Donald Trump

Trump's Unconstitutional Attack on Sanctuary Cities

How the president's executive order debases the Constitution.

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Gage Skidmore / Flickr.com

On January 25 President Donald Trump signed an executive order denying federal funds to sanctuary cities, which are those jurisdictions that either won't help the federal government round up and deport undocumented immigrants or otherwise refuse to participate in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. This executive order debases the U.S. Constitution in three significant ways. Let's take them in turn.

The 10th Amendment

In 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Printz v. United States. At issue was whether the federal government could lawfully order state officials to enforce certain provisions of the 1993 Brady Handgun Prevention Act. The feds lost the case—and rightfully so. The federal government's actions violated the 10th Amendment.

"The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems," declared the majority opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia, "nor command the States' officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program." In other words, the federal government may not commandeer the states for federal purposes. Scalia's opinion in Printz plainly forbids the Trump administration from ordering sanctuary cities to enforce federal immigration laws.

The Spending Clause

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to tax and spend. But this power is not unlimited. For example, it is unconstitutional to impose what the Supreme Court has called "coercive" conditions on federal spending grants to the states. This principle was recently affirmed by seven Supreme Court justices in the 2012 Obamacare case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. At issue was whether Congress exceeded its Spending Clause powers when it threatened to cut off all existing Medicaid funding to any state that refused to expand Medicaid in accordance with the new health care law.

The federal government's Medicaid expansion amounted to a "gun to the head," the Supreme Court held. "A State that opts out of the Affordable Care Act's expansion in health care coverage…stands to lose not merely 'a relatively small percentage' of its existing Medicaid funding, but all of it." That sort of "economic dragooning…leaves the States with no real option but to acquiesce."

Trump's attempt to dragoon sanctuary cities by threatening to cut off their federal funding is unconstitutional for the exact same reasons.

The Separation of Powers

The U.S. Constitution sets forth a system of limited and enumerated federal powers. The federal spending power (including the power to attach non-coercive conditions on federal spending) is located in Article I, Section 8. Open your copy of the Constitution and turn to Article I. You will find that it pertains exclusively to Congress. The limited and enumerated powers of the president are spelled out in Article II.

What this means is that Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities seeks to usurp a core congressional function. That makes it an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. Whether Trump likes it or not, no president has the unilateral authority to act in this manner.

In sum, Trump's attack on sanctuary cities is a malignant executive power grab that subverts the Spending Clause and tramples the 10th Amendment. It is an affront to both the text and structure of the Constitution.

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277 responses to “Trump's Unconstitutional Attack on Sanctuary Cities

  1. Now Reason is all for dumping federal money directly into cities. Amazing, or not.

    1. That’s not even close to the actual thesis here. The argument here is that regardless of how much money is or isn’t pumped, the federal government shouldn’t be able to use it to infringe states rights.

      The main issue here is that there is no actual clear line between when the feds are being coercive and when they aren’t. It’s a standard based on whatever some judges happen to find to be reasonable. And also whether an actual legitimate right of the state is being infringed. It this case, not even the rights of states…but cities. Immigration law is not under the purview of the states let alone cities. I’d imagine it would come down to which form of grants and how much money is being cut off when judges determine if this is coercive or not. Along with good old partisan hackery from the robed overlords on the bench.

      It is fun right now to see all these arguments on how going after sanctuary cities is unconstitutional from the same ilk who bitched up a storm when the feds couldn’t force medicare expansion on the states.

      1. Look Root, that handle isn’t even remotely original.

        1. You know who else didn’t have an original handle?

          1. I’m A Little Teapot?

          2. Palin’s Buttplug?

          3. Anduril?

          4. My axe?

          5. American SociaIist?

        2. Didn’t some austrian artist use it back in the 1930’s?

          1. Yes, but he was a hack. Wait a minute …

      2. “to infringe states rights”

        How does not giving them money that they are not entitled to infringe upon their rights? I get the argument about the executive order exceeding the executives authority. But the argument that the dollars the states receive have no strings attached seems to be more than a little late. If the feds ordered states to enforce federal law without the funding to do so than that would be a direct violation of the 10th.

        1. “How does not giving them money that they are not entitled to infringe upon their rights?”

          This. This article is weak just because of that. I don’t agree with the fedgov bribing states with federal revenue, and I don’t agree with the greedy public officials in the states who are too willing to take it, but unconstitutional? I don’t think so.

        2. Because Root got is definition of States Rights from Vietnam veteran John F. Kerry.

          1. John Kerry? The greatest war hero ever?

            1. Highest recognized US Sailor by both sides of the same war!

          2. Kinda like the way Trump got his definition of constitutional from Obama?

        3. “But the argument that the dollars the states receive have no strings attached seems to be more than a little late.”

          ^This^

          There should be no dollars at all. Whatever dollars the feds have should be to operate the fedgov. If they have money to pass out to states and municipalities, they have too much.

          1. Agreed Suthenboy.

      3. “It is fun right now to see all these arguments on how going after sanctuary cities is unconstitutional from the same ilk who bitched up a storm when the feds couldn’t force medicare expansion on the states.”

        So libertarians were complaining when Obama couldn’t force medicaid expansion? Wait I think I saw that. It was a top of the fold article the same day they announced Trump’s record breaking inauguration crowds.

        1. They may just have been the libertarians that Hitler and Root hang out with. I’m with you and don’t recall any of them either.

      4. The problem is that things like Medicaid are by definition both state and federal. National border enforcement is an explicitly federal responsibility (state police and such help, but don’t set policy). So the problem with sanctuary cities is actually a clear issue of nullification (as seen in the antebellum South versus laws limiting slavery). Regardless of one’s opinion on what immigration policies should be, allowing states and cities to stand in the way of those duties expressly given is a constitutional crisis of some degree (especially since these locations aren’t voting for actual laws differing from federal ones, as seen with marijuana).

        1. It depends how you define “standing in the way”. If “standing in the way” means not sussing out residency/immigration status of everyone the local po-po has contact with, then I’m all for standing in the way.

      5. That’s not even close to the actual thesis here. The argument here is that regardless of how much money is or isn’t pumped, the federal government shouldn’t be able to use it to infringe states rights.

        The thesis of the article aside, wasn’t Federal dollars specifically designed to “nudge” states into a particular policy direction?

        1. you mean like must be over 21 to drink or states lose highway money or when the fed wanted 55 mph limit or states lose highway money. were those also un constitutional. Maybe. Will states now not call the feds when there is a bank robbery or kidnaping. If states aren’t willing to play there will be no pay.

      6. I thought libertarians were against too much government control but I didn’t know they were for thwarting the law of the land. Since immigration is a Federal jurisdiction this article comes off as more anarchist than libertarian.

      7. It would be more straight forward to just arrest and try the elected officials of sanctuary cities for conspiracy to violate the immigration laws of the united states, but withholding federal funds from those cities while working ones way up to DOJ prosecution is just fine. Maybe the states shouldnt be so eager to have the feds tax the citizenry for them . Amazing who develops 10 amendment fervor when the tables get turned .

    2. What exactly is federal money and where do they get it from? I suspect a lot of it comes from people in cities.

    3. I don’t think that is what he said. However, he did not address the real problem here: “That sort of “economic dragooning…leaves the States with no real option but to acquiesce.”

      The fedgov should never have been in the position to do so from the start. The feds gather up the bulk of taxes and then pass it out conditionally. This is the root of the problem…Root.

      Cut taxes. Then cut them again.

      If Trump ends up successfully cutting taxes, regulations and the size of the fed work force neither he nor his successors will be able to pull this shit. Yeah, I know, then we will all have a pony.

      1. Article IV. The Supremacy Clause. It’s baked in from the start, that yes is some cases the Federal Government can in fact do that.

  2. OT: Good old Chuck Todd is having a spell of temporary amnesia about B. Hussein Obama restrictions on refugees and immigrants.

    Was he trained here?

  3. And if the feds actually block funding to these cities – you bet the residents will start to question the wisdom of sending money to them in the first place. Welcome to New Somalia – make yourselves comfortable!

    1. I think everyone needs to start questioning the wisdom of sending money to the feds. That is a feature not a bug.

    2. And if the feds actually block funding to these cities – you bet the residents will start to question the wisdom of sending money to them in the first place.

      Good! Mission accomplished!

    3. The Feds could just print more money if the states refuse to send them money – theoretically.

  4. And how are my sweet and clever little anarch0-Frankentrumpkensteins doing this morning?

    1. They’re doing great. Still spinning.

  5. Eh, some judge was bound to invalidate whatever crazy, authoritarian crap Donald Trump signed into law so I don’t see what the problem is. He’s going to make it easier for companies to spew their PCB load all over the neighborhood and throw all these mooches off of Medicaid. And that’s what really matters– not the 10% real crazy-ass insane shit.

