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Federal Court Rules Against Trump in Sanctuary Cities Case Brought by Seven States and New York City

The ruling is the latest in a long line of setbacks for the administration's efforts to punish sanctuary jurisdictions by withholding federal law enforcement grants.

On Friday, the Trump administration suffered yet another setback in its legal battle against "sanctuary cities" - jurisdictions that, in some respects, refuse to help the federal government deport undocumented immigrants. Federal Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York issued a ruling striking down three conditions that the administration sought to impose on states and localities that receive federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants for law enforcement agencies.

Last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sought to cut Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant funds to state and local governments that fail to meet three conditions:

1. Prove compliance with 8 USC Section 1373, a federal law that bars cities or states from restricting communications by their employees with the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about the immigration or citizenship status of individuals targeted by these federal agencies.

2. Allow DHS officials access into any detention facility to determine the immigration status of any aliens being held.

3. Give DHS 48 hours' notice before a jail or prison releases a person when DHS has sent over a detention request, so the feds can arrange to take custody of the alien after he or she is released.

Judge Ramos' decision closely follows the reasoning of several previous rulings on the same policy issued by other federal courts. The administration has repeatedly lost these cases in multiple courts around the country, and before both Democratic and Republican-appointed judges. I analyzed the latest of them here, and nearly everything I said in that post applies to this most recent ruling, as well. For those following this issue, Judge Ramos' opinion contains a helpful summary of previous federal court decisions on the Sessions policy.

Like the other courts, Judge Ramos concluded that all three conditions are unconstitutional because none of them were authorized by Congress:

Congress has neither conditioned Byrne JAG funds on the three conditions here nor delegated the authority to impose these conditions to the Executive Branch. The Executive Branch does not have the power of the purse and "does not otherwise have the inherent authority as to the grant at issue here to condition the payment of such federal funds on adherence to its political priorities." Id.; see also City & County of San Francisco v. Trump, 897 F.3d 1225, 1235 (9th Cir. 2018) ("Absent congressional authorization, the Administration may not redistribute or withhold properly appropriated funds in order to effectuate its own policy goals.")....

The separation of powers acts as a check on tyranny and the concentration of power. "If the Executive Branch can determine policy, and then use the power of the purse to mandate compliance with that policy by the state and local governments, all without the authorization or even acquiescence of elected legislators, that check against tyranny is forsaken." Chicago, 888 F.3d at 277. Because that is what Defendants attempted to do here by imposing the three challenged conditions, these conditions violate the separation of powers.

Judge Ramos also follows several previous rulings in holding that 8 USC Section 1373 is unconstitutional because it violates Tenth Amendment constraints on federal "commandeering" of state and local governments and in that respect runs afoul of the Supreme Court's recent decision in in Murphy v. NCAA, which invalidated a federal law barring states from "authorizing" sports gambling under state law. I explained in greater detail how the Murphy decision undermines Section 1373 and otherwise helps sanctuary cities here, here, and here.

While Judge Ramos' ruling breaks little new ground, it is significant because it applies to a case brought by seven states (New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington state and Virginia), and New York City. It therefore blocks the Trump policy over a wide range of jurisdictions, more than any of the previous decisions against the policy. The ruling also adds to the growing judicial consensus that this policy is unconstitutional, and that Section 1373 violates the anti-commandeering principle.

As Judge Ramos emphasizes, the sanctuary cases have important implications for federalism and separation of powers that go far beyond the specific context of immigration policy. If the administration were to prevail, the executive would have the power to circumvent congressional control over federal funds and use grant conditions to pressure state and local on a wide range of issues. Conservatives who might be happy to see the Trump administration wield such power against sanctuary cities are unlikely to cheer if a future Democratic administration use the same type of leverage to force red state and local governments to adopt liberal policies on issues like education, gun control, and transgender bathroom access. Fortunately, however, the courts have prevented the administration from getting away with this particular power grab, and that pattern seems likely to hold.

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  • dwshelf||

    So no mention of Judge Ramos' pedigree.

    Hmm.

