This is why Trump's legislative agenda is stuck in neutral – Washington Post

The U.S. Capitol. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt persuaded Congress to expedite a raft of major laws to combat the Great Depression. Ever since, the end of the first 100 days has been a time to mark the accomplishments of new presidents. For President Trump, to quote an old Republican hand, the first 100 days have been the “honeymoon from hell.” By any legislative metric, little progress has been made on the president’s “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.”

Why have Trump and the Republican Congress delivered so little? There’s a relatively quick version of the answer: Trump is historically unpopular, lacks governing experience and surrounds himself with neophyte advisers. Across town and toting his own legislative agenda, Republican House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the GOP “has to go from being an opposition party to being a governing party.”

[In Trump’s America, who’s protesting and why? Here’s our March report.]

And although all of that is true, legislative dysfunction is deeply rooted within today’s House. The two parties are at ideological extremes, and the ruling Republicans are more divided among themselves than at any point in the past century. The combination undermines their capacity to deliver on the president’s agenda and dampens the chances for a productive Congress.

How does Trump compare with recent presidents?

Political capital is built on public support and post-election momentum — and often peaks in a president’s first few months in office. Most presidents leverage their electoral boost to push through major initiatives and proposals blocked by their predecessor. After President Bill Clinton’s rocky start, Democrats swiftly enacted a first-ever family leave law vetoed by President George H.W. Bush. The second President Bush made quick progress on a multitrillion-dollar tax cut, as well as landmark education reform. Within a month, President Barack Obama’s Democratic Congress delivered a record-size fiscal stimulus, soon followed by pay equity and children’s health reforms that President George W. Bush had vetoed.

Before and after the November election, Trump outlined a menu of ambitious offerings — including immigration and tax restructuring, infrastructure spending, trade renegotiation, his oft-emphasized southern border wall, as well as Affordable Care Act repeal and Wall Street deregulation.

The Senate has confirmed Neil M. Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice, albeit only after nuking the need for Democratic votes. And via the Congressional Review Act, a seldom-used, fast-track law, Republicans quietly overturned more than a dozen late-term Obama rules — loosening regulatory limits on oil, gas, coal and telecom industries, among others.

Ongoing Republican efforts to repeal and replace the health-care law have been far more visible. Even with tactics designed to cut out the Democrats, House Republicans remain at odds with their Senate colleagues, the White House and one another over how to unwind an increasingly popular law, wasting precious legislative floor time in the process.

[Senate Democrats are battling every Trump nomination. That will hurt the rest of his agenda.]

In turn, without offering any substantive proposals, Trump has bounced between advocating action on health care, taxes and infrastructure. Coincidentally, the federal spending authority expires on the eve of Trump’s 100th day in office. A government shutdown looms should Congress and the president fail to strike a budget deal this week.

This is why Republicans struggle to legislate

But the Republicans’ governing difficulties run deeper than an unpopular president backed by inexperienced advisers pursuing deeply polarizing proposals. A view inside the Capitol suggests why.

In the figure below, we use lawmakers’ ideological scores to place every House majority party since 1901 along two dimensions. (When Republicans hold the White House and Congress, the start of the Congress is marked in red; periods of unified Democratic control are marked in blue; a divided government shows up in gray.)

[Why presidential candidates (like Trump) campaign as isolationists but (like Trump) govern as hawks]

As you can see, the 2017 House is nearly the most polarized in more than a century. And among the years under unified Republican control, 2017 stands out as the most polarized.

The current House is unusual in another critical way. Along the Y-axis, we map each Congress based on the relative ideological breadth of the two House parties. When the score is high, it means that Republicans are more divided than their Democratic opponents. When the score is low, Republicans were the more cohesive party.

Today’s GOP House stands out in the upper-right quadrant. The parties are extremely polarized, and Republicans are far more fractured ideologically than the Democrats. That’s what we saw in the Republican stalemate over Obamacare, in which the far-right Freedom Caucus rejected anything but flat-out repeal while the moderate Tuesday Group sought improvements. Such stalemates may well recur when Republicans turn to tax restructuring and other Trump proposals. Unless Republicans can overcome their extreme internal divisions, Ryan will be challenged to corral his conference and move major legislation.

We see a more mixed bag in the Senate, as shown in the chart below. Like the House, the Senate is deeply polarized, meaning that Republicans will continue to have a hard time bringing Democrats on board. Republicans are also more divided than Democrats, but these GOP cleavages are not nearly as sharp as they are in the House. This suggests that the GOP agenda may gain more traction in the upper chamber.

Ideological disagreements between the parties surely shaped Republicans’ legislative strategy this year: Anticipating that Democrats would oppose Trump’s agenda, the GOP leaned heavily on procedures that eliminated the need to court Democratic votes.

But those tactics backfired. Yes, they enabled the GOP to quickly repeal some Obama regulations. But using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process highlighted internal Republican Party disagreements over how to restructure health care. It threatens to do the same for tax restructuring, as well. In other words, ironically, the GOP’s parliamentary strategy limits what Trump and Congress can achieve.

[Racial bias motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism. By a lot.]

A more popular president with a more disciplined and fully staffed administration might have had more success herding these fractured Republican majorities. But Trump attracts so much popular opposition that the divided Republican majority can’t come together to make the compromises needed to legislate. As David Jones wrote here at The Monkey Cage yesterday, presidents can recover from slow legislative starts. But the road is likely to be uphill for Trump and his unruly Republican Congress.

Mark Spindel is founder and chief investment officer at Potomac River Capital, a Washington-based investment firm.

Sarah Binder and Spindel are co-authors of “The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve,” Princeton University Press, coming this summer.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

This is why Trump's legislative agenda is stuck in neutral – Washington Post

The U.S. Capitol. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt persuaded Congress to expedite a raft of major laws to combat the Great Depression. Ever since, the end of the first 100 days has been a time to mark the accomplishments of new presidents. For President Trump, to quote an old Republican hand, the first 100 days have been the “honeymoon from hell.” By any legislative metric, little progress has been made on the president’s “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.”