    1. Why should companies bother to poison the environment ? the EPA does a much better job , see the yellow river or example . Moreover now that the EPA has decided CO2 is a poison its only a matter of time until all plant life disappears .

  6. This executive order debases the U.S. Constitution in three significant ways.

    You’re swimming uphill, Root. I’m open-borders and I still have no sympathy for sanctuary cities that want to defy federal law while still receiving federal funding. How many of these cities have large and growing homeless populations, fucked budgets doomed for municipal bankruptcy, crumbling infrastructure? If they want to spend their citizens’ hard-earned paychecks on immigrants, fine. Have fun, throw a party, just don’t whine that everyone else needs to bail those cities out when the mathematically inevitable happens.

    And, hey. If immigrants really are the economic panacea the talking heads say, all those immigrants will boom the sanctuary city economies and they don’t need federal funding to fix their problems anyhow.

    Outside of the media/left bubble, you’re going to hear a lot of, “Let ’em have the courage of their convictions.” It’s a fair point, and might need to be addressed before anyone can gain anything from the rest of the fine detail.

    1. If they want to spend their citizens’ hard-earned paychecks on immigrants, fine. Have fun, throw a party, just don’t whine that everyone else needs to bail those cities out when the mathematically inevitable happens.

      Not only this, but a lot of federal money is going toward services for those immigrants right now. Why, pray tell, should someone in Iowa be forced to accommodate illegals in San Francisco with his/her income tax?

      1. Why, pray tell, should someone in Iowa be forced to accommodate illegals in San Francisco with his/her income tax?

        An equally valid question is why the fuck should someone in San Francisco be forced to subsidized an Iowan’s soybean farm?

        If this issue gets folks to start thinking about federalism again, I’m all for it.

        But whom am I kidding?

        1. But whom am I kidding?

          This guy…

        2. It bugs me the extent to which some see this through a partisan lens.

          Pretend Obama was threatening to cut off all funds to cities that don’t implement Chicago style gun control laws, or raise the minimum wage to 20 dollars an hour. The point is we need a more toothless federal government not one with enormous fangs that takes 20% of our GDP from the states and then uses it to extort them to follow the policies of whoever is in office. Whether I agree with what SF does or not I sure as hell don’t want an executive branch with this kind of power.

          1. For me, the issue is that Immigration is one of the few legitimate concerns of the Federal Goverment. That makes this qualitatively different from Obumbles (theoretically) withholding Federal monies from jurisdictions that declined to enforce gun control laws that the Federal government is specifically enjoined from enacting in the first place. I’m not sure I see how declining to pass goodies to a jurisdiction that is defying the Federal laws is Unconstitutional. OTOH, I’m not convinced of teh Constitutionality of passing out said goodies to begin with.

            Were I President (from which possibility the good gods deliver us!) I would simply send immigration enforcement agents (whatever we’re calling them this week) into self declared ‘sanctuary cities’ in large numbers and arrest not only any illegal aliens found, but anyone who broke the law interfering with said agents. If the people in sanctuary cities are willing to risk jail for open borders, fine. This will held move the debate along. But if they are doing it largely to wrap themselves in no-cost piety, then screw ’em. Let them serve a few prison terms, or pay some large fines, and maybe next time they will approach political issues with some real thought.

            1. Sure it is a legitimate federal function but that is not what is really relevant here. The fact that coercing states makes it convenient for them to perform that legitimate function does not magically make it ok. Other examples of that phenomenon would include blanket warrantless domestic spying on the US population. The fact that security is a legitimate function doesn’t somehow make the derivative action of warrantless domestic spying acceptable. If the feds want to go enforce their laws in SF they are of course welcome to and they have a right to respond to active interference. That is different than insisting on cooperation and holding other people’s money for ransom to get it.

              Regardless the bottom line and all I care about is that such policies make the federal government larger and more powerful which as the last 100 years or so has shown moves us in a very unlibertarian direction. If it doesn’t advance liberty I am against it.

              1. Explain how withholding tax money for not cooperating is coercion.

            2. How exactly are they defying federal laws by refusing to enforce them? This seems a lot better case than not getting federal funds for refusing to implement Obamacare.

              1. If you let a criminal who is in this country illegally walk free , which sanctuary cities do then you are aiding and abetting a criminal and are an accomplice . Lots of americans have died from drunken illegals running them down , sanctuary cities dont turn those DUI illegals over for deportation .

        3. An equally valid question is why the fuck should someone in San Francisco be forced to subsidized an Iowan’s soybean farm?

          Sure. The difference is that Iowans aren’t openly ignoring federal law. If they were, I’d say that would make an even stronger argument to cut off their soybean farms. Strings-attached money isn’t great for federalism, but as long as it’s there, it should be adhered to. It runs into a rule-of-law argument when some places are allowed to ignore some laws and others aren’t.

          1. Wouldn’t it be better if federal law wasn’t adhered to and massive disobedience forced all of us to rethink the proper balance between local and centralized power? I think so. If it was 1850 and the rule of law said runaway slaves must be returned would you take a “the law is the law” approach or would you appreciate dissent and disobedience? I think there is an obvious higher law myself so I would embrace the resistance. Taking it from another angle if you believe the constitution includes a narrow set of enumerated powers and believe the current federal government is ignoring the constitution siding with the feds means you are openly ignoring the supreme law of the land to side with people you don’t agree with anyway just so everyone can be abused equally and in an unbiased way under an unconstitutional and illegal regime.Why?

            1. Wouldn’t it be better if federal law wasn’t adhered to and massive disobedience forced all of us to rethink the proper balance between local and centralized power? I think so.

              I disagree because I’m not an anarchist. There is certainly a time and place for civil disobedience. But when various levels of government disagree, they should duke it out in the courts.

              If it was 1850 and the rule of law said runaway slaves must be returned would you take a “the law is the law” approach or would you appreciate dissent and disobedience?

              Slavery is a pretty severe jump from enforcing immigration law. That qualitative difference necessitated a civil war, which was eventually fought. Only the most extreme open-borders advocates would equate slavery with immigration enforcement.

              Cont’d (because I already typed all this shit and hit the character limit)

              1. Taking it from another angle if you believe the constitution includes a narrow set of enumerated powers

                Check.

                and believe the current federal government is ignoring the constitution siding with the feds means you are openly ignoring the supreme law of the land

                I don’t believe that. Immigration enforcement is one of the express powers of the federal government in the constitution. I’m not advocating that state/local police be forced to actively enforce immigration law, see John’s comments below for more detail on this. If you’re saying that ‘hypothetically, the sanctuary cities do believe this is unconstitutional,’ then again, the proper way to do this is through the courts.

                just so everyone can be abused equally and in an unbiased way

                This is largely my argument for enforcing hate crimes. The best thing to do is to strictly enforce bad laws until people get fed up and take them off the books. The worst thing to do is ignore them until a new administration comes in and decides to enforce them. That is rule of man and leads to very bad and predictable consequences. If you enforce a law that people don’t like, they will call for repeal. Otherwise, they’ll forget it’s there until the day comes when it is enforced. Furthermore, it is the executive’s constitutional responsibility to enforce laws.

                1. You missed the thrust of my point. It is not about whether immigration enforcement is legal under the constitution. It is whether taking money from the states and extorting policies out of them in order to get a bit of that money back is constitutional. I don’t think it is. If you don’t think it is than the rest of your argument falls apart. Just because they can constitutionally enforce immigration laws does not mean that other ancillary stuff is constitutional.

                  1. I do not like strings-attached funding because I am generally against centralized power and am a fan of federalism.

                    However, the federal government withholding funding to a state is not logically the same thing as taking a power that would fall under the tenth amendment. I am neither a lawyer nor a constitutional scholar, but this type of situation is very old and is only overturned as unconstitutional in specific circumstances, as RC notes below.

                    If it is unconstitutional, the courts should decide that. Not city legislatures.

                    1. The only question that matters is do you believe that it is constitutional for the feds to tax people and then distribute the money back to cities for specific social engineering schemes? I say no because it is not an enumerated power. Do you agree or disagree? If you agree than it logically follows that holding this money over the heads of cities to coerce them is by extension also unconstitutional in which case we get back to my original argument.

                    2. By that logic, military installations would be unconstitutional, as money flows from the federal to state governments.

                      No. I do not think that violates the enumerated powers clause.

                      If I am wrong about that, feel free to cite something. I have an open mind about this kind of thing.

                    3. Spending money on the military is an enumerated power. The money that is being held was being used for unenumerated powers you know the ones constitutionalists believe are illegal. It isn’t complicated.