  • ||

    If he's like most of the blacks and Hispanics at Harvard, his LSAT and GPA was probably more in line what you'd expect at Cooley.

  • James Pollock||

    Ah, somebody's still stinging because he couldn't get into Cooley.

  • James Pollock||

    "So no mention of Judge Ramos' pedigree."

    Nominated and confirmed to the federal bench.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    Yale and Harvard

  • NToJ||

    Jeff Sessions voted for him.

  • ||

    "Judge Ramos." Enough side

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Ramos? What? A Mexican?

    When Mexico sends its judges, you know, they're not sending their best. They're sending judges that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with them. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

    Carry on, bigoted clingers. Not for much longer, though. Your betters have different plans.

  • ||

    You realize that white men keep this country running, don't you?

  • apedad||

    How many white man have given birth?

  • regexp||

    You realize that white men keep this country running, don't you?

    That explains all the current issues with this country.

  • James Pollock||

    Now, now, they've promised to make America great again, if we'll pretend they weren't the ones who made it NOT great.

  • ||

    Most of those issues stem from our third world population. New Hampshire is doing mighty well.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So it was illiterate Guatemalans who created the welfare state and decided to invaide Middle Eastern countries? Huh.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeffy, you really are the poster child for crib death.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    You realize that most white men have little patience with bigots like you, don't you?

  • ||

    Truth hurt?

  • James Pollock||

    Doesn't seem to bother you when it keeps biting you, so I'm guessing no, truth doesn't hurt.

  • DjDiverDan||

    "Your betters have different plans."

    Not MY betters. Yours, maybe. But then that wouldn't be a high bar.

  • James Pollock||

    The problem is that the guy who makes the plans isn't much of anyone's better. Oh, sure, he has the BEST plans. Plans you wouldn't believe how great they're going to be.

    If talking about having great plans was the same thing as actually having great plans, we'd be all set.

  • Eric VonSalzen||

    It seems to me that the Republicans could create a good issue for 2020 if they proposed legislation that conditions receipt of federal $$$ on the kind of cooperation the feds were asking for in these cases. The Democrat House wouldn't dare pass such a bill, but it could appeal to a lot of reasonable people who don't like scofflaws. Have to be careful not to make it retroactive, though.

  • regexp||

    a lot of reasonable people who don't like scofflaws

    I would take a undocumented immigrant over any American any day of the week. They work hard, they are motivated, they are less likely to commit a crime, and they actually want to be here.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "I would take a undocumented immigrant over any American any day of the week. "

    You share that sentiment with Bill Kristol, congrats.

    Dissolve the people and elect a new one

  • ||

    The rest is opinion based, but the crime line is a complete lie.

  • KevinP||

    Census confirms: 63 percent of 'non-citizens' on welfare, 4.6 million households


    Quotes:
    A majority of "non-citizens," including those with legal green card rights, are tapping into welfare programs set up to help poor and ailing Americans, a Census Bureau finding that bolsters President Trump's concern about immigrants costing the nation.

    In a new analysis of the latest numbers, from 2014, 63 percent of non-citizens are using a welfare program, and it grows to 70 percent for those here 10 years or more, confirming another concern that once immigrants tap into welfare, they don't get off it.


    While most new legal immigrants (green card holders) are barred from most welfare programs, as are illegal immigrants and temporary visitors, these provisions have only a modest impact on non-citizen household use rates because: 1) most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify; 2) the bar does not apply to all programs, nor does it always apply to non-citizen children; 3) some states provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; and, most importantly, 4) non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship and full welfare eligibility at birth.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Conflating non-citizens and illegals, eh?

    Your bolded paragraph is so full of 'most' 'not all' 'some' 'can' that it says nothing!

  • ||

    There's no conflation. I have always opposed third-world immigration, whether legal or illegal. 85 IQ mestizos are a problem whether they have a green card or not.

  • James Pollock||

    "There's no conflation. I have[...]"

    That's funny. The post with the conflating in it has someone else's name on it, not yours. Are you two different people?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Funny isn't it?