Why have Trump and the Republican Congress delivered so little? There’s a relatively quick version of the answer: Trump is historically unpopular, lacks governing experience and surrounds himself with neophyte advisers. Across town and toting his own legislative agenda, Republican House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the GOP “has to go from being an opposition party to being a governing party.”

[In Trump’s America, who’s protesting and why? Here’s our March report.]

And although all of that is true, legislative dysfunction is deeply rooted within today’s House. The two parties are at ideological extremes, and the ruling Republicans are more divided among themselves than at any point in the past century. The combination undermines their capacity to deliver on the president’s agenda and dampens the chances for a productive Congress.

How does Trump compare with recent presidents?

Political capital is built on public support and post-election momentum — and often peaks in a president’s first few months in office. Most presidents leverage their electoral boost to push through major initiatives and proposals blocked by their predecessor. After President Bill Clinton’s rocky start, Democrats swiftly enacted a first-ever family leave law vetoed by President George H.W. Bush. The second President Bush made quick progress on a multitrillion-dollar tax cut, as well as landmark education reform. Within a month, President Barack Obama’s Democratic Congress delivered a record-size fiscal stimulus, soon followed by pay equity and children’s health reforms that President George W. Bush had vetoed.

Before and after the November election, Trump outlined a menu of ambitious offerings — including immigration and tax restructuring, infrastructure spending, trade renegotiation, his oft-emphasized southern border wall, as well as Affordable Care Act repeal and Wall Street deregulation.

The Senate has confirmed Neil M. Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice, albeit only after nuking the need for Democratic votes. And via the Congressional Review Act, a seldom-used, fast-track law, Republicans quietly overturned more than a dozen late-term Obama rules — loosening regulatory limits on oil, gas, coal and telecom industries, among others.

Ongoing Republican efforts to repeal and replace the health-care law have been far more visible. Even with tactics designed to cut out the Democrats, House Republicans remain at odds with their Senate colleagues, the White House and one another over how to unwind an increasingly popular law, wasting precious legislative floor time in the process.

[Senate Democrats are battling every Trump nomination. That will hurt the rest of his agenda.]

In turn, without offering any substantive proposals, Trump has bounced between advocating action on health care, taxes and infrastructure. Coincidentally, the federal spending authority expires on the eve of Trump’s 100th day in office. A government shutdown looms should Congress and the president fail to strike a budget deal this week.

This is why Republicans struggle to legislate

But the Republicans’ governing difficulties run deeper than an unpopular president backed by inexperienced advisers pursuing deeply polarizing proposals. A view inside the Capitol suggests why.

In the figure below, we use lawmakers’ ideological scores to place every House majority party since 1901 along two dimensions. (When Republicans hold the White House and Congress, the start of the Congress is marked in red; periods of unified Democratic control are marked in blue; a divided government shows up in gray.)

[Why presidential candidates (like Trump) campaign as isolationists but (like Trump) govern as hawks]

As you can see, the 2017 House is nearly the most polarized in more than a century. And among the years under unified Republican control, 2017 stands out as the most polarized.

The current House is unusual in another critical way. Along the Y-axis, we map each Congress based on the relative ideological breadth of the two House parties. When the score is high, it means that Republicans are more divided than their Democratic opponents. When the score is low, Republicans were the more cohesive party.

Today’s GOP House stands out in the upper-right quadrant. The parties are extremely polarized, and Republicans are far more fractured ideologically than the Democrats. That’s what we saw in the Republican stalemate over Obamacare, in which the far-right Freedom Caucus rejected anything but flat-out repeal while the moderate Tuesday Group sought improvements. Such stalemates may well recur when Republicans turn to tax restructuring and other Trump proposals. Unless Republicans can overcome their extreme internal divisions, Ryan will be challenged to corral his conference and move major legislation.

We see a more mixed bag in the Senate, as shown in the chart below. Like the House, the Senate is deeply polarized, meaning that Republicans will continue to have a hard time bringing Democrats on board. Republicans are also more divided than Democrats, but these GOP cleavages are not nearly as sharp as they are in the House. This suggests that the GOP agenda may gain more traction in the upper chamber.

Ideological disagreements between the parties surely shaped Republicans’ legislative strategy this year: Anticipating that Democrats would oppose Trump’s agenda, the GOP leaned heavily on procedures that eliminated the need to court Democratic votes.

But those tactics backfired. Yes, they enabled the GOP to quickly repeal some Obama regulations. But using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process highlighted internal Republican Party disagreements over how to restructure health care. It threatens to do the same for tax restructuring, as well. In other words, ironically, the GOP’s parliamentary strategy limits what Trump and Congress can achieve.

[Racial bias motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism. By a lot.]

A more popular president with a more disciplined and fully staffed administration might have had more success herding these fractured Republican majorities. But Trump attracts so much popular opposition that the divided Republican majority can’t come together to make the compromises needed to legislate. As David Jones wrote here at The Monkey Cage yesterday, presidents can recover from slow legislative starts. But the road is likely to be uphill for Trump and his unruly Republican Congress.

Mark Spindel is founder and chief investment officer at Potomac River Capital, a Washington-based investment firm.

Sarah Binder and Spindel are co-authors of “The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve,” Princeton University Press, coming this summer.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

This is why Trump's legislative agenda is stuck in neutral – Washington Post

The U.S. Capitol. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt persuaded Congress to expedite a raft of major laws to combat the Great Depression. Ever since, the end of the first 100 days has been a time to mark the accomplishments of new presidents. For President Trump, to quote an old Republican hand, the first 100 days have been the “honeymoon from hell.” By any legislative metric, little progress has been made on the president’s “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.”