                    4. Btw I will add the kind of stuff we are talking about here are HUD community development block grants. You know for enumerated powers like purchasing and rehabbing homes in urban slums. Do you really want to die on the hill of claiming this is an enumerated power just to avoid losing an argument? This is what I meant by the partisan lens.

                    5. There’s this; the Feds threatened to withhold highway funds from states that didn’t enforce the double nickel. And some states decided ‘great, keep it’, and raised their speed limits. Now, maybe I’m wrong, but I remember that as being the beginning of the end of 55mph.

                      Maybe enough ‘Sanctuary Cities’ will tell the Feds to stuff it to make a difference.

                      Or maybe being a ‘Sanctuary City’ is just another exercise in smug Gliberal moral superiority, and they’ll drop the idea with the alacrity of a new recruit getting rid of a live grenade. Which should clear the air of some blovation and we can get on with the real debate.

                2. Immigration enforcement is one of the express powers of the federal government in the constitution.

                  Actually, it’s not. Naturalization is, but there isn’t any mention of “controlling borders” one way or another. I’ve never been able to get a clear idea of what the general attitudes or assumptions were on the subject at the time the Constitution was adopted. Certainly, no country was issuing passports to the general population at that time. What was the general practice in Europe with respect to borders in the late 1800s? Did any country try to guard every road leading into it? Roads then were certainly nothing like roads are today. Anyway, at some point in the 19th century, it was decided that controlling the border was an “inherent” right of the national government, even if the Constitution didn’t mention it, and that has been accepted ever since.

                  1. I’d be all for an amendment clarifying this. Once upon a time, people realized that the right way to go about expanding or clarifying federal power was through the amendment process, not coming up with tortuous Supreme Court decisions that explain to us that black is really white.

        4. “…why the fuck should someone in San Francisco be forced to subsidize an Iowan’s soybean farm?”

          Because they eat a lot of Tofu in San Fran?

          1. If they eat that much tofu, then what purpose do the subsidies serve, pray tell?

        5. Why should childless non-homeowners be forced to subsidize mortgages and children of others? Along with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for the overlord class?

  7. Guys, my company has hit a soft spot, but recently the CEO posted a video where he mandated that each salesperson was responsible for producing $2 billion dollars in sales and the R&D group was to come up with anmatter/anti-matter drive. And then he showed us where he signed the mandate. What a guy! Why didn’t the last guy do this? What a winner!

    1. I dont believe for a minute that you work, much less in the private sector.

      1. I too have difficulty with that premise.

  8. Um…..what percentage of federal funding to states has no strings attached? I’m guessing zero. I’m not sure how the 10th applies since they’re not being forced to do anything. How about we just end Federal money to states altogether?

  9. I stopped reading at “undocumented immigrants”.

    1. It might be a bit embarrassing in the editorial chamber when Reason discovers all their leftarded friends are using “migrants” instead of “immigrants.” Heads will roll over that one.

      1. Why would “migrants” be more favorable to illegals than “immigrants”?

        1. Because the left changes terminology to keep their opponents off-balance. Once the term ‘undocumented immigrant’ earned a bad odor, they change it to ‘undocumented migrants’.

          They do the same thing with the definitions of their movement. It went from Marxism, split into fascism and socialism, fascism turned into progressivism, both changed to Liberalism, then changed to Progressivism, then to Democratic Socialism.

          1. Can’t we just call it collectivist evil?

          2. Because the left changes terminology to keep their opponents off-balance.

            I agree that that’s a strategy of the left. However, that shouldn’t keep us from pushing for correct terminology. “Illegal migrant” is a good term.

            “Undocumented immigrant” is not because these people aren’t “undocumented” they are present illegally, and they aren’t “immigrants” because that already implies an expectation of staying in the country.

        2. Why would “migrants” be more favorable to illegals than “immigrants”?

          They are not saying it for aliens of any stripe. They are posing for their progtard friends they see at cocktail parties, where they would not even hire an illegal alien to pour their fair-trade coffee.

    2. That’s the trick with virtue signalling. It sends a signal to everyone, not just the in-group you are trying to placate, and the reader can interpret the signal however they want.

      “Undocumented immigrants” or, worse, Dalmia’s trope “undocumented workers”, is an excellent signal to everyone.

  10. Obama’s EOs took years to backfire. Trump’s will backfire in days if not hours. Good times.

    1. It already is. Any conservative hand-waving away that we’re throwing out our interpreters, who risked death and many other unpleasantries in the cause of assisting our military folks, is a piker, a welsher, a low-life Indian-giver and no better than Buttplug.

      Pay your fucking bets and debts, people. If your actions are those of the bad guy, you are not the good guy no matter how many “butbutBUUUUT” justifications you pile on top of it.

      1. Most of our interpreters were already fucked over when we pulled out. Shamefully. The Sgt Major of my battalion did manage to get his personal interpreter brought over, but we all figured that was just because she was mildly attractive and he was fucking her.

        1. Actual mildly attractive or in theater mildly attractive?

          1. Valid fucking question there…if she was a 2-10-2 it hardly seems worth the effort….

    2. Trump’s EO on immigration is temporary, until he gets the State Department under control.

      Why don’t we wait a few months?

    3. Trumps immigration EOs are exactly the same as Obamas , from which they were derived . But progs and evidently reason too hate trump but couldnt bring themselves to ever criticize the big eared lightworker.

  11. Trump could really use a rape spree by illegals or a terror attack by Muslims right about now. Not ‘campus rape crisis’ by frat boys or a mass shooting by an autistic white kid.

  12. Oh Good Lord! Now the progs are crying that Steve Job’s biological father would have been Trumpbanned. Must be unprecedented, air tight, iron clad for sure.

    1. It’s that a correct observation?

  13. It’s almost like sending DC a bunch of money to redistribute how they see fit is a bad idea.

    1. Almost.

      In sort of, kind of related news: Worker’s Rights Advance, Under the Radar

      Turns out while everyone was screaming about the end of the world, Kentucky passed a RTW law. The article includes a fanatastic quote from an old white slaveowner:

      “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

    2. Doesn’t work much better at the strictly-local level either. The municipal water can’t be drunk in my lil’ slice of the American dream. Frequently, it can’t be used for washing either. The city* council gave a lobbyist $49k, and after a year of radio silence they heard from him again when he sent a contract renewal and request for the next year’s money. They asked him to provide examples of the work he had done for them, at which point he sent them a one-page list of the meetings he’d attended to see about small-town utilities grants.

      I say we tried this “tax and redistribute” thing, and I say it didn’t work. I’m about *thisclose* to concluding government functions properly on voluntary funding alone, and anything less is waiting for the volcano to explode.

      *I say “city” because that’s the word they use to describe the council. “Village” would be more accurate, but “city” is the one they use.

      1. I am in the wrong line of work.

        1. “Monetizing Government Stupidity” must be his corporate philosophy.

    3. “It’s almost like sending DC a bunch of money to redistribute how they see fit is a bad idea.”

      Take down the article and remove all the comments. Replace all that with this sentence and we are done here.

  14. First, they are not telling the cities to enforce federal law. No one is saying city cops have to go out and arrest people for immigration violations. This is about people who are arrested for other crimes. What the feds want and what these cities refuse to do is check the immigration status of the people they arrest and call ICE if they are here illegally. It is then up to ICE to come and get them. To say that is telling cities to enforce federal law is like saying a city in one state is enforcing the law of another by holding someone who has an outstanding warrant in the other state. That is an absurd characterization.

    Second, the feds have every right to put strings on the money they give states. It is totally reasonable for the federal government to tell cities that if they want federal money they have to turn over illegals to ICE. That is why the Prinze case inapplicable. In Prinze the law ordered the state officials to conduct the background checks. The feds do no such there here. The cities don’t have to do anything. They just have to do something if they want the federal money.

    And the medicare case is also not analogous. There the feds were forcing the states to spend enormous amounts of money to expand medicare or face loss of all their funds. Here, the feds are asking the states to turn over illegal aliens, a much smaller burden. The medicare case does not stand for the principle that no strings can ever be attached to federal money.

    1. Well, they won’t know who they are. But if I’m not mistaken, they take fingerprints if you get arrested. So they would surely know who they are if they try to come back and get caught again. Ok, they still wouldn’t know who they are, just that they match someone who they don’t know who is.

      1. They know exactly who someone is. It is easy to check someone’s immigration status. Either they have a SS number, a green card number, a VISA or they don’t. If they don’t, they are here illegally. If you don’t want people who are here illegally and who have committed crimes deported, is there anyone you want deported?

        1. What I was saying is that they don’t know their real identity. They can’t because the person has no documentation and several aliases.

          1. You can tell by their finger prints. Biometrics have about solved that. But, you have to look to figure it out. And the feds have some pretty amazing ways to look and are happy to help if you just call them.