    Whenever there is a story that purports to show that immigrants aren't terrible people, the nativist crowd is quick to point out that it conflated legal and illegal immigrants.

    But whenever there is a story that purports to show that immigrants are immoral monsters, then no attempt is made to try to distinguish between who has the correct papers and who doesn't. They're all bad!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    This story doesn't purport to show that immigrants are immoral monsters. Just that they have a high rate of being on welfare.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Huh, that's interesting. I guess that is why that the study consistently does not make proper comparisons between groups of people in order to present a distorted picture of what immigrants are like.

    This is their headline:
    "63% of Non-Citizen Households Access Welfare Programs
    Compared to 35% of native households"

    This is a MEANINGLESS comparison. It is lying with numbers. Of COURSE a higher proportion of immigration households will be eligible for welfare programs - because they are on average poorer, and have lower education levels, than native-born households. CIS has an anti-immigration agenda and they produce unjust comparisons in order to cast immigrants in as negative of a light as possible.

    Using their own numbers, it would have been equally correct to state:

    "There are ten times as many native-born households using welfare as there are immigrant households using welfare"

    which would have put native-born welfare recipients in a negative light, but that would have also been a misleading comparison, simply because there are more native-born households than there are immigrant households.

    That is why I chastise CIS for what they did. They deliberately lie with numbers.

  • James Pollock||

    When I was a youngster, my dad handed me a copy of "How to Lie With Statistics" to read.

  • Life of Brian||

    Of COURSE a higher proportion of immigration households will be eligible for welfare programs - because they are on average poorer, and have lower education levels, than native-born households.

    Why do you feel this is inevitable? I agree that what you say accurately reflects the results of the last several decades of immigration policy, but different policy choices would by definition result in a different outcome.
  • James Pollock||

    "Why do you feel this is inevitable?"

    Let's tackle this in a couple of prongs.
    Illegal immigrants aren't allowed to lawfully seek employment in the United States, and people who are unemployed tend to be poorer than average. They're also ineligible for most welfare, but, if they don't like the deal they get here, they can move along.

    So, sticking to lawful immigrants, there are several factors at work.
    First, managing to be here lawfully means complying with all the regulations and laws regarding obtaining lawful residence, which implies assistance by legal professionals, and consequently, legal fees, on top of the regular old fees for filing all the paperwork. It's not cheap to move here legally.

    Then, many of the people who ARE here legally are supporting others who aren't here.

    Then, many immigrants have larger families than average for natives of non-Utah states. More dependents means less wealth accumulation.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'd just go with world history.

    Immigrants have statistically always been poor.

    We can try and stand against that tide, but there is no guarantee that would be a successful or worthwhile policy.

  • Life of Brian||

    We can try and stand against that tide, but there is no guarantee that would be a successful or worthwhile policy.

    It's guaranteed not to be successful if we don't try. And if it's not "worthwhile" to take steps to prospective immigrants for financial wherewithal in an effort to prevent a disproportionate number of them from ending up on the public dole, that word has lost all meaning.

  • James Pollock||

    " if it's not "worthwhile" to take steps to prospective immigrants for financial wherewithal in an effort to prevent a disproportionate number of them from ending up on the public dole, that word has lost all meaning."

    If your complaint is actually about the public dole, and it seems to be, why not fix THAT, instead?

  • Life of Brian||

    All your points seem to be reiterating why the results of current immigration policy are what they presently are. Again, my question is why you feel that must be the outcome regardless of policy choices.

  • Sarcastr0||

    The outcome you seek is myopic - having only immigrants with 'financial wherewithal' is assumed to be good by you. I'm unconvinced - financial wherewithal is a poor proxy for merit, and people getting entitlements aren't necessarily a net drain on society.

    Particularly illegals, who are less likely to get entitlements and more likely to be working near slave wages off the books. That's a humanitarian horrorshow, but not one that's at all addressed by your proposed policy.

  • James Pollock||

    "financial wherewithal is a poor proxy for merit"

    Are you suggesting that the President isn't the bestest businessman ever?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeffy, you will take any opportunity, even lying, to twist things around to benefit your open borders arguments. You do not argue logically, honestly, or in good faith.

