SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - For the third time in two months, a federal judge has knocked down an immigration order by President Donald Trump and used Trump's own language against him.
"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.
Asked about Orrick's ruling Wednesday, Trump averred that he is "never surprised by the 9th Circuit", reinforcing an early morning tweet in which he declared that it "has a bad record of being overturned (close to 80 percent)".
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 USA look "weak".
Trump issued an executive order in February that would strip federal grant money "from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants", according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
He accused sanctuary cities of "putting the well-being of criminal aliens before the safety of our citizens" and claimed city officials who authorised policies to protect people living in the country illegally "have the blood of dead Americans on their hands". The initial order, issued January 25, included a provision declaring that "sanctuary jurisdictions shall be ineligible to receive federal grants".
Trump errs on the court system
It also sought help from "sanctuary cities" for facilitating the deportation of those migrants who are living in the USA illegally or who have committed a crime.
Orrick noted that the Justice department's lawyers weakly argued the case, implicitly recognizing that Trump did not have autocratic powers over disbursing federal funds to cities which often heavily depend on them for their budgets. "As I said, we'll see them in the Supreme Court".
Trump's tweets echo a White House statement released Tuesday night after Orrick's ruling.
But Orrick said in his ruling that the president can not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress. It could prove touchy for the court's rookie, whose views may be aligned with the White House but who has been pressed to separate himself from the president's heated comments about other federal judges.
Judge Orrick said that the language of the executive order made clear it sought to withhold funds beyond law enforcement.
Orrick is a district court judge and is not part of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, although the latter will hear the Trump administration's appeal. Local enforcement say the policy would discourage immigrants from reporting crime.
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