            I think sanctuary cities are about the most racist things imaginable. Whose community do all of those criminals who cycle through the California jails without being deported go back to? They won’t be living anywhere near Root or victimizing him. They go right back to the immigrant communities and be praying on them. But people like Root are the ones who care. And anyone who thinks that when we can send a criminal back where they came from we should is the racist.

        2. Actually John, you don’t have to have a SSN and be legal.

    2. It is totally reasonable for the federal government to tell cities that if they want federal money they have to turn over illegals to ICE.

      People need to realize that swords are double-edged. If you allow the Feds to blackmail states into adopting Common Core by denying Race to the Top grant money from the DoE, then you have to allow this sort of social engineering as well.

      1. Sure. No question about that. And that is why federal spending on state issues is unconstitutional. Once the feds start giving money to the states, they necessarily are going to exercise control over issues they have no power to control.

        1. Unfortunately the courts have consistently said that’s OK, as long as the funds are related to the issue at hand, and are not overly punitive (such as the example here of cutting off all Medicare funding.)

          1. Medicaid funding*

  15. I wonder if Trump’s going to cut off federal funding to CO and OR and other states for not enforcing the federal ban on cannabis? Is that next?

    1. One thing I’d really like the media and Reason to do is to remind Trump that he promised to reschedule marijuana through executive fiat. They overlooked it when it was said because TRUMP IS THE DEVIL. But now that he’s the president and he’s clearly trying to check the box on his promises, it would be nice to remind him of this one before Sessions gets his hands on the buttons.

      But, this would be something they’d have bigger issues attacking. So I doubt any of them will ever mention it until/unless Sessions starts going after states violating the law. I, for one, would like clarity on this subject from Trump. Clarity is rare with him, but at least asking him the question would be nice.

      1. “One thing I’d really like the media and Reason to do is to remind Trump that he promised to reschedule marijuana through executive fiat.”

        He did? How did I miss that, or is it sarcasm?

        1. I read a piece that contends a rescheduling to 2 or 3 will put the medical mj industry under the boot of the FDA. That would likely initiate inspections of grow facilities and require clinical studies to verify claims of efficacy. Any thoughts?

          1. Speculative piece about Trump and weed: http://www.fool.com/investing/…..juana.aspx

        2. He did say it at one point. I’ve even posted a link to it in the comments here on Reason. He hasn’t repeated it much and his statements aren’t consistent. He has repeatedly said he’s for medical marijuana.

          1. Who cares. Medical MJ is a joke. It’s clearly a recreational drug. And I’m not saying that it has no medical use. I’m saying de-schedule it, period. Now.

      2. Right now would not be a good time for the Media to tell Trump anything. Balance first, then you debate.

    2. Doubtful. If he could depends upon what you mean by “cut off federal funding”. I think the medicare case would apply if he cut off all federal funding, though since he wouldn’t be forcing them to spend money it might still not. Could he cut off all the DHS and DOJ LEO goodies? Probably. Though, that raises the question why those programs exist in the first place. Why the hell are the feds paying for Oregon’s police?

      It is a bit ironic for Root to be so concerned about the separation of powers and the 10th amendment and then never bother to ask the question where the feds get to power to fund and by extension exercise some amount of control over state criminal law enforcement. The programs themselves are unconstitutional. That is the real problem. If we didn’t have the programs, there would not be any money to cut off would there?

    3. Just like when the feds cutoff highway funds for States that did not enforce the 55 MPH national speed limit, or when the feds threatened the same to those without mandatory seat belt laws.

      1. The Feds did the same thing with state drinking ages in the mid-1980’s* (cutting off highway money). Those two concepts are very tenuously attached.

        *I lived in Texas during that time. In 1986, the drinking age was changed from 19 to 21 on September 1. I was 20 years old at the time, and had the privilege taken away (without doing anything to cause it to happen).

        1. So maybe, just maybe, there is an outside chance that the Cosmotarian who wrote this bullshit article just doesn’t know shit about the topic.

          1. Accurate and succinct. Dreadfully shoddy essay.

        2. It was especially egregious in Ohio, because just a year before the state legislature caved to the feds on the drinking age, voters had soundly defeated a ballot initiative to raise the drinking age to 21. Ohio voters had clearly shown they didn’t want the drinking age raised and the feds strong-armed our cowardly legislature into ignoring the wishes of the people of Ohio.

  16. isThis is a good example why Reason should never be taken seriously on immigration issues. Suddenly reason is all about expansive reading of Supreme Court cases and the federal government sending money to the states where they otherwise would not be. Why? Because they will take any position necessary to push totally open borders no matter how contradictory it is to positions they take in other matters. Worse, this is all done in support of keeping criminals in the country. Reason’s support of sanctuary cities shows that they do no believe in the deportation of anyone for any reason at any time. That is of course their right, but they should be honest about that and stop pretending they support even the most minor immigration restrictions and also understand it is a position so extreme and palatable to the voters that it cedes the entire field to immigration restrictionists, who may be wrong but at least have a serious plan.

    1. I stopped at “This is a good example why Reason should never be taken seriously “

      1. I stopped at John’s handle.

        1. A good man always knows his limitations.

          1. And yet you continue posting.

            1. Who said I was a good man?

      2. No you didn’t. But thanks for admitting you have nothing to say in response.

        1. Don’t worry John, I dig your comments.

          1. My apologies. It is a boring Sunday and cold as hell outside. I am in a bit of a mood.

        2. It can be hard to respond to an irrational rant.

    2. Suddenly reason is all about expansive reading of Supreme Court cases and the federal government sending money to the states where they otherwise would not be. Why? Because they will take any position necessary to push totally open borders no matter how contradictory it is to positions they take in other matters.

      And how is this different than the arguments that anybody else makes? Are we not in favor of using the Left’s own tactics against them? Aren’t you in fact engaging in the Alinskyite tactic of making your enemy live up to his own standards? Reason claims to support the Party of Principles and now that they’re clearly not adhering to any sort of principle in their arguments but just making a partisan argument of convenience you want to slam them for that.

      The question is: are you making a principled argument that Reason should adhere to their principles or are you making an argument of convenience that Reason should stick to their principles merely when it suits your argument? And am I raising a valid point or just fucking with you?

      1. I hated it when the feds shoved the 55 mph speed limit down the state’s throats. But the reality with money comes power. I don’t think for a minute the founders intended the federal government to fund things like roads and local policing because doing so effectively gives the federal government control over these functions, which were supposed to be reserved for the states.

        The objection here is that the grants exist at all. Once they do exist, there is no point in pretending they somehow can be read to keep the feds from having influence over the states.

        1. I don’t think for a minute the founders intended the federal government to fund things like roads and local policing because doing so effectively gives the federal government control over these functions, which were supposed to be reserved for the states.

          Alexander Hamilton thought they had the power under the General Welfare and Necessary and Proper clauses (which John Marshall would expand to include the Commerce Clause). James Madison thought that a constitutional amendment would be required to build things like canals and banks. So it was a mixed bag on “What Would the Founders Do?”

          1. Fund them directly yes. But I don’t think any of them would have supported the feds handing out bribes to the states.

    3. Well said, John.

  17. I didn’t know sanctuary cities had the right to nullify federal law.

    1. Of course they do. Just read Hitler’s first comment on this piece. Cities have string cutting powers over federal funds.

    2. Can the nullify environmental and labor regs too? I don’t see any basis to say that they can negate immigration related laws but. It other types of laws and rules that they find inconvenient.

      1. I say it might now be a bad time to push this nullification issue to a head. Let’s see some mayors nullify federal environmental or labor laws using the same justifications that the mayors of these sanctuary cities use to nullify immigration laws.

  18. This promises to be a new opinion-feature in national news = Ask Iraqis Assaulting Mosul!

    Deeper inside Mosul a unit of Iraqi soldiers admitted they hadn’t heard the news.

    [Khalid pauses from burning down a sunni home to answer questions]

    “Trump?” [spits] “he is the son of 1000 whores that mated with donkeys. Now, George Bush, that was a pres….”

    [Next we speak with an Officer!]

    “It is complex, obviously. We need American air power to subdue our enemies, but it would be nice if they could send matching uniforms for once. Oh, Trump? I am feeling more wait-and-see, you know? Obama’s ban on torture was a real buzzkill. Hopefully things will loosen up”

    [we surveyed some of Mosul’s residents]

    “What? why are you here? please don’t kill us! Praise America!!…. what? Trump? who is this?….. i am confused, is the shooting over? i am so hungry….”

    1. Iraqis seem to prefer non-matching uniforms and kit. It’s a chance for individual Iraqi soldiers to be bold when expressing how incompetent they are. Some have knee pads on their elbows while others duct tape flashlights to their arms, and still more velcro random US patches in different locations.