    This is why you ar hated here, and also why I refuse to show you the slightest respect or consideration. You do not deserve it.

  • James Pollock||

    "Jeffy, you will take any opportunity, even lying, to twist things around to benefit your open borders arguments."

    There doesn't seem to be an open border argument in any of "jeff"'s comments.

  • kramartini||

    Please use the correct nomenclature: "illegal alien"...

  • James Pollock||

    E.T. went home.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    You probably would be surprised at how many scofflaws only hate people who scoff at other laws; their own chosen scoffable laws are eminently scoffable.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And then its reversed by the SCOTUS.

    Similar pattern here and some 'lawyers' think its good precedent by lower courts.

  • James Pollock||

    The thing about wishful thinking is when you talk about it before it happens, you look kind of silly.

  • OldCurmudgeon||

    President Obama taught the proper technique is to use selective waivers. That is, find some existing onerous requirement and waive it for any cities that play nice.

  • James Pollock||

    Or, you know, do it yourself if you want it done.

    Immigration is, Constitutionally, exclusively a federal issue. So if you want to deport most of the illegals (rather than, say, wanting to TALK ABOUT deporting most of the illegals) all you need to do is:

    1) get Congress to authorize more people to hear deportation hearings.

    2) staff up and train those positions.

    3) feed the hopper. With enough hearings available to actually make a dent in the population of illegals, the enforcement staff can start taking more illegals into custody and scheduling their hearings.

    4) Oops. We're going to need more places to house the people waiting for their hearings. Get Congress to authorize that, and get those facilities built and staffed up.

    5) Fend off efforts to starve the effort by under-funding the operation.

    6) Continue rounding up and shipping out the illegals as fast as you can.

    7) Bask in the economic benefits of all this activity. They bought or rented property to put hearing rooms and detention centers in, bullt up the detention facilities, and employed thousands and thousands of Americans.

    8) Deficit, what deficit? Deficits don't matter.

  • KevinP||

    Speaking of economic benefits, we would likely come out ahead:

    Census confirms: 63 percent of 'non-citizens' on welfare, 4.6 million households


    Quotes and charts:
    A majority of non-citizens are tapping into welfare programs set up to help poor and ailing Americans, a Census Bureau finding that bolsters President Trump's concern about immigrants costing the nation.

    In a new analysis of the latest numbers, from 2014, 63 percent of non-citizens are using a welfare program, and it grows to 70 percent for those here 10 years or more, confirming another concern that once immigrants tap into welfare, they don't get off it.


    While most new legal immigrants (green card holders) are barred from most welfare programs, as are illegal immigrants and temporary visitors, these provisions have only a modest impact on non-citizen household use rates because: 1) most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify; 2) the bar does not apply to all programs, nor does it always apply to non-citizen children; 3) some states provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; and, most importantly, 4) non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship and full welfare eligibility at birth.

  • James Pollock||

    I have a hunch (just a hunch, mind you) that whoever put this "63%" figure together has used the broadest possible definition of "welfare", and included things like 4th-graders get into national parks for free, and people over 65 get reduced mass-transit fares, rather than what most people would call "welfare".
    Considering that the census happens every ten years, last in 2010, it seems odd that their numbers are "confirming President Trump's concern" about anything.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    The study is from the Center for Immigration Studies, so your hunch is correct.
    If you actually look at their numbers, you'll see that the vast majority of the welfare that they are citing, constitutes (a) school lunch programs, and (b) Medicaid. It isn't welfare queens sitting on the sofa watching Oprah all day.

    They want to push a narrative that immigrants are morally inferior people and they are using biased and misleading headlines to do it.

  • Auditpop||

    Fine businesses who hire illegal immigrants. Make the fines onerous for repeat offenders. Don't allow illegal immigrants access to government programs. Presto chango

  • James Pollock||

    Sure. Let's go all Texas on them, and give the ones who are corporations the corporate death penalty, involuntary dissolution.