Why have Trump and the Republican Congress delivered so little? There’s a relatively quick version of the answer: Trump is historically unpopular, lacks governing experience and surrounds himself with neophyte advisers. Across town and toting his own legislative agenda, Republican House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the GOP “has to go from being an opposition party to being a governing party.”

[In Trump’s America, who’s protesting and why? Here’s our March report.]

And although all of that is true, legislative dysfunction is deeply rooted within today’s House. The two parties are at ideological extremes, and the ruling Republicans are more divided among themselves than at any point in the past century. The combination undermines their capacity to deliver on the president’s agenda and dampens the chances for a productive Congress.

How does Trump compare with recent presidents?

Political capital is built on public support and post-election momentum — and often peaks in a president’s first few months in office. Most presidents leverage their electoral boost to push through major initiatives and proposals blocked by their predecessor. After President Bill Clinton’s rocky start, Democrats swiftly enacted a first-ever family leave law vetoed by President George H.W. Bush. The second President Bush made quick progress on a multitrillion-dollar tax cut, as well as landmark education reform. Within a month, President Barack Obama’s Democratic Congress delivered a record-size fiscal stimulus, soon followed by pay equity and children’s health reforms that President George W. Bush had vetoed.

Before and after the November election, Trump outlined a menu of ambitious offerings — including immigration and tax restructuring, infrastructure spending, trade renegotiation, his oft-emphasized southern border wall, as well as Affordable Care Act repeal and Wall Street deregulation.

The Senate has confirmed Neil M. Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice, albeit only after nuking the need for Democratic votes. And via the Congressional Review Act, a seldom-used, fast-track law, Republicans quietly overturned more than a dozen late-term Obama rules — loosening regulatory limits on oil, gas, coal and telecom industries, among others.

Ongoing Republican efforts to repeal and replace the health-care law have been far more visible. Even with tactics designed to cut out the Democrats, House Republicans remain at odds with their Senate colleagues, the White House and one another over how to unwind an increasingly popular law, wasting precious legislative floor time in the process.

[Senate Democrats are battling every Trump nomination. That will hurt the rest of his agenda.]

In turn, without offering any substantive proposals, Trump has bounced between advocating action on health care, taxes and infrastructure. Coincidentally, the federal spending authority expires on the eve of Trump’s 100th day in office. A government shutdown looms should Congress and the president fail to strike a budget deal this week.

This is why Republicans struggle to legislate

But the Republicans’ governing difficulties run deeper than an unpopular president backed by inexperienced advisers pursuing deeply polarizing proposals. A view inside the Capitol suggests why.

In the figure below, we use lawmakers’ ideological scores to place every House majority party since 1901 along two dimensions. (When Republicans hold the White House and Congress, the start of the Congress is marked in red; periods of unified Democratic control are marked in blue; a divided government shows up in gray.)

[Why presidential candidates (like Trump) campaign as isolationists but (like Trump) govern as hawks]

As you can see, the 2017 House is nearly the most polarized in more than a century. And among the years under unified Republican control, 2017 stands out as the most polarized.

The current House is unusual in another critical way. Along the Y-axis, we map each Congress based on the relative ideological breadth of the two House parties. When the score is high, it means that Republicans are more divided than their Democratic opponents. When the score is low, Republicans were the more cohesive party.

Today’s GOP House stands out in the upper-right quadrant. The parties are extremely polarized, and Republicans are far more fractured ideologically than the Democrats. That’s what we saw in the Republican stalemate over Obamacare, in which the far-right Freedom Caucus rejected anything but flat-out repeal while the moderate Tuesday Group sought improvements. Such stalemates may well recur when Republicans turn to tax restructuring and other Trump proposals. Unless Republicans can overcome their extreme internal divisions, Ryan will be challenged to corral his conference and move major legislation.

We see a more mixed bag in the Senate, as shown in the chart below. Like the House, the Senate is deeply polarized, meaning that Republicans will continue to have a hard time bringing Democrats on board. Republicans are also more divided than Democrats, but these GOP cleavages are not nearly as sharp as they are in the House. This suggests that the GOP agenda may gain more traction in the upper chamber.

Ideological disagreements between the parties surely shaped Republicans’ legislative strategy this year: Anticipating that Democrats would oppose Trump’s agenda, the GOP leaned heavily on procedures that eliminated the need to court Democratic votes.

But those tactics backfired. Yes, they enabled the GOP to quickly repeal some Obama regulations. But using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process highlighted internal Republican Party disagreements over how to restructure health care. It threatens to do the same for tax restructuring, as well. In other words, ironically, the GOP’s parliamentary strategy limits what Trump and Congress can achieve.

[Racial bias motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism. By a lot.]

A more popular president with a more disciplined and fully staffed administration might have had more success herding these fractured Republican majorities. But Trump attracts so much popular opposition that the divided Republican majority can’t come together to make the compromises needed to legislate. As David Jones wrote here at The Monkey Cage yesterday, presidents can recover from slow legislative starts. But the road is likely to be uphill for Trump and his unruly Republican Congress.

Mark Spindel is founder and chief investment officer at Potomac River Capital, a Washington-based investment firm.

Sarah Binder and Spindel are co-authors of “The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve,” Princeton University Press, coming this summer.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it's not a good sign for the White House – Washington Post

President Trump has threatened to go after sanctuary cities, which provide protections for illegal immigrants. This how state and local governments with sanctuary policies are responding to possible action. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

When a long list of comments from President Trump, his surrogates and his spokespersons shows up in a federal court ruling, it’s fair to say it can only mean one thing: a constitutionally questionable executive order is about to get a judicial smackdown.

That was true in March, when federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspended Trump’s travel ban, saying the administration had showed a clear animus toward Muslims, despite government lawyers’ claims to the contrary.

And it was true on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of California temporarily froze Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, ruling that a case could be made that it violated the Constitution.