      1. They only had 8 years, a trillion dollars and ten thousand American lives to get their shit together. Give them a chance for God’s sake.

      2. That also makes it easier to switch sides on a moment’s whim.

      3. Iraqis seem to prefer non-matching uniforms and kit. It’s a chance for individual Iraqi soldiers to be bold when expressing how incompetent they are.

        i’d read that the recent diversity was actually more a consequence of tribal affiliation, small-unit loyalties being stronger than any national-identity, etc. Also, typical arab preening.

        I’d also read that story about ad-hoc uniforms and ‘elbow pads on knees’ etc., but that was actually many years ago when the US was still there and they were trying to ‘train’ them. I don’t think they’re especially incompetent, fwiw = they just do things the arab way, which is to shove the poorest troops into fights until the enemies run out of ammo, then have the best-funded troops rush in and declare victory. they don’t have any illusions about hollywood films being made about them.

        1. To think, there was a time when our troops dressed like them.

          That’s two soldiers of the 5th NY Volunteer Infantry.

          1. even if i didn’t have a reputation to uphold, i’d find the topic of ‘military uniforms’ interesting for the socializing/psychological purposes they serve.

            *i am a little disappointed no one seems to have noticed that the article in question is trying to survey Iraqi Troops about Trump’s *Travel Bans*… something i find far more absurd than the oft-repeated jokes about their uniforms.

          2. That was fashion week, so I am not sure if it counts.

          3. As a proud descendant of a member of the “Zouaves” (my great-great-grandfather also had two cousins with him in the unit), I want to start dressing like that!

      4. Iraqi soldiers are like that Harlem Globetrotters cartoon (or the similar Blackhawk comic) wherein everyone suddenly dressed up as ridiculous superheroes!

    2. Did you know that the Russians are black guys now? Are they going to blow up our well again?

  19. “undocumented immigrants”

    What about all of those illegals who are here on expired visas but refuse to go home. Aren’t they “documented?”

    1. They were documented, now they are undocumented.

      Since there is just this little paperwork mixup you see. They would be documented if their documents were dated differently. So now they are “otherly documented.”

        1. Deciphering prog talk, well, it is something between a black art and a junk science.

      1. They’re transitioning? Alternatively documented? Ah, I have it: they are “document-fluid”.

        1. Fluid? Clearly a crypto wetback reference.

  20. Where was the crying about the federal government threatening to withhold funding
    as a means to enforce things like seatbelt laws and the drinking age?

    This has nothing to do with the constitution. It’s an extra-constitutional tactic the Feds have been using for decades to impose mandates on states that the constitution doesn’t empower them to do legislatively. You might argue that it’s dirty pool, but unconstitutional it isn’t. Arguably providing the funding in the first place is the unconstitutional part. You might notice that this is exactly the approach the fed gov uses to enforce most of it’s mandates. Usually with little complaining from Reason.

    1. Imagine how badly the Democrats will lose without all those extra voters. We’ll only have one party. Scary stuff.

    2. Exactly that. To say they are “withholding the funds” is just playing semantics. What is the feds say “here is a big pot of money for any city that is willing to run immigration checks on everyone they arrest”? Are they withholding the funds then? No. That is just paying the states to do something. But it is effectively the same thing. One person’s withholding the funds is another person’s they are paying me to do this. The problem is the feds shouldn’t be doing this at all. You would think libertarians of all people would understand the inherent relationship between money and power.

      1. So you’re on board with the critique that replacing ACA subsidies with tax credits makes them effectively identical?

        1. No because tax credits only word if you pay taxes. So that is different than writing a check. Regardless, those subsidies go to individuals not the states. So whatever you think of them, it has nothing to do with this issue.

    3. Look at the Title IVd Social Security Act “child support” (actually a child excise tax percentage based on income and number of children) which was forced upon the states by the feds even though the feds had no Constitutional Authority over matrimonial and family matters. The states then declare a parent (usually the father) to be “non custodial” for the purposes of “child support” so they can maximize their federal reimbursement. But when a father tried to sue a school district on behalf of his child the US Supreme Court ruled he had no standing as the state declared him “non custodial”. A mandated program under threat of lost federal revenue which results in you losing parental rights without cause. I agree with those who say the feds shouldn’t be in the business of tax and give to the state under reward or threat of lost funding.

    4. This has nothing to do with the constitution. It’s an extra-constitutional tactic the Feds have been using for decades to impose mandates on states that the constitution doesn’t empower them to do legislatively.

      This. The fact that this article doesn’t address S. Dakota v. Dole is a travesty, and makes this article worthless. The fedgov is allowed to condition federal funding on states passing certain laws that are outside the fedgov jurisdiction. It’s not much of a stretch to extend Dole to executive activities, and not just laws.

      S. Dakota v. Dole belongs in the SCOTUS hall of shame with Wickard v. Filburn and Nebbia v. NY

    5. All well and good… except for one critical point. You are absolutely correct about drinking ages and seatbelt laws. But this is one of those rare cases where in fact the Constitution does empower the Fed to do this Legislatively, and they in fact have. The problem is the cities in question are acting unconstitutionally to nullify clearly constitutional Federal Law. The Fed’s may legitimately take action to prevent or discourage that. In this case it is not coercion against the Constitution. It is Enforcement to protect it. Particularly Article IV.

    6. Where was the crying about the federal government threatening to withhold funding as a means to enforce things like seatbelt laws and the drinking age?

      If only this website had a search function! Oh, wait: https://reason.com/search?q=“highway+funds”

  21. I find these rationales unconvincing.

    When Prop 187 was under consideration, Pete Wilson sued the federal government to make them pay for all the illegal aliens the state was forced to care for–in California’s public schools, healthcare, and in California’s prisons.

    That suit was dismissed on the principle, among others, that, “The state cannot sue to recover the cost of education for illegal immigrants because public education is mandated by state law, not federal law.”.

    http://articles.latimes.com/19…..immigrants

    In the meantime, the courts shot down Prop 187, which amended California’s constitution, on the basis that it was illegal for California to discriminate against illegal aliens or for a state to enforce federal immigration law. So changing California’s laws doesn’t really matter either.

    So let’s review:

    It’s wrong for the states to seek a remedy from the federal government for neglecting to enforce immigration law.

    It’s wrong for the states to enforce immigration law.

    And now you’re telling me it’s wrong for the federal government to insist that local government not openly flout immigration law, too? Are there any other laws like that. Is there a “sanctuary city” from OSHA or the EPA?

    I’m starting to see a pattern here. It seems that no matter what happens, no one should enforce immigration law. Apparently, enforcing immigration law is the exception to the general rule.

    1. I’m not counting it as a specific rule. I’m finding lots of laws I’m good with ignoring.

    2. Cali’s going to secede anyway, haven’t you heard? They don’t need no stankin federal money!

      1. That is the problem with Leftoids. They keep talking about stuff and, unless it involves the destruction of private property or theft, they never seem to manage to get it done.

        CalExit can’t come soon enough, but judging the performance of the people involved, it won’t happen until they force someone else to do it for them.

    3. And now you’re telling me it’s wrong for the federal government to insist that local government not openly flout immigration law, too? Are there any other laws like that. Is there a “sanctuary city” from OSHA or the EPA?

      Suppose the feds passed a law requiring all state and local governments to recognize the gender someone claims and treat them accordingly rather than by their anatomy and some town in Alabama refused to comply. Root and the entire Reason staff would be screaming for some boots to be put on some faces and quick. But ignore immigration law and allow criminals to stay in the country illegally and that is totally different.

      1. Yeah, it’s not just what the law says either, the argument in this piece seems to be saying that the law can’t be changed either. It’s a fatal flaw in the system! If we’re at the mercy of immigrants, there’s nothing that anyone can do about it.

        Can’t enforce the laws we have, and we can’t change the laws either. Amending state constitutions doesn’t make any difference, and it doesn’t matter how people at the state level vote or whom we democratically elect to be our President either.

        This, ladies and gentlemen, is why people vote for anti-immigrant populists like Donald Trump and applaud him when he flaunts the rule of law.

        1. Yes. That is what makes this position so foolish. It is so unreasonable and extreme it cedes the field to the anti immigration argument.

    4. Are there any other laws like that. Is there a “sanctuary city” from OSHA or the EPA?

      I’m pretty sure most municipal government already don’t do anything to enforce OSHA or EPA regulations except for internally complying in their own operations. I’ve certainly never heard of local police arresting somebody on the grounds that they were violating an OSHA or EPA regulation.

  22. WTF?! It sure as hell is comstitional to withhold funding to cities that don’t enforce federal law. Get back to me when my state can set the drinking age back to 18…..