    The problem with illegals with citizen children remains... the illegals aren't eligible for government assistance, but the children are.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, the basic problem here, and it's been evident for several decades, is that Congress is forced by public opinion to have immigration laws, but most members of Congress don't LIKE those laws politics forced them to enact.

    So they purposely make them very difficult to effectively enforce.

    The public perception of this conflict is part of what led to Trump being elected. But it turns out there's only so much he can do while a majority in Congress are still trying to make sure the laws they enacted don't get enforced.

    I don't see this ending well; The pressure to secure the borders is just going to keep mounting, along with public frustration, and demagogues will be elected to do what statesmen refuse to. Eventually things will get really ugly when the public decides they need to actually reverse the results of deliberate under-enforcement, not just stop it going forward.

    All a product of politicians who only pretended to comply with the voters' expressed desire for secure borders.

  • Sarcastr0||

    No need to assume bad faith.

    Byzantine laws are oftentimes caused by two opposing coalitions never bargaining but always taking what little victories over one another that they can. So you get exceptions to the exceptions and that sort of thing. See habeas corpus and 4th Amendment for other examples.

    Lots of populous issues have waxed and waned even as their advocates (sincerely) foresaw the only way through was unrest. Immigration itself has been on that exact pendulum a couple of times at least.

  • James Pollock||

    It's certainly true that neither party wants to tackle the problem alone, and neither party wants to team up with the other party on much of anything. That's how you get the can kicked so far down the road.

    The reason illegals keep coming here is because conditions here, even as an illegal, are better than they are where they were. Any "solution" to illegal immigration that doesn't address that fact head on is doomed to fail.

    Here's a solution that would work:
    Change the rules about cash to require that any cash transaction over $10 requires filing a form with the government, and allow the government to track the flow of cash through the economy for all transactions over $10. We do this now, except the threshold is $10,000, not $10. If the government can track cash transactions of $10, it becomes impractical to pay illegals under the table in cash. Guess what... you also hit human trafficking and drug trafficking pretty hard, too. Sure, there's a tiny invasion of privacy of pretty much everyone in America, but it's worth it... right?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I've always said require a minimum wage and benefits for everyone, regardless of status. Enforce that, and it'd take away the incentive to hire illegals.

    Our economy would take a bit of a hit, but worth it to not be built on the back of exploiting a literal hated undercaste.

  • James Pollock||

    "I've always said require a minimum wage and benefits for everyone, regardless of status. Enforce that, and it'd take away the incentive to hire illegals."

    Well, except that the sort of person who'd hire illegals despite it being illegal to hire illegals might ALSO be the sort of person to not comply with wage and hour laws.

  • Sarcastr0||

    That's what's happening now.

    But if we stop deporting illegals who reports wage abuse, and spend like half of our border control budget on business enforcement, you'd see a helluva shift.

  • James Pollock||

    You're suggesting taking the side of the brown furriner over the side of the white American. Can you see why your idea isn't getting everyone behind it? Because I think I can.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Haha, yep!

    But the only realistic change I see is the status quo, only marginally more or less cruel so dealing in political realities is boring and depressing.

  • James Pollock||

    "But the only realistic change I see is the status quo"

    You must be joking. Several strategies not only exist, but fit on a bumper sticker!

    Build the wall. Deport the Illegals. Heil der Trumpenfuhrer.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Or just build a wall so most of them can't get in.

  • James Pollock||

    That didn't work in the past, when the Chinese tried it. It isn't working now, with the Koreans trying it. What makes you think it works for us in the future?

  • Eddy||

    The executive has to spend what Congress appropriates, even if the appropriation is for a Sanctimony - I mean Sanctuary - City. If the President doesn't like the spending, he can veto the spending bill.

  • OldCurmudgeon||

    The wrinkle is that the modern Congress doesn't really appropriate money sufficient detail. for example "$10 million on mightnight basketball" doesn't tell you which specific cities.