Trump’s order, signed Jan. 25, threatens to cut off funding from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco challenged the order arguing, among other things, that the president doesn’t have the power to withhold federal money. Orrick found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on all their claims, as The Washington Post reported.

The 49-page ruling focused largely on an all-too-familiar theme for the young administration: the consequences of bragging and bluster by Trump and top administration officials.

Just like the judges who ruled on Trump’s travel ban, Orrick homed in on the vast discrepancies between what government lawyers defending the sanctuary cities order argued in court and what administration officials said about it in public.

In court, the government tried to make the case that the order doesn’t actually do anything, at least not at the moment, because the administration has yet to define what exactly a sanctuary city is or threaten any particular jurisdiction with a loss of funds. It was their way of convincing the judge to toss out the lawsuit on the grounds that no city or county has yet suffered any harm.

But in public, administration officials boasted about how the order would force sanctuary cities to their knees, singling out particular places.  The order described in court as essentially an empty shell was portrayed in news conferences, briefings and television interviews as a powerful tool to protect the public from dangerous undocumented immigrants being shielded by wayward cities and counties.

It was that gap that disturbed Orrick.

In his ruling, the judge pointed to a February interview between Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in which Trump called the order “a weapon” to use against cities that tried to defy his immigration policies.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state,” Trump said in the interview. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”

The judge also cited news conferences in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back any funds” awarded to a city that violated the order.

And the judge brought up remarks by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in no uncertain terms that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding.”

On top of that, the judge said, Trump and Sessions had repeatedly held up San Francisco as an example of the supposed dangers sanctuary cities pose to ordinary, law-abiding citizens because of the killing there of Kathryn Steinle in July, 2015 allegedly by a man deported five times.

It was more than enough to show the intent of Trump’s order, Orrick wrote.

But government lawyers sang an entirely different tune.

According to Orrick, the government contended that the order was merely an example of Trump using the “bully pulpit” to “highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement” — in essence, something much more benign than what Trump and company had described.

The argument was lost on the judge, who ridiculed the government’s position as “schizophrenic.”

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device,” he added, “or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable?”

The ruling continued: “The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government’s argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because other federal judges reached similar conclusions about the administration’s credibility in lawsuits challenging Trump’s travel ban.

In March, judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued rulings that temporarily halted parts of the executive order, which seeks to bar new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. In both cases, judges found that what government lawyers said in court about the ban being religiously neutral didn’t line up with remarks from Trump and some of his closest advisers, who had previously called for a “Muslim ban.” The administration’s intent was obvious, the judges said.

“Plainly-worded” statements by Trump and his surrogates “betrayed the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” one judge wrote, using language strikingly similar to Orrick’s.

As long as the administration continues to issue broad executive orders, it should expect to have statements by its top officials to come up in court, said Jayashri Srikantiah, an immigration law professor at Stanford.

“It’s hard to imagine not seeing more of these kinds of legal challenges,” she said. “The president is the president and the attorney general is the attorney general, and we have to take seriously what they say about an executive order with such sweeping implications.”

The Trump administration has vowed to fight rulings in the travel ban and sanctuary cities cases all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House called Orrick’s decision “one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

The ruling puts the executive order on hold while the judge weighs the full evidence in the case. At issue is whether the order violates the Constitution by giving the president spending powers reserved for Congress and by infringing on state sovereignty by “commandeering” local officials to enforce federal immigration laws.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the government’s lawyers were reviewing their options.

“It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these monies are spent is going to be overturned eventually, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”

More from Morning Mix

With self-deprecation on menu for presidents at correspondents’ dinner, it’s no wonder Trump is skipping it

More lawsuits aimed at Fox News — this time for race discrimination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/25/texas-lawmaker-on-four-day-hunger-strike-in-protest-of-sanctuary-city-bill/

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it's not a good sign for the White House – Washington Post

President Trump has threatened to go after sanctuary cities, which provide protections for illegal immigrants. This how state and local governments with sanctuary policies are responding to possible action. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

When a long list of comments from President Trump, his surrogates and his spokespersons shows up in a federal court ruling, it’s fair to say it can only mean one thing: a constitutionally questionable executive order is about to get a judicial smackdown.

That was true in March, when federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspended Trump’s travel ban, saying the administration had showed a clear animus toward Muslims, despite government lawyers’ claims to the contrary.

And it was true on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of California temporarily froze Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, ruling that a case could be made that it violated the Constitution.

Trump’s order, signed Jan. 25, threatens to cut off funding from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco challenged the order arguing, among other things, that the president doesn’t have the power to withhold federal money. Orrick found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on all their claims, as The Washington Post reported.

The 49-page ruling focused largely on an all-too-familiar theme for the young administration: the consequences of bragging and bluster by Trump and top administration officials.

Just like the judges who ruled on Trump’s travel ban, Orrick homed in on the vast discrepancies between what government lawyers defending the sanctuary cities order argued in court and what administration officials said about it in public.

In court, the government tried to make the case that the order doesn’t actually do anything, at least not at the moment, because the administration has yet to define what exactly a sanctuary city is or threaten any particular jurisdiction with a loss of funds. It was their way of convincing the judge to toss out the lawsuit on the grounds that no city or county has yet suffered any harm.

But in public, administration officials boasted about how the order would force sanctuary cities to their knees, singling out particular places.  The order described in court as essentially an empty shell was portrayed in news conferences, briefings and television interviews as a powerful tool to protect the public from dangerous undocumented immigrants being shielded by wayward cities and counties.

It was that gap that disturbed Orrick.

In his ruling, the judge pointed to a February interview between Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in which Trump called the order “a weapon” to use against cities that tried to defy his immigration policies.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state,” Trump said in the interview. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”

The judge also cited news conferences in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back any funds” awarded to a city that violated the order.

