Trump slams federal court ruling on funding for 'sanctuary cities'

Judge William Orrick III of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday ruled that U.S. President Donald Trump can not coerce "sanctuary cities" to cooperate with immigration officers by withdrawing federal funds.

"We'll see them in the Supreme Court", Trump said Wednesday in response to a question from a reporter while signing an executive order to look into rolling back the designation of some national monuments.

The Ninth Circuit Court also ruled against President Trump's travel ban in February.

Trump says sanctuary cities put Americans at risk by refusing to hold immigrants who have been arrested or convicted of serious crimes until immigration agents can take them into custody and deport them.

Then, in March, Trump blasted another federal judge's ruling that blocked a revised version of the travel ban, suggesting it was a politically motivated decision that made the United States look "weak".

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's office slammed the decision in a statement as an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge".

In his 49-page opinion Tuesday, Orrick sided with Santa Clara County and the city and county of San Francisco in their challenge to Trump's sanctuary cities executive order.

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Trump tweeted that the 9th circuit, which earlier ruled against his travel ban, has "a bad record of being overturned (close to 80 percent)".

It claimed that sanctuary cities - like San Francisco, where Orrick resides - are "engaged in the risky and unlawful nullification of federal law in an attempt to erase our borders". San Francisco and the county argued in court documents that the president did not have the authority to set conditions on the allocation of federal funds and could not force local officials to enforce federal immigration law.

If he wants to take his case to the Supreme Court, he will have to through the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals first.

Trump's tweets echo a White House statement released Tuesday night after Orrick's ruling.

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg). City Attorney Dennis Herrera, at podium, with his staff beside him, talks about a federal judge's order blocking any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold money from "sanctuary cities" during a news conference at City.

Even if the president could do so, those conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive, as the executive order appeared to be, Orrick said.

It's a case potentially headed for a Supreme Court whose newest member had to distance himself from Trump's prior judiciary bashing. In the term that ended in 2015, 10 appellate circuits, including the one on which Gorsuch was serving, had reversal rates higher than the 9th Circuit.

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