  • James Pollock||

    I bet if you look closer, you'll find that the appropriation for midnight basketball not only specifies the cities, but also, by coincidence, the cities are located in the districts of the sponsors of the bill.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    I don't think liberals recognize the irony of using the rule of law to support the absolute lawless actions of so called "sanctuary cities" which support the actions of illegals that are also breaking the law, but I digress.

    We all know that these decisions are political and made by Obama judges. I doubt any will survive appellate review.

  • Sarcastr0||

    using the rule of law to support the absolute lawless actions
    The worship of the power of the Federal Government by the new conservative still seems strange to me.

    We all know that these decisions are political and made by Obama judges
    Ad-hominem sour grapes are something I've become quite used to, though.

  • James Pollock||

    "The worship of the power of the Federal Government by the new conservative still seems strange to me."

    It shouldn't. It's not a recent development. They like to talk about limiting the federal government when they aren't running it, then make it bigger when they are running it.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Actually the enforcement of immigration law is a lawful exercise of federal authority and the courts have held that the federal government has the exclusive authority to do so. So stick that in your sarcastic pipe and smoke it.

  • James Pollock||

    "Actually the enforcement of immigration law is a lawful exercise of federal authority"

    It is.

    Commandeering non-federal resources to do so, however, is not.
    The Constitution places authority for immigration law exclusively at the federal level. It is a function of the federal government, and is not permitted of the states.

  • ||

    They also applauded Governor Newsom (then mayor of SF) when he gave illegal marriage licenses to deviant men in anal sex based relationships.

  • James Pollock||

    Cool. What do you have to do to get licensed for an illegal marriage?

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Yeah but if some sheriff starting passing out gun permits against state law saying because she just said "state gun laws violate the second amendment" liberal would call for him to be publicly hung.

    Gavin Newsom taking illegal lawless actions that liberals agree with = good.

    Reverse that liberals may disagree with like enforcing immigration law = bad.

  • ||

    Exactly. They're completely full of sh*t. They approve of anything that undermines traditional Western society. Third world immigrants fit that bill.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Here is the answer. Liberals are moral relativists. They have no morals or beliefs other then this strange sense of "equality" and that they are bad people because of something someone did centuries ago for which they must atone.

    This is why I don't trust liberals. I won't do business with a liberal. And I rarely associate with a liberal. They will stab you in back if it further their perverted ideology.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    This is also why they're ideology, for what it is, is so attractive to sociopaths.

  • James Pollock||

    "I don't think liberals recognize the irony of using the rule of law to support the absolute lawless actions of so called "sanctuary cities""

    I don't think you have a clue what a "sanctuary city" is or why they exist.

    "We all know that these decisions are political and made by Obama judges."

    You should have read the article instead of just the headline. You'd have found the part that said "The administration has repeatedly lost these cases in multiple courts around the country, and before both Democratic and Republican-appointed judges."

    Then, maybe apply just the smallest amount of critical thought to the notion that "Obama judges" are somehow different from other judges... they all got confirmed by the Senate. Who controlled the Senate for most of Obama's tenure as President?

    " I doubt any will survive appellate review."

    Care to place a wager?

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    I don't think you understand what the "rule of law" means.

    And we all know that being an Obama judge does not have anything to do with party affiliation. Even though the Republicans controlled the Senate for most of the Obama reign of terror doesn't mean they didn't have to cut deals at times. You know an Obama judge when you read his politically motivated rulings not by party affiliation.

    As far as surviving review, I'll do you a favor and not offer to take your money. But even if we did make a lawful wager you probably just wouldn't pay up because you know you would just call it "unlawful" or something like that.

  • James Pollock||

    "I don't think you understand what the "rule of law" means."

    Must not have covered that while I was earning a doctorate in law.

    "As far as surviving review, I'll do you a favor and not offer to take your money. But even if we did make a lawful wager you probably just wouldn't pay up because you know you would just call it "unlawful" or something like that."