      1. But they can’t do that!

      2. According to Root and his noteworthy supporters, any financial retaliation like that is unconstitutional.

  23. Trump’s goal is to waste billions on building a wall that will never be complete – along with hundreds of new private prisons to store the illegals until the wall is done (i.e. never). Even liberals will hem and haw on this issue – there is something nostalgically Bolshevik about the plan. The question is whether millenials and gen-y will confront the sadistic fantasies of their frumpled uncle Trumpkins. The airport protests yesterday were a promising sign.

    1. I think what Trump is really trying to do is stop an invasion of Democratic party voters. But you know that, shreek. Did you remember you’re logged in as dajjal? You’re supposed to be ranting about Joos!

      1. I love ‘the Jews’, hype. I just don’t think we should be sending them billions to fund their universal healthcare – which includes hundreds of thousands in their ultra-religious jewish cults and their arab citizens. According to my calculations you should hate that too. As for stopping dems – actually immigration is already net negative – meaning the wall will only trap them inside. But you know that, hype.

      2. I believe Chuck Todd may be shreek. He was ranting about Joos on Meet the Press today. Something bout an overly inclusive Holocaust remembrance or something.

        1. We are all shreek, AA.

  24. Whether or not it’s “right”, dangling the carrot of federal funds in front of the states to get them to do what you want is SOP for the feds. It’s how we got a national speed limit. There’s nothing the courts have found unconstitutional about that, no matter how much it might violate the spirit of federalism.

    OTOH, it’s not like the states don’t have a counter-measure, they can refuse to collect the federal taxes they currently remit to the feds. It’s none of their business if state-licensed gas stations no longer document or collect the federal motor fuels taxes, is it?

    1. They could do that. And the feds could then shut off other funds. The feds could also still collect the taxes themselves. It wouldn’t be hard. Just tell the stations to make a check out to the DOT instead of the states. So, I don’t think that would get the states very far. Ultimately, if the states want their sovereignty, they need to stop taking federal money.

      1. Ultimately, if the states want their sovereignty they have to be willing to fight for it. Not that that worked out so well the last time some of them tried it.

        It’s the same with Congress attempting to be relevant in an age of the Imperial President. If you didn’t want the President to be so all-powerful, you should have grown a pair and made the tough decisions 50 damn years ago instead of passing off your responsibility to the executive branch. You’ve got the power of the purse, shut the whole damn thing down if that’s what it takes to enforce your will.

        Of course, if you weren’t such spineless shitweasels, you’d be working out policy details with President Donald J. Boudreaux right now instead of President Donald J. Trump.

        1. It is the same lesson that people should have learned as teenagers. The best way to fight for your sovereignty is to pay your own bills. If the states were not depending on the feds to fund their police departments, this wouldn’t be an issue and Trump would be pretty powerless to compel them to do much of anything.

          If you want the states to have their sovereignty, tell them to move out of mom and dad’s house and start paying their own bills.

      2. They should repeal the 17th.

  25. First combat death since Trump’s inauguration.

    A US servicemember died of wounds suffered during a raid in Yemen against al Qaeda — the first American combat death under President Donald Trump, US Central Command said Sunday.

    Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don’t remember stories like this under Obama.

    1. They happened, but they were relegated to the back-pages, and always spun as part of a “training exercise”, because there was no combat-mission, you see. The word “combat” was studiously avoided.

      1. Oh right! Obama “ended” the wars.

        1. The deaths were all Workplace Violence at our Mideastern Branch Offices!

    2. Well, duh. The wars just started last week.

    3. The anti-war Left was enjoying its 8 year hibernation period then.

    4. CENTCOM said it was the first death under Trump or CENTCOM announced the death and the reporter noted that it was the first under Trump? I’m going with the latter.

      1. I think you’re right.

    5. How could that happen when we don’t have any “boots on the ground” in Yemen?

    6. No, you are right. They only report combat deaths when a Republican is in office.

      1. It’s sad that this is literally true. All the “X soldiers died in Iraq/Afghanistan this week” features stopped the day Obama took office.

  26. I wonder whether we will the same number of “pants-shitting” articles from Reason over Trump’s protectionism?

    1. I think we should be seeing a real zinger of a Dalmia article any time now.

    2. Have you been paying attention? They have already written articles about that.

  27. More OT: She’s With Him

    Lib artist and photographer seeks out female Trump voters. Kind of interesting.

    1. I find it interesting that only half the subjects appear willing to show their unblurred faces. The unhinged left treats a vote for Trump as practically a crime against humanity, so I understand their reticence.

      1. Being a Trump voter now is like coming out of the closet 30 years ago.

  28. Dude, you’re really really stretching it here. The 10th Amendment applies to the states. States are sovereign- not cities.

    Sanctuary cities give a special status to illegal immigrants that have committed crimes. Legal residents, if arrested, could very likely lose their green card and face deportation. Why should illegal immigrants have more protection than legal immigrants?

    Sanctuary cities are pure nonsense

  29. I see some people arguing over Trump’s stated intent to build a wall and Mexico’s gonna pay for it, arguing that if Trump imposes tariffs on Mexican imports it’s going to be American consumers paying for the wall and then there’s the matter of abrogating NAFTA which Congress may have something to say about.

    The thing is, Trump doesn’t have to impose tariffs or abrogate NAFTA, he just has to come up with some creative way of imposing not-tariffs – like say a thousand-dollar-per-pound inspection fee or something. If the “penaltax” precedent tells us anything, SCOTUS will bend over backwards to avoid voiding the Will Of The People, right? (Spoiler alert: No, they won’t. Obamacare passed constitutional muster because Roberts declined to oppose the popular will as demonstrated by the fact that not one single Republican voted for it and polls showed a clear majority of the American public didn’t like Obamacare. Trump’s proposals, no matter what they are, will be no doubt be found by Roberts to be clearly opposed by the popular will and he won’t hesitate a second to strike them down.)

    So then Mexico is going to be given a choice – pay for the wall and Trump will drop the additional not-a-tax or don’t pay for the wall and see their exports decimated.

    And all the people who bitched about the “penaltax” bullshit will cheer Trump’s not-a-tax bullshit.

    1. Any tariffs or taxes or fees (sugch as “inspecton fees”) are, of course, ultimately paid by consumers. However, in this case, consumers have plausible alternatives in domestic goods and goods from other countries besides Mexico, so I expect that this will hurt Mexico far more than it hurts U.S. consumers (and maybe bring in less revenue than might be expected).

      I haven’t really analyzed the idea of the tax on remittances, but as that doesn’t involve goods purchased by Americans, it seems that it lacks even the potential downsides of import tariffs, so I’m not sure why that doesn’t seem to be on the table.

    1. Bieber did not look out of place while sharing the ice with current NHL stars Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, along with a host of retired greats and hockey-loving entertainment figures.

      Uh huh.

  30. On the lighter side of things: Euromonitor compiled top travel travel destinations list

    All over the world, people are making more flights to more places than ever before.
    But two Asian cities, according to a new report by market researcher Euromonitor International, are welcoming more visitors than any other destination.

    For the seventh year in a row, Hong Kong topped Euromonitor’s annual Top 100 City Destinations survey, welcoming an impressive 26.69 million visitors in 2015, its latest figures.

    I went through to the report. From the list, I’ve been to Las Vegas, Prague, New York City, Amsterdam, Vienna, Munich, Sydney, and Melbourne. I would like to visit Macau and Hong Kong this year. They have a slide talking about the growth of Airbnb. They note that Airbnb appears to be relying on Europe to grow.

    1. I’ve been to 40 cities out of 100.

    2. Cathay has direct flights to HKG from Logan. Well worth the couple extra bucks and you don’t have to go slumming in horrible JFK. If you end up going and want some recommendations for food and haunts, hit me up.

      1. I intend to take one of those direct flights. I’ve been to Australia twice: US East coast to LAX to Sydney. If I can flight right to Asia from a local airport, I’ll take that instead of flying to LAX/SFO/SEA then to Asia.

        Here’s a semi-throwaway e-mail you can to use to contact me off-board: dgroves140 AT gmail DOT com. I would appreciate suggestions for Hong Kong. Thanks!

        1. I found Stanley very charming. We visited HK in late November, so the beaches were empty but it was actually warm. I should have brought a swimsuit.

          Another tip: if you’re taking a gondola to the Big Buddha, book tickets online beforehand, we could have avoided standing 1.5 hours in line.

          1. A former coworker said good things about Stanley.

  31. I’m open-borders

    The intention here is to discredit libertarians by making them seem radical and irresponsible. And in so doing, justify Trump’s extremist and sadistic measures (multi-billion dollar boondoggle of a wall and private prisons to be paid for by the next generation). The question for me is whether it’s a cynical ploy to expedite the realization of their sadistic fantasies, or they honestly are unaware of how their lizard brain is making them behave. Please, help me help you:

  32. With every fascist executive order a CalExit angel gets its wings. At this rate, support for continuing this entangling alliance with racist assholes in Texarkana is going to rival Trump’s popularity. Mr. TRUMP, please continue as directed by your fascist Russian overlords.