And the judge brought up remarks by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in no uncertain terms that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding.”

On top of that, the judge said, Trump and Sessions had repeatedly held up San Francisco as an example of the supposed dangers sanctuary cities pose to ordinary, law-abiding citizens because of the killing there of Kathryn Steinle in July, 2015 allegedly by a man deported five times.

It was more than enough to show the intent of Trump’s order, Orrick wrote.

But government lawyers sang an entirely different tune.

According to Orrick, the government contended that the order was merely an example of Trump using the “bully pulpit” to “highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement” — in essence, something much more benign than what Trump and company had described.

The argument was lost on the judge, who ridiculed the government’s position as “schizophrenic.”

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device,” he added, “or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable?”

The ruling continued: “The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government’s argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because other federal judges reached similar conclusions about the administration’s credibility in lawsuits challenging Trump’s travel ban.

In March, judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued rulings that temporarily halted parts of the executive order, which seeks to bar new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. In both cases, judges found that what government lawyers said in court about the ban being religiously neutral didn’t line up with remarks from Trump and some of his closest advisers, who had previously called for a “Muslim ban.” The administration’s intent was obvious, the judges said.

“Plainly-worded” statements by Trump and his surrogates “betrayed the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” one judge wrote, using language strikingly similar to Orrick’s.

As long as the administration continues to issue broad executive orders, it should expect to have statements by its top officials to come up in court, said Jayashri Srikantiah, an immigration law professor at Stanford.

“It’s hard to imagine not seeing more of these kinds of legal challenges,” she said. “The president is the president and the attorney general is the attorney general, and we have to take seriously what they say about an executive order with such sweeping implications.”

The Trump administration has vowed to fight rulings in the travel ban and sanctuary cities cases all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House called Orrick’s decision “one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

The ruling puts the executive order on hold while the judge weighs the full evidence in the case. At issue is whether the order violates the Constitution by giving the president spending powers reserved for Congress and by infringing on state sovereignty by “commandeering” local officials to enforce federal immigration laws.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the government’s lawyers were reviewing their options.

“It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these monies are spent is going to be overturned eventually, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”

More from Morning Mix

With self-deprecation on menu for presidents at correspondents’ dinner, it’s no wonder Trump is skipping it

More lawsuits aimed at Fox News — this time for race discrimination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/25/texas-lawmaker-on-four-day-hunger-strike-in-protest-of-sanctuary-city-bill/

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it's not a good sign for the White House – Washington Post

President Trump has threatened to go after sanctuary cities, which provide protections for illegal immigrants. This how state and local governments with sanctuary policies are responding to possible action. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

When a long list of comments from President Trump, his surrogates and his spokespersons shows up in a federal court ruling, it’s fair to say it can only mean one thing: a constitutionally questionable executive order is about to get a judicial smackdown.

That was true in March, when federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspended Trump’s travel ban, saying the administration had showed a clear animus toward Muslims, despite government lawyers’ claims to the contrary.

And it was true on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of California temporarily froze Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, ruling that a case could be made that it violated the Constitution.

Trump’s order, signed Jan. 25, threatens to cut off funding from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco challenged the order arguing, among other things, that the president doesn’t have the power to withhold federal money. Orrick found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on all their claims, as The Washington Post reported.

The 49-page ruling focused largely on an all-too-familiar theme for the young administration: the consequences of bragging and bluster by Trump and top administration officials.

Just like the judges who ruled on Trump’s travel ban, Orrick homed in on the vast discrepancies between what government lawyers defending the sanctuary cities order argued in court and what administration officials said about it in public.

In court, the government tried to make the case that the order doesn’t actually do anything, at least not at the moment, because the administration has yet to define what exactly a sanctuary city is or threaten any particular jurisdiction with a loss of funds. It was their way of convincing the judge to toss out the lawsuit on the grounds that no city or county has yet suffered any harm.

But in public, administration officials boasted about how the order would force sanctuary cities to their knees, singling out particular places.  The order described in court as essentially an empty shell was portrayed in news conferences, briefings and television interviews as a powerful tool to protect the public from dangerous undocumented immigrants being shielded by wayward cities and counties.

It was that gap that disturbed Orrick.

In his ruling, the judge pointed to a February interview between Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in which Trump called the order “a weapon” to use against cities that tried to defy his immigration policies.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state,” Trump said in the interview. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”

The judge also cited news conferences in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back any funds” awarded to a city that violated the order.

And the judge brought up remarks by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in no uncertain terms that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding.”

On top of that, the judge said, Trump and Sessions had repeatedly held up San Francisco as an example of the supposed dangers sanctuary cities pose to ordinary, law-abiding citizens because of the killing there of Kathryn Steinle in July, 2015 allegedly by a man deported five times.

It was more than enough to show the intent of Trump’s order, Orrick wrote.

But government lawyers sang an entirely different tune.

According to Orrick, the government contended that the order was merely an example of Trump using the “bully pulpit” to “highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement” — in essence, something much more benign than what Trump and company had described.

The argument was lost on the judge, who ridiculed the government’s position as “schizophrenic.”

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device,” he added, “or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable?”

The ruling continued: “The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government’s argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because other federal judges reached similar conclusions about the administration’s credibility in lawsuits challenging Trump’s travel ban.

In March, judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued rulings that temporarily halted parts of the executive order, which seeks to bar new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. In both cases, judges found that what government lawyers said in court about the ban being religiously neutral didn’t line up with remarks from Trump and some of his closest advisers, who had previously called for a “Muslim ban.” The administration’s intent was obvious, the judges said.

“Plainly-worded” statements by Trump and his surrogates “betrayed the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” one judge wrote, using language strikingly similar to Orrick’s.

As long as the administration continues to issue broad executive orders, it should expect to have statements by its top officials to come up in court, said Jayashri Srikantiah, an immigration law professor at Stanford.

