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Judge Blocks DOJ Sanctuary City Policy

Judge Blocks DOJ Sanctuary City Policy

“The Department of Justice will continue to fully enforce existing law and to defend lawful and reasonable grant conditions”

Friday, a federal judge granted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel his request for an injunction on a Justice Department advisory. In March, Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference where he reiterated current federal regulations requiring local law enforcement officials to communicate with federal officials on certain immigration matters. Failure to do so, he explained, could result in loss of federal funding.

Last month, Emanuel requested an injunction on DOJ policy.

U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber issued the opinion which could impact DOJ policy nationwide.

From the WaPo:

A federal judge on Friday blocked the Justice Department from withholding grant funds from places that do not provide immigration authorities access to local jails or give advance notice when suspected illegal immigrants are to be released — dealing a major blow to the Trump administration’s vowed crackdown on sanctuary cities.

U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber in Illinois wrote in a 41-page opinion that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had probably exceeded his lawful authority when he imposed new conditions on particular law enforcement grants, requiring recipients to give immigration authorities access to jails and notice when suspected illegal immigrants are to be released.

The judge blocked Sessions from implementing the conditions not just on the city of Chicago — which had sued over the matter — but also across the nation, writing that there was “no reason to think that the legal issues present in this case are restricted to Chicago or that the statutory authority given to the Attorney General would differ in another jurisdiction.”

His ruling follows an order from another federal judge in California blocking President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities.

The DOJ is unmoved. Their statement (from Bloomberg):

“The Department of Justice will continue to fully enforce existing law and to defend lawful and reasonable grant conditions that seek to protect communities and law enforcement,” according to the statement from Devin O’Malley, a spokesman.

Mary blogged about the complaint last month:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to withhold federal funding from the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant towards cities that consider them sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. The program “is the leading source of federal funding to state and local jurisdictions.” The website states:

The JAG Program provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives and mental health programs and related law enforcement and corrections programs, including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams.

Sessions wants the cities to comply “with a federal law that bars restrictions on local police sharing immigration status information, providing unlimited police station access to federal officials searching for people in the country illegally and giving federal officials 48 hours’ notice of an arrested person’s release in cases of potential immigration violations.”

He stated in July that the sanctuary city policies “make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes.”


Chicago v Sessions Opinion on Sanctuary City Funding by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

Emanuel’s request for injunction:

Read Emanuel Requests Injunction Over Threat To Defund Sanctuary Cities by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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they HAVE to dispense grants? WTF is the judge smoking?

    Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | September 16, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Yes, they have to dispense the grants that Congress has legislated. Why would you think they don’t have to? Congress did not authorise Sessions to impose new conditions on these grants. Further, even if it had done so, I doubt it has the authority to do so, since even Congress itself may only impose conditions that are unambiguous, and only on new programs; its authority to impose even clear conditions on existing programs is limited.

      artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | September 16, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Ambiguity in legislation is routinely interpreted as the Executive chooses. This is sometimes but not always codified in regulation. Congress’ inability to be so specific is a reason for that power to be left to the Executive, as it is in practice.

        Milhouse in reply to artichoke. | September 17, 2017 at 12:04 am

        You have completely missed the point. If Congress wishes impose conditions on the funding it provides for states and their subsidiaries, it must make them unambiguous. If it does not, the conditions are unconstitutional.

        Congress is also limited in what conditions it may impose — even unambiguously — on existing funding.

          redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | September 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

          as usual, you’re the one missing the point, Milhouse: the DOJ doesn’t have to do squat.

          granted, someone might be able to force them to rescind a denial, but if they simply refuse to make a determination on all applications from a “sanctuary” entity (city/count/state/whatever), or if they simply hand out all the $$ budgeted for the year before they get to those applications, there is SFA anyone can do about it.

          their applications haven’t been denied, but rather are still “undergoing evaluation”, or some other bureaucratic bullshit phrase.

          you know, kind of like how the VA treats vets: sit on our files for years, refusing to do anything, then asking for the same documents again and again, or claiming we’ve submitted nothing new, or, as in my case, telling me for 13 years that i wasn’t even a vet and that i should just FOAD.

          anything good enough for those of us who have actually served and sacrificed for this country is certainly good enough for the illegals and the criminal scum who aid & abet their invasion of America.