    1. With every fascist executive order a CalExit angel gets its wings.

      “Fascism”… you aren’t using the term correctly.

      In any case, what makes you think libertarians or conservatives have a problem with CalExit?

    2. You know who’d love Calexit? Putin.

  33. A few thoughts:

    Printz may or may not apply. In that case, the locals were ordered to enforce federal law. In this case, the federal law prohibits the locals from banning certain immigration enforcement practices. Its a fine line, but cases often turn on fine lines. What’s also interesting is that the EO only withholds funds, which was also not present in Printz (if memory serves; haven’t reviewed it). Which brings us to Sebelius:

    The Sebelius language on Medicaid funding is not going to apply in this case. Sebelius came down the way it did because Medicaid funding is massive, such th

    1. Stupid computer. Where was I:

      . . . such that yanking it from a state would be catastrophic. It was explicitly not intended to call into question the myriad other conditioned federal funding streams, definitely including highway funding. Since it went off based on the amount of funding, there is no possibility that it will be applied to the smaller amount of funding at issue here.

      Separation of powers is an interesting one, but I’m not optimistic it will prevail, for the simple reason that agency action determines funds flows to states in innumerable ways, starting with, you guessed it, Medicaid. CMS diktat can open up or shut off programs worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

      1. Why is immigration law different from the EPA or OSHA?

        Can there be a sanctuary city from the Clean Water Act?

        1. First, the states don’t enforce OSHA. They might enforce their own OSHA like laws, but no state agency enforces the federal laws. As far as the CWA and other environmental acts, the states administer those programs by choice. Any state could choose to stop doing so if they choose to. Moreover, the feds have the power to step in and enforce those laws whenever they want even in states that have been certified and chosen to administer the program. It is known as overfiling and happens quite often.

          The other thing is that sanctuary city is really a misnomer. These cities are not immune from the law. The feds can and do conduct raids and enforce immigration laws inside them. What they don’t do is get any help whatsoever from the city government doing so.

          1. I’m not sure municipalities can opt out of the Clean Water Act. The EPA monitors and regulates what municipally owned wastewater treatment plants can put back into a river. Cities can’t just unilaterally decide they aren’t subject to that anymore–not without consequences from the federal government.

            That seems a lot like the situation between Trump and sanctuary cities.

            1. They don’t “opt out”. But that is not what is happening here. It is not like these cities are violating the law and hiring illegals. What is happening is they are refusing to report illegals to the feds. So the analogy to the clean water act would be the difference between a city letting its sewer system put untreated sewage into a river versus refusing to call EPA when a local company does the same. They absolutely cannot do the first and would be sanctioned for doing so just like these cities could be if they hired illegal aliens but they as far as I am aware have no obligation to do the second and could not be compelled to do so.

      2. That is what I said above. Prinze is not applicable here because there the states were ordered to enforce state law not just told they couldn’t have extra money if they didn’t. And the medicare case is so different in scope that it doesn’t apply either.

        Root should stop trying to engage in legal reasoning. He is really bad at it.

  34. I am not going to say who I am responding to here, but if Trumps shenanigans actually get a CalExit to happen, be tried, or even a half-hearted attempt, I AM ALL FOR IT!

  35. I’m honestly curious as to whether Trump really believes these measures will make Americans safer, or if it’s just a cynical ploy to enrich his cronies and fulfill some kind of sick, sadistic prison fantasy. Same for Bannon – and whether they play off each other’s denial in conjunction with the cheering, blood-thirsty masses. Thoughts:

    1. dajjal|1.29.17 @ 11:39AM|#
      “I’m honestly curious…”

      You’re not ‘honestly’ anything; you’re a lying pile of shit.
      Fuck off.

  36. Finally, I find it fascinating the way people hop between SCOTUS decisions as the definition of unconstitutional, regardless of how well they line up with the language on the page, and provisions of the Constitution that have never been applied the way that is being cited. Everyone does it, but still . . .

    For example, there is no textual basis for the Sebelius decision on Medicaid expansion. You will not find a limit on Congress’s power to spend anything like what the Sebelius court found. There are limits, of course, but they are properly found elsewhere in the Constitution – no spending on anything that isn’t an enumerated power, no spending that isn’t for the general welfare (which, properly understood, bans entitlement programs, welfare, transfer programs, etc.). But, having blown past the real limits on the spending powers and made them essentially plenary powers, the courts have to make up new limits when Congress exercises its court-granted plenary powers in ways the courts don’t like.

    Separation of powers is the other side of the dilemma. Again, proper separation of powers based on the text of the Constitution would invalidate much of the what the government does, so we have to discard that, and make up new boundaries on separation of powers.

    The living Constitution does weird shit, doesn’t it?

    1. The Sebelius decision is a great example of what an activist judiciary looks like. Either the feds have the power to spend money sending it to the states to fund traditionally state activities like welfare and law enforcement or they don’t. I think you can say they don’t because if the federal government doesn’t have the power to engage in local law enforcement Congress necessarily doesn’t have the power to fund the states doing something it can’t itself do. If you reject that argument, then there is as you point out no limit in the text to how much or what kind of strings the federal government puts on that money short of just requiring states to violate the BOR. Whatever your position on the issue, if you base it on the text it should be all or nothing.

      Instead of all or nothing, we get something in the middle where the court strikes down conditions on spending it sees as too onerous or it doesn’t like for one reason or another and allows conditions it does. That is the definition of legislating from the bench. And neither side seems to notice except when the court doesn’t like one of their pet projects.

    2. It’s funny that conservatives/libertarians had no problem with that aspect of the Sebelius decision until now. In fact most considered it a silver lining in the decision that upheld 0-care.

      So if the feds institute a 100% income tax, and then offer to cut checks to residents of states that ban semiauto rifles, sufficient to reduce the effective tax rates to what they are now, would that be constitutional?

      1. I think they were mostly just happy to see some of Ocare get hammered. The reality is it was serious judicial activism.

      2. “It’s funny that conservatives/libertarians had no problem with that aspect of the Sebelius decision until now”

        It’s funny that you’ re so obviously wrong about that.

  37. Now I’m disappointed in all of you. This article has been up for about 2 hours now, and here I am, having to throw up my only day off in the week to come here and state the obvious :

    Fuck you, cut spending.

    1. Guess you missed the first post.

      1. I am a man of efficiency. Although I appreciate the effort, you used 14 words while just 4 would have done the job.

    2. Welcome to Dajjal’s Libertarian Utopia. I will dub it: “New Somalia”. 🙂

  38. It will be interesting to see how many people squawking about conditions on federal funding are going to do a 180 if/when Trump block grants Medicaid to the states, effectively stripping the many, many conditions on Medicaid funding now.

  39. If I’m right,the states cut the DUI standard to .08 from .10 due to the Feds threatening to cut highway funds. Never mind that medical studies show that it’s way to low. It was .12 when I started to drive here in Ohio.

  40. If we can have sanctuary cities that defy the rule of law and do as they please without repercussions, then we can have sanctuary cities that institute Sharia law without repercussions.

    That is not a slippery slope argument. That’s just reality. If we let it go too far where we can no longer rein in this behavior because we were too afraid to offend people, too willing to permit sovereignty to others that are our enemies, then we will have lost it all.

    If libertarianism is protection against force and fraud, we should be ever vigilant of the sources of those things too. If we wish to extend the franchise of America to others, we should be damned well be certain that those we extend the franchise to want to come for the right reasons; for reasons compatible with our way of life and as a net gain to our people. Otherwise we might as well call the whole American experiment off, because a country that won’t protect its borders is not a country.

    1. All of that and more. You are only as free as your society wants to be. And if you allow people to enter your society who don’t value freedom or worse use the freedom they get from being here to undermine everyone else’ freedom, you won’t have a free society very long.

    2. That’s kind of exactly the slippery slope argument.

      1. Is it?

        When the Trojan Horse stands outside your gates and you watched them build it inside your walls, you watched them fill it with people outside the walls and wheel it up to the gate and demand admittance, will you accept that horse? It’s a gift for you, they say. We would never create a fiction for you and sell your freedoms off to the enemy in exchange for some fucking votes for our political party. The border should be open to all horses we’ve wheeled to your doorstep.