“It’s hard to imagine not seeing more of these kinds of legal challenges,” she said. “The president is the president and the attorney general is the attorney general, and we have to take seriously what they say about an executive order with such sweeping implications.”

The Trump administration has vowed to fight rulings in the travel ban and sanctuary cities cases all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House called Orrick’s decision “one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

The ruling puts the executive order on hold while the judge weighs the full evidence in the case. At issue is whether the order violates the Constitution by giving the president spending powers reserved for Congress and by infringing on state sovereignty by “commandeering” local officials to enforce federal immigration laws.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the government’s lawyers were reviewing their options.

“It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these monies are spent is going to be overturned eventually, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”

More from Morning Mix

With self-deprecation on menu for presidents at correspondents’ dinner, it’s no wonder Trump is skipping it

More lawsuits aimed at Fox News — this time for race discrimination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/25/texas-lawmaker-on-four-day-hunger-strike-in-protest-of-sanctuary-city-bill/

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Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it's not a good sign for the White House – Washington Post

President Trump has threatened to go after sanctuary cities, which provide protections for illegal immigrants. This how state and local governments with sanctuary policies are responding to possible action. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

When a long list of comments from President Trump, his surrogates and his spokespersons shows up in a federal court ruling, it’s fair to say it can only mean one thing: a constitutionally questionable executive order is about to get a judicial smackdown.

That was true in March, when federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspended Trump’s travel ban, saying the administration had showed a clear animus toward Muslims, despite government lawyers’ claims to the contrary.

And it was true on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of California temporarily froze Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, ruling that a case could be made that it violated the Constitution.

Trump’s order, signed Jan. 25, threatens to cut off funding from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco challenged the order arguing, among other things, that the president doesn’t have the power to withhold federal money. Orrick found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on all their claims, as The Washington Post reported.

The 49-page ruling focused largely on an all-too-familiar theme for the young administration: the consequences of bragging and bluster by Trump and top administration officials.

Just like the judges who ruled on Trump’s travel ban, Orrick homed in on the vast discrepancies between what government lawyers defending the sanctuary cities order argued in court and what administration officials said about it in public.

In court, the government tried to make the case that the order doesn’t actually do anything, at least not at the moment, because the administration has yet to define what exactly a sanctuary city is or threaten any particular jurisdiction with a loss of funds. It was their way of convincing the judge to toss out the lawsuit on the grounds that no city or county has yet suffered any harm.

But in public, administration officials boasted about how the order would force sanctuary cities to their knees, singling out particular places.  The order described in court as essentially an empty shell was portrayed in news conferences, briefings and television interviews as a powerful tool to protect the public from dangerous undocumented immigrants being shielded by wayward cities and counties.

It was that gap that disturbed Orrick.

In his ruling, the judge pointed to a February interview between Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in which Trump called the order “a weapon” to use against cities that tried to defy his immigration policies.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state,” Trump said in the interview. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”

The judge also cited news conferences in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back any funds” awarded to a city that violated the order.

And the judge brought up remarks by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in no uncertain terms that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding.”

On top of that, the judge said, Trump and Sessions had repeatedly held up San Francisco as an example of the supposed dangers sanctuary cities pose to ordinary, law-abiding citizens because of the killing there of Kathryn Steinle in July, 2015 allegedly by a man deported five times.

It was more than enough to show the intent of Trump’s order, Orrick wrote.

But government lawyers sang an entirely different tune.

According to Orrick, the government contended that the order was merely an example of Trump using the “bully pulpit” to “highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement” — in essence, something much more benign than what Trump and company had described.

The argument was lost on the judge, who ridiculed the government’s position as “schizophrenic.”

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device,” he added, “or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable?”

The ruling continued: “The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government’s argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because other federal judges reached similar conclusions about the administration’s credibility in lawsuits challenging Trump’s travel ban.

In March, judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued rulings that temporarily halted parts of the executive order, which seeks to bar new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. In both cases, judges found that what government lawyers said in court about the ban being religiously neutral didn’t line up with remarks from Trump and some of his closest advisers, who had previously called for a “Muslim ban.” The administration’s intent was obvious, the judges said.

“Plainly-worded” statements by Trump and his surrogates “betrayed the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” one judge wrote, using language strikingly similar to Orrick’s.

As long as the administration continues to issue broad executive orders, it should expect to have statements by its top officials to come up in court, said Jayashri Srikantiah, an immigration law professor at Stanford.

“It’s hard to imagine not seeing more of these kinds of legal challenges,” she said. “The president is the president and the attorney general is the attorney general, and we have to take seriously what they say about an executive order with such sweeping implications.”

The Trump administration has vowed to fight rulings in the travel ban and sanctuary cities cases all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House called Orrick’s decision “one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

The ruling puts the executive order on hold while the judge weighs the full evidence in the case. At issue is whether the order violates the Constitution by giving the president spending powers reserved for Congress and by infringing on state sovereignty by “commandeering” local officials to enforce federal immigration laws.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the government’s lawyers were reviewing their options.

“It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these monies are spent is going to be overturned eventually, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”

More from Morning Mix

With self-deprecation on menu for presidents at correspondents’ dinner, it’s no wonder Trump is skipping it

More lawsuits aimed at Fox News — this time for race discrimination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/25/texas-lawmaker-on-four-day-hunger-strike-in-protest-of-sanctuary-city-bill/

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Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it's not a good sign for the White House – Washington Post

President Trump has threatened to go after sanctuary cities, which provide protections for illegal immigrants. This how state and local governments with sanctuary policies are responding to possible action. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

When a long list of comments from President Trump, his surrogates and his spokespersons shows up in a federal court ruling, it’s fair to say it can only mean one thing: a constitutionally questionable executive order is about to get a judicial smackdown.

That was true in March, when federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspended Trump’s travel ban, saying the administration had showed a clear animus toward Muslims, despite government lawyers’ claims to the contrary.