    It took you an awful lot of words to say you were a chicken.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    The guy who thinks it is fine to ignore laws he doesn't like calls me a chicken for thinking he will renege on a lawful deal. hahahahhahahhahhaha

  • James Pollock||

    "The guy who thinks it is fine to ignore laws he doesn't like calls me a chicken"

    With two of us now calling you a chicken, maybe you should pick up the clue.

  • M.L.||

    "Like the other courts, Judge Ramos concluded that all three conditions are unconstitutional because none of them were authorized by Congress"

    Wrong! The other court actually admitted that the 1373 condition was authorized by Congress. The Obama administration admitted this, too -- though they had not enforced it.

    Here, Ramos holds that the statutory provision requiring applicants to certify compliance with "all other applicable federal laws" is too ambiguous. It is ambiguous, according to Ramos, because "all" might really mean "some" of the federal laws applicable the applicant. Namely, those certain laws which imposed blanket conditions on all federal grants, i.e. the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    The opinion concludes that "it is unclear from the statutory language whether Congress intended to condition . . funds on compliance with all federal laws applicable to the state or locality or with all federal laws applicable to federal grants."

    But whether Congress intended it isn't the issue. The first issue is whether Congress said it. And they did.

    Finally -- let's not forget that the constitutionality of 1373 as a stand alone requirement is separate from the constitutionality of 1373 as a funding condition.

  • Eddy||

    Congressional intent is to vote how the leadership or their aides tell them to vote, while nursing a hangover from the previous night's whisky-and-cocaine bender and looking forward to going back home to their mistresses.

    But perhaps I'm overgeneralizing.

  • mad_kalak||

    "But perhaps I'm overgeneralizing."

    Not by much....

  • Sarcastr0||

    I've worked on the Hill. Staffers have some fun still, but when it comes to members he's off by 30 years at least.

    I think we need to bring back booze to the Hill, myself.

  • James Pollock||

    Maybe don't re-elect that guy, then.

  • mad_kalak||

    You guys need to have your sense of humor examined to make sure it's still intact and working.

  • James Pollock||

    Or somebody needs to bring some humor to this thread.

  • M.L.||

    A good illustration of why we look at what the law says, rather than surmising about what Congress may have "intended." That's just a way for the court to arrive at its desired result, i.e. Trump bad.

  • Sarcastr0||

    No one thinks stopping at blind reading of the words makes for good laws, ML.

    Your selective adherence to such a standard is outcome-oriented. As is underlined by your conclusion of bad faith because the judge used the completely normal doctrine of looking at legislative intent.

  • M.L.||

    The judge actually didn't "look at legislative intent" at all. He simply imagined that maybe the legislature intended something other than what the law says. And while this isn't a question of what "makes for good laws," there's nothing wrong with this law or with interpreting it as written. It's not like a case where it doesn't make any sense as written.

  • Sarcastr0||

    So your scenario is that this judge, and the other judges who have ruled the same way, aren't just disagreeing with you. No, they are too wrong for that - instead, their decisions prove they are all so partisan they're making up law.
    =====
    Words are crap at communicating, any bit of meaning helps. Even contract law realizes this, with a bunch of doctrines based on assumed intent of the parties.

    Even Scalia allowed that you can't stop at the four corners of the statutory text.

    I cannot believe someone educated as you are can be of the consistent philosophy that anything but statutory textualism is illegitimate. But it is a convenient argument to use to argue against this particular result...Not saying conscious bad faith, but check to see you're being consistent, and practicable.

  • James Pollock||

    When you aren't actually in charge of finding, creating, building, or implementing real solutions, you don't HAVE to be consistent.

  • M.L.||

    Actually the main judge who has issued opinions on the matter, Judge Orrick, did agree with me on this issue. So did the plaintiffs in that case. So did the Obama administration. Ramos is the only one I've seen with this particular stance on this issue.

    I leave open the issue of bad faith or partisan bias. But it's more likely than not.

    Your argument is completely off-base, and makes me wonder whether you read the opinion. The judge didn't make any sort of compelling case about what Congress intended. Instead, he distorted the plain meaning of the statute to conclude that the text itself was ambiguous, and then buttressed his conclusion with irrelevant statements about Congressional intent.

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