White House blasts court for block­ing sanc­tu­ary or­der.


Pres­i­dent Trump and his top aides have lashed out at the fed­eral court that blocked his anti-sanc­tu­ary city ex­ec­u­tive or­der, with the pres­i­dent call­ing the rul­ing “ridicu­lous” and his press sec­re­tary say­ing sanc­tu­ar­ies like San Fran­cisco have “the blood of dead Amer­i­cans on their hands.”

Mr. Trump vowed Wednesday to fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court, dis­miss­ing the new rul­ing as the lat­est er­rant de­ci­sion from the coun­try’s most lib­eral ju­di­cial cir­cuit.

Press Sec­re­tary Sean Spicer said the rul­ing Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Wil­liam H. Or­rick bun­gled fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion law and un­der­cuts Amer­i­cans’ faith in govern­ment.

“This case is yet one more ex­am­ple of egre­gious over­reach by a sin­gle, un­elected district judge,” Mr. Spicer said in a scorch­ing state­ment. “But we are con­fi­dent we will ul­ti­mately pre­vail in the Supreme Court, just as we will pre­vail in our law­ful ef­forts to im­pose im­mi­gra­tion re­stric­tions nec­es­sary to keep ter­ror­ists out of the United States.”

The stern re­ac­tion from the White House is all the more strik­ing be­cause it de­parts from the Jus­tice Depart­ment, which took a more pos­i­tive ap­proach to­ward Judge Or­rick’s de­ci­sion.

Depart­ment spokesman Ian D. Prior said rather than block­ing Mr. Trump, the key part of Tuesday’s rul­ing en­dorsed the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s cur­rent ap­proach to sanc­tu­ary cities, clear­ing the way for At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions to with­hold fund­ing un­der three key grant pro­grams.

Judge Or­rick, who sits in San Fran­cisco, ruled that Mr. Trump over­stepped his bounds by try­ing to im­pose new re­stric­tions on fed­eral grants is­sued to states, coun­ties and cities that refuse to co­op­er­ate with fed­eral de­por­ta­tion agents.

The judge said Congress, not Mr. Trump, has the power of the purse and gets to de­cide what strings are at­tached.

Judge Or­rick is­sued an in­junc­tion against part of Mr. Trump’s Jan. 25 ex­ec­u­tive or­der threat­en­ing to with­hold po­ten­tially tens of bil­lions of dol­lars from sanc­tu­ary cities. But the judge said in in­stances where Congress has al­ready ap­proved strings — such as the three Jus­tice Depart­ment pro­grams — Mr. Trump can with­hold the money.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment said those pro­grams — the Byrne Jus­tice As­sis­tance Grants, COPS fund­ing and the State Crim­i­nal Alien As­sis­tance Pro­gram — were the ones they had planned to tar­get any­way.

Mr. Spicer said the judge was ig­nor­ing that fed­eral law and the pow­ers it granted to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

He also at­tacked Santa Clara and San Fran­cisco, the two coun­ties in Cal­i­for­nia that had sued to halt Mr. Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der.

“San Fran­cisco, and cities like it, are putting the well-be­ing of crim­i­nal aliens be­fore the safety of our cit­i­zens, and those city of­fi­cials who au­thored these poli­cies have the blood of dead Amer­i­cans on their hands,” Mr. Spicer said.

San Fran­cisco be­came the chief tar­get in the sanc­tu­ary city de­bate af­ter the 2015 slay­ing of Kate Steinle. The man stand­ing trial for her killing is an il­le­gal im­mi­grant shielded from de­por­ta­tion by the city’s poli­cies.


On Wednesday, Press Sec­re­tary Sean Spicer said of the court’s rul­ing, “This case is yet one more ex­am­ple of egre­gious over­reach by a sin­gle, un­elected district judge.”

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