And it was true on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of California temporarily froze Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, ruling that it likely violated the Constitution.

Trump’s order, signed Jan. 25, threatens to cut off funding from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco challenged the order arguing, among other things, that the president doesn’t have the power to withhold federal money. Orrick found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on all their claims, as The Washington Post reported.

The 49-page ruling focused largely on an all-to-familiar theme for the young administration: bragging and bluster by Trump and top administration officials.

Just like the judges who ruled on Trump’s travel ban, Orrick homed in on the vast discrepancies between what government lawyers defending the sanctuary cities order argued in court and what administration officials said about it in public.

The government tried to make the case that the order doesn’t actually do anything, at least not at the moment, because the administration has yet to define what exactly a sanctuary city is. It was their way of convincing the judge to toss out the lawsuit on the grounds that no city or county has yet suffered any harm.

But in public, administration officials boasted about how the order would force sanctuary cities to their knees. The order described in court as essentially an empty shell was portrayed in news conferences and television interviews as a powerful tool to protect the public from dangerous undocumented immigrants being shielded by wayward cities and counties.

It was that gap that disturbed Orrick.

In his ruling, the judge pointed to a February interview between Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in which Trump called the order “a weapon” to use against cities that tried to defy his immigration policies.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state,” Trump said in the interview. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”

The judge also cited news conferences in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back any funds” awarded to a city that violated the order.

And the judge brought up remarks by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in no uncertain terms that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding.”

On top of that, the judge said, Trump and Sessions had repeatedly held up San Francisco as an example of the supposed dangers sanctuary cities pose to ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

It was more than enough to show the intent of Trump’s order, Orrick wrote.

But government lawyers sang an entirely different tune.

According to Orrick, the government contended that the order was merely an example of Trump using the “bully pulpit” to “highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement” — in essence, something much more benign than what Trump and company had described.

The argument was lost on the judge, who ridiculed the government’s position as “schizophrenic.”

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device,” he added, “or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable?”

The ruling continued: “The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government’s argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because other federal judges reached similar conclusions about the administration’s credibility in lawsuits challenging Trump’s travel ban.

In March, judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued rulings that temporarily halted parts of the executive order, which seeks to bar new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. In both cases, judges found that what government lawyers said in court didn’t line up with remarks from Trump and some of his closest advisers, who had previously called for a “Muslim ban.” The administration’s intent was obvious, the judges said.

“Plainly-worded” statements by Trump and his surrogates “betrayed the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” one judge wrote, using language strikingly similar to Orrick’s.

As long as the administration continues to issue broad executive orders, it should expect to have statements by its top officials to come up in court, said Jayashri Srikantiah, an immigration law professor at Stanford.

“It’s hard to imagine not seeing more of these kinds of legal challenges,” she said. “The president is the president and the attorney general is the attorney general, and we have to take seriously what they say about an executive order with such sweeping implications.”

The Trump administration has vowed to fight rulings in the travel ban and sanctuary cities cases all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House called Orrick’s decision “one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

The ruling puts the executive order on hold while the judge weighs the full evidence in the case. At issue is whether the order violates the Constitution by giving the president spending powers, which are reserved for Congress, and unfairly denies federal funding to local jurisdictions.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the government’s lawyers were reviewing their options.

“It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these monies are spent is going to be overturned eventually, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”

More from Morning Mix

With self-deprecation on menu for presidents at correspondents’ dinner, it’s no wonder Trump is skipping it

More lawsuits aimed at Fox News — this time for race discrimination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/25/texas-lawmaker-on-four-day-hunger-strike-in-protest-of-sanctuary-city-bill/

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Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it's not a good sign for the White House – Washington Post

President Trump has threatened to go after sanctuary cities, which provide protections for illegal immigrants. This how state and local governments with sanctuary policies are responding to possible action. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

When a long list of comments from President Trump, his surrogates and his spokespersons shows up in a federal court ruling, it’s fair to say it can only mean one thing: a constitutionally questionable executive order is about to get a judicial smackdown.

That was true in March, when federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspended Trump’s travel ban, saying the administration had showed a clear animus toward Muslims, despite government lawyers’ claims to the contrary.

And it was true on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of California temporarily froze Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, ruling that it likely violated the Constitution.

Trump’s order, signed Jan. 25, threatens to cut off funding from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco challenged the order arguing, among other things, that the president doesn’t have the power to withhold federal money. Orrick found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on all their claims, as The Washington Post reported.

The 49-page ruling focused largely on an all-to-familiar theme for the young administration: bragging and bluster by Trump and top administration officials.

Just like the judges who ruled on Trump’s travel ban, Orrick homed in on the vast discrepancies between what government lawyers defending the sanctuary cities order argued in court and what administration officials said about it in public.

The government tried to make the case that the order doesn’t actually do anything, at least not at the moment, because the administration has yet to define what exactly a sanctuary city is. It was their way of convincing the judge to toss out the lawsuit on the grounds that no city or county has yet suffered any harm.

But in public, administration officials boasted about how the order would force sanctuary cities to their knees. The order described in court as essentially an empty shell was portrayed in news conferences and television interviews as a powerful tool to protect the public from dangerous undocumented immigrants being shielded by wayward cities and counties.

It was that gap that disturbed Orrick.

In his ruling, the judge pointed to a February interview between Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in which Trump called the order “a weapon” to use against cities that tried to defy his immigration policies.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state,” Trump said in the interview. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”

The judge also cited news conferences in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back any funds” awarded to a city that violated the order.

And the judge brought up remarks by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in no uncertain terms that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding.”

On top of that, the judge said, Trump and Sessions had repeatedly held up San Francisco as an example of the supposed dangers sanctuary cities pose to ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

It was more than enough to show the intent of Trump’s order, Orrick wrote.

But government lawyers sang an entirely different tune.

