sanctuary" jurisdictions.  Within the ambit of the Second Circuit appellate court, New York City, Connecticut, New York State, Washington, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island raced to a Manhattan federal court, claiming that it was unconstitutional.  Although an activist lower court agreed, the Second Circuit has now reversed that ruling.

When seven states and NYC sued, they had every reason to believe they'd be successful.  For example, in 2017, a San Francisco–based federal district court had already blocked Trump's attempt to withhold funds from "sanctuary California" using one of the now infamous nationwide injunctions that had become the "resistance" judges' stock in trade.

The winning argument in California was that Trump's order was unconstitutional because it was trying to force state and local officials to enforce federal laws.  (The opposite was true — sanctuary jurisdictions block federal officials from enforcing federal laws.)  San Francisco also claimed that working with the feds would break its bond with illegal aliens, damaging public safety.  These are the kinds of arguments that work before leftist judges.

Other activist federal courts followed the same track.  In 2018, the Seventh Circuit upheld a nationwide injunction that a district court in Chicago imposed against Trump's move to block funding.

Underlying all sanctuary jurisdiction cases was the contention that he who pays the piper does not get to call the tune: even thought sanctuary jurisdictions actively interfere with federal law enforcement and public safety, the federal government (and the American taxpayer) nevertheless need to keep the spigot open.

In the two to three years since that rash of decisions, Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell have been working steadily to break the stranglehold activist judges have on the federal judicial system.  To that end, they have placed 193 new judges in the federal system.

These are judges who do not believe that it is their role to legislate from the bench, who do not believe that the Constitution is a "living document" that can be folded, spindled, and mutilated to justify any outcome they want, and who do not believe that their emotional responses override the law.  Instead, strict constructionists believe that it is their responsibility to interpret the Constitution and the law as written, and as the drafters intended, regardless of their preferred outcome.

Donald Trump is finally able to fulfill his promises regarding immigration.  And unlike what Obama did, when he unconstitutionally implemented his "DREAMer" policies, Trump is not rewriting or ignoring existing law.  Instead, Trump has been working to enforce federal immigration laws as written.  It took getting a majority of strict constructionist judges on the federal bench to stop activist judges from blocking his efforts to enforce the law.

On Wednesday, Trump scored another significant judicial victory when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the White House can withhold funds from sanctuary cities.  The court reached this conclusion by looking at the law rather than making up the law:

The 2nd Circuit said the plain language of relevant laws make clear that the U.S. attorney general can impose conditions on states and municipalities receiving money.

And it noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the federal government maintains broad power over states when it comes to immigration policies.

[snip]

"While mindful of the respect owed to our sister circuits, we cannot agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue," the 2nd Circuit three-judge panel said in a decision written by Judge Reena Raggi.

"These conditions help the federal government enforce national immigration laws and policies supported by successive Democratic and Republican administrations. But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight," the appeals court said.

This is a wonderful holding, one that recognizes the Supremacy Clause (when federal and state laws are in direct conflict, federal laws win).  It also frees taxpayers from the burden of providing massive funds to jurisdictions that are not only violating federal laws but are also damaging public safety and wrongly increasing their influence in the House and the Electoral College.  Because there is now a split in holdings at the appellate court level, the issue will go to the Supreme Court, but it's reasonable to believe that the resistance will lose.

A country without a reliable legal system is nothing more than a two-bit banana republic.  By appointing judges who believe in the Rule of Law, Trump has taken a major step toward making American great again.