        1. And you’ve seen a bunch of other cities fall to exactly that tactic throughout history. When you know that a specific group of people has done it everywhere they’ve gone when they’re permitted to mass in enclaves. When you know for a historical fact that many cities have been taken not by the sword but by an overwhelming influx of people who then wrest power away and supplant the leadership with their own. When you’ve watched the pattern repeat over and over again, is it truly a slippery slope to say “we don’t take your fucking horses, sorry.”?

          Have we learned nothing? Have we not seen them taken in en masse in Europe, in the UK, and then gain enough political strength to demand that those cities permit them to run them under Sharia law?

    3. If we can have sanctuary cities that defy the rule of law and do as they please without repercussions, then we can have sanctuary cities that institute Sharia law without repercussions.

      Depends on which part of Sharia law you’re talking about. If you’re talking about the whole thing, that action would violate most of the Bill of Rights along with the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments at least. So it would be very different from merely not helping enforcement of federal laws.

      In fact it’s already possible for Muslims in the US to have civil lawsuits settled by Sharia law (via arbitration).

      1. Do you genuinely think that proggies care about the constitutionality of anything they do? Do you not suppose that when Congress has put laws on the books regarding immigration and they’re flagrantly disobeyed that it is an unconstitutional act?

        Did Rahm Emanuel not say these words:

        I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Mayor according to the best of my ability.

        It did not say he has to obey a President, but it did say he would support the Constitution, and the Constitution does give Congress the power to make laws that govern the states. There are immigration laws. He refuses to uphold them, thereby refusing to uphold the will of Congress and the Constitution that empowers it.

  41. Turns out the libertarian moment Includes mandatory federal funding and violence. Who woulda thought?

    1. Nothing says you are tolerant and not racist like insisting that criminals be released to prey on immigrant communities rather than deported. Didn’t you know that?

  42. Hypothesis: people hate Trump this badly mostly because he’s crude. We’ve had any number of incompetent buffoons in office, and they’ve done any number of nonsensical and cruel things, no matter what your viewpoint. But I don’t think we’ve had one this chimpanzeeish. Even Jackson could string together a paragraph.

    1. If you think Trump is stupid, you are kidding yourself. He says things that offend the delicate sensibilities of our journalists and various right thinking people for a specific reason. He does it because he knows they are going to have a case of the vapors and in doing that spend all of their time and effort screaming “how dare he”. This does two things. First, it makes him more popular with his supporters because they hate the various right thinking people. Second and more importantly, by causing them to focus on his crudeness and such, it prevents them from ever engaging him with counter proposals or serious discussions. This leaves the impression that he is the only one who cares about the problem or is offering any solution. Everyone else apparently wants the problem to remain unsolved and just cares about how polite and well spoken everyone is.

      If you don’t think that is not by design and pretty much the base political move that got Trump elected, you don’t understand what has occurred over the past year. If you don’t like what Trump is doing, that is of course your choice and not unreasonable. But if you think Trump is some buffoon or character out of A Face in the Crowd, you are not only kidding yourself, you are also playing right into his hands.

      1. Dude, you’re fucking crazy.

        1. Really? Who is President dumb ass?

    2. Tthis exact same argument was made against Reagan and GW Bush, mostly by the same people, and it’s probably a little silly in a country that has embraced rap music, porn and Seth Rogen movies. Muh delicate ears!

  43. Hitler|1.29.17 @ 10:19AM|#
    “The argument here is that regardless of how much money is or isn’t pumped, the federal government shouldn’t be able to use it to infringe states rights.”

    That’s not what I’m reading.
    Seems to me to be a pretty straightforward case of the executive infringing on the prerogatives of the legislature.
    Yes, I know others (Obo, as an example) have done it, but tu quoque isn’t an argument I’m gonna support.

    1. Fuck you, Elizabeth Dole

  44. I’ve been around a lot of message boards, and I have to say that the regulars here are some of the most ignorant, self-important people on the Internet. I feel bad for your brains, because I’m sure most of you can’t.

  45. All caused by Obama is what you are not seeing.

  46. I’m sorry. As much as I am a supporter of States Rights, the entire premise of this article is unmitigated Bullsh@t. Printz vs the United States is not the authoritative law here. Article IV and the Supremacy Clause is. This comes down to the old argument of State Nulification. Which the Federal and State Courts have struck down and ruled against over and over and over for the past 200 years.

    The Federal Government may not use the hammer of withholding funding in order to coerce the state in a way that is otherwise forbidden the the Federal Government by the Constitution. P v US is the classic example of this. The Federal Government may not order the States to Spend State Taxpayer Monies, nor force the States to pass certain laws. Nor may they use Federal Spending to indirectly force such This is NOT what is happening here. This is a case of States or rather localities seeking to nullify clear, unambiguous and unquestionably constitutional Federal Law within their own territories. That’s a whole different ballgame. Precedent sits with the administration on this one.

    1. Yep. Trump could use the courts, Federal Marshals, the National Guard, and the Marines if he really wanted to smash these people – and it would all be perfectly legal. Hell, he could theoretically get Congress to declare them in rebellion and really drop the hammer.

      Federal law wins. Withholding the money is the nice easy way.

  47. I take a different view. This is about cities refusing to enforce federal law.

    I don’t have a huge problem with that.

    Likewise I don’t have a problem with the Feds withholding law enforcement money from those cities.

    1. I don’t undestand why anyone would think it is something cities and states should be involved in at all. For *any* crime.

      We don’t expect state cops in places that have legalized marijuana to go around nabbing people for the federal government, and we wouldn’t complain if they weren’t willing to hold federal drug law violator in local jails until the federal government got around to taking care of them and then eat the cost until the federal government got around to paying the bill.

      Federalism is federalism.

  48. ,blockquote>it is unconstitutional to impose what the Supreme Court has called “coercive” conditions on federal spending grants to the states.

    Then how to explain things like the 21 year old drinking age, the 55 mph speed limit? Both of those are ostensibly ‘voluntary’ things the state did – under the hammer of ‘we’ll withhold giving you back the money we took from your citizens if you don’t’.

    All ‘coercive’ is, is a dog-whistle. Judges know what it means when they hear it, same as ‘reasonable expectation of . . . ‘

  49. “In other words, the federal government may not commandeer the states for federal purposes.”
    Arkansas National Guard; President Dwight D. Eisenhower? Literally commandeered.
    For extra credit, the student is directed to identify at least four more examples.

  50. “Coercive conditions” such as denying highway funding to any state which didn’t increase the legal drinking age to 21?

    In the same manner, Case Law frequently undermines Constitutional Law.

  51. Now, there is a part of me that kind of likes sanctuary cities. Leave the funding in place, don’t take that particular fight on – democrats will demagogue the issue and it isn’t worth it. Enforce the law as written every where except the sanctuary cities then publicize in multiple languages where those cities are. The illegals will flock in droves to the sanctuary. My life will be better for the flight to sanctuary and the sanctuaries will be more sewer like than they are now. Think how much more pleasant and safe Baltimore or Chicago or Detroit or San Francisco will be. I realize that this is a “schadenfreude” kind of view but the sanctuaries will reap what they sow.
    I would bet money that the all caring ruling class will rather quickly find a humane reason and method to alter their policy as they are overwhelmed when the unskilled and illiterate flood the sanctuary.

  52. This one has me torn. I disdain the idea of the feds taking cash and then putting strings on it. I think the idea should be scrapped entirely. But it is how they do it nowadays, plus I don’t see how it is actually illegal per se… Merely unsavory.

    I like the idea of states/localities telling the feds to get fucked too. I think it’s an important thing to fight the feds where there is disagreement with their policies.

    But I think this particular issue is an idiotic one to get into it with the feds over since I think any reasonable person should at least want criminal illegal aliens booted out. Rule of law + is a constitutional legit power IMO + practical arguments too.

    Perhaps, as others have mentioned above, this will be a learning experience for the left on why the feds having so much power is bad… I can’t imagine many on the left will ever come to that conclusion, but perhaps a half dozen of them with more than two brain cells bouncing around in their heads may learn a thing or two and at least become left-libertarians, which is at least a small improvement from being a line towing modern “progressive.”

  53. Sorry but you cannot have it both ways. When Arizona passed its law requiring all people prove they were citizens of the US is stopped by police, opponents sued and the SCOTUS ruled immigration was the sole responsibility of the Federal government. Now we have cities and states saying, no we decide if people in this country illegal who settle in our state will be deported or not. Immigration is the responsibility of the Federal government and no city, state or elected official has the power to ignore Federal law and do as they please. If they do, then there is no prohibition for Arizona reinstating its law, all the states who have passed voter ID laws from ignoring Federal courts and the DOJ, etc. It is illegal to enter this country and stay without a visa and applying to become a resident. It is also illegal for officials who have sworn to uphold the law to ignore any law for political benefit. The fact President Obama chose to do nothing does not mean President Trump choosing to act is unconstitutional.

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