According to Orrick, the government contended that the order was merely an example of Trump using the “bully pulpit” to “highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement” — in essence, something much more benign than what Trump and company had described.

The argument was lost on the judge, who ridiculed the government’s position as “schizophrenic.”

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device,” he added, “or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable?”

The ruling continued: “The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government’s argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because other federal judges reached similar conclusions about the administration’s credibility in lawsuits challenging Trump’s travel ban.

In March, judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued rulings that temporarily halted parts of the executive order, which seeks to bar new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. In both cases, judges found that what government lawyers said in court didn’t line up with remarks from Trump and some of his closest advisers, who had previously called for a “Muslim ban.” The administration’s intent was obvious, the judges said.

“Plainly-worded” statements by Trump and his surrogates “betrayed the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” one judge wrote, using language strikingly similar to Orrick’s.

As long as the administration continues to issue broad executive orders, it should expect to have statements by its top officials to come up in court, said Jayashri Srikantiah, an immigration law professor at Stanford.

“It’s hard to imagine not seeing more of these kinds of legal challenges,” she said. “The president is the president and the attorney general is the attorney general, and we have to take seriously what they say about an executive order with such sweeping implications.”

The Trump administration has vowed to fight rulings in the travel ban and sanctuary cities cases all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

In a statement Tuesday, it called Orrick’s decision “one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.” The ruling puts the order on hold while the judge weighs the full evidence in the case.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the government’s lawyers were reviewing their options.

“It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these monies are spent is going to be overturned eventually, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”

More from Morning Mix

With self-deprecation on menu for presidents at correspondents’ dinner, it’s no wonder Trump is skipping it

More lawsuits aimed at Fox News — this time for race discrimination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/25/texas-lawmaker-on-four-day-hunger-strike-in-protest-of-sanctuary-city-bill/

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Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it's not a good sign for the White House – Washington Post

President Trump has threatened to go after sanctuary cities, which provide protections for illegal immigrants. This how state and local governments with sanctuary policies are responding to possible action. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

When a long list of comments from President Trump, his surrogates and his spokespersons shows up in a federal court ruling, it’s fair to say it can only mean one thing: a constitutionally questionable executive order is about to get a judicial smackdown.

That was true in March, when federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland suspended Trump’s travel ban, saying the administration had showed a clear animus toward Muslims, despite government lawyers’ claims to the contrary.

And it was true on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of California temporarily froze Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, ruling that it likely violated the Constitution.

Trump’s order, signed Jan. 25, threatens to cut off funding from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Santa Clara County and the city of San Francisco challenged the order arguing, among other things, that the president doesn’t have the power to withhold federal money. Orrick found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on all their claims, as The Washington Post reported.

The 49-page ruling focused largely on an all-to-familiar theme for the young administration: bragging and bluster by Trump and top administration officials.

Just like the judges who ruled on Trump’s travel ban, Orrick homed in on the vast discrepancies between what government lawyers defending the sanctuary cities order argued in court and what administration officials said about it in public.

The government tried to make the case that the order doesn’t actually do anything, at least not at the moment, because the administration has yet to define what exactly a sanctuary city is. It was their way of convincing the judge to toss out the lawsuit on the grounds that no city or county has yet suffered any harm.

But in public, administration officials boasted about how the order would force sanctuary cities to their knees. The order described in court as essentially an empty shell was portrayed in news conferences and television interviews as a powerful tool to protect the public from dangerous undocumented immigrants being shielded by wayward cities and counties.

It was that gap that disturbed Orrick.

In his ruling, the judge pointed to a February interview between Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in which Trump called the order “a weapon” to use against cities that tried to defy his immigration policies.

“I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state,” Trump said in the interview. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”

The judge also cited news conferences in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back any funds” awarded to a city that violated the order.

And the judge brought up remarks by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in no uncertain terms that “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding.”

On top of that, the judge said, Trump and Sessions had repeatedly held up San Francisco as an example of the supposed dangers sanctuary cities pose to ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

It was more than enough to show the intent of Trump’s order, Orrick wrote.

But government lawyers sang an entirely different tune.

According to Orrick, the government contended that the order was merely an example of Trump using the “bully pulpit” to “highlight a changed approach to immigration enforcement” — in essence, something much more benign than what Trump and company had described.

The argument was lost on the judge, who ridiculed the government’s position as “schizophrenic.”

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device,” he added, “or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable?”

The ruling continued: “The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government’s argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because other federal judges reached similar conclusions about the administration’s credibility in lawsuits challenging Trump’s travel ban.

In March, judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued rulings that temporarily halted the executive order, which seeks to bar new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. In both cases, judges found that what government lawyers said in court didn’t line up with remarks from Trump and some of his closest advisers, who had previously called for a “Muslim ban.” The administration’s intent was obvious, the judges said.

“Plainly-worded” statements by Trump and his surrogates “betrayed the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” one judge wrote, using language strikingly similar to Orrick’s.

The Trump administration has vowed to fight rulings in the travel ban and sanctuary cities cases all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

In a statement Tuesday, it called Orrick’s decision “one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.” The ruling puts the order on hold while the judge weighs the full evidence in the case.

As long as the administration continues to issue broad executive orders, it should expect to have statements by its top officials to come up in court, said Jayashri Srikantiah, an immigration law professor at Stanford.

“It’s hard to imagine not seeing more of these kinds of legal challenges,” she said. “The president is the president and the attorney general is the attorney general, and we have to take seriously what they say about an executive order with such sweeping implications.”

More from Morning Mix

With self-deprecation on menu for presidents at correspondents’ dinner, it’s no wonder Trump is skipping it

More lawsuits aimed at Fox News — this time for race discrimination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/25/texas-lawmaker-on-four-day-hunger-strike-in-protest-of-sanctuary-city-bill/

Let’s block ads! (Why?)