      Robert Arvanitis in reply to Milhouse. | September 18, 2017 at 7:33 am

      We have powerful precedents. I am assured President Trump has both a phone and a pen. In fact several. And he was elected to undo the damage of a failed community organizer.

What is so sad is that the plaintiffs need to only find one among the hundreds (perhaps there even 1000) of District Courts Judges to find one to agree and, bingo, they have a nationwide decision. If you went to 100 judges, maybe 90 of them would decline to issue the injunction, but the one who will ends up overruling all the others. And it seems way too easy to find one judge somewhere so every single thing the Trump adminstrtion tries will be stopped indefinitely.

The fact that this is total BS is clearly evidenced by the fact that the judge took 41 PAGES to attempt to justify why the DOJ can not penalize a state government or one of its subordinates for essentially obstructing federal agents in the performance of their duties.

The City of Chicago has NO authority to decide which federal laws it can assist federal authorities in enforcing and which it can obstruct federal authorities from enforcing.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | September 16, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    No. You’re wrong as hell. No city or state can be compelled to use it’s resources to enforce federal laws.

    You don’t know jack about the law or history.

    One of the big reasons the Volstead Act failed in the U.S. was that local LEOs just would not enforce it. It wasn’t a matter of corruption (usually). It was a matter of resource allocation and priorities.

    Look it up, and learn to opine from a position of facts.

      redc1c4 in reply to Ragspierre. | September 16, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      IOW: say things i agree with, or i’ll down vote you and throw a hissy fit.

      DOJ doesn’t HAVE to give the grants, and, as long as they don’t reject the application, but just continue to consider it, there’s nothing these scum, or you, can do about it but whine.

      the judge is full of 5hit and we all know it. it’s just that you agree with his policy goal, and that of the scum who filed this BS case.

        Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | September 16, 2017 at 10:57 pm

        Yes, DOJ does have to give the grants. Even Congress itself would be limited in its ability to cut them off or impose new conditions on them, but certainly DOJ can’t do this on its own.

        If you have some substantive objection to any part of the decision, feel free to make it. But I’ll bet you never even bothered to read it.

        Ragspierre in reply to redc1c4. | September 17, 2017 at 8:40 am

        Well, no, honey.

        Make a didactic WRONG statement as FACT when you don’t know jack-shit about what you’re saying, and I will push that back with equal force.

          and there is the hissy fit, right on time.

          you are SO predictable…

          and still wrong, as usual.

          will you now escalate to foot stomping, or go straight to holding your breath?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 17, 2017 at 2:22 pm

          Why, no, sweet lips.

          Two questions…

          1. how am I “wrong”?

          2. how was anything I wrote a “hissy fit”?

          Seems like you are the hissy here.

      This is not about cities or states ENFORCING federal immigration laws. State and local LEAs have NO AUTHORITY to enforce any federal law, only state laws or local ordinances. However, they, just as is the case with any resident of the US, may not actively obstruct the enforcement of federal laws by federal agents. And, further, under their oath of office, almost every single LEO and elected official in this country swears to UPHOLD the laws of the United States of America. If a LEO has knowledge of a violation of law, be it local state or federal, he is duty bound, usually codified in departmental R&R, to notify the agency having jurisdiction in the matter.

      What is happening here is that various states, counties and cities are officially directing their LEOs to obstruct the enforcement of federal immigration laws when those same LEOs have knowledge that they are being violated. Not honoring federal detention requests is acceptable, if there is no court order to do so, as this could constitute unauthorized enforcement of a federal law by a state or local LEO. However, notification of a federal LEA of the identity and whereabouts of a person known to be in, or suspected of, violation of federal law acceptable. Any resident of the USA can do this, legally.

      The thing about federal LE grants is that they usually have a clause where the grant is dependent upon the cooperation of the receiving jurisdiction with federal authorities in the enforcement of federal law. This the case with this grant. And, it is telling that the City of Chicago’s main defense for their actions is that they CANNOT provide information as to the immigration status of people whom they have in custody or with whom they come into contact. The reason for this is that the City’s WCO specifically prohibits its LEOs from inquiring as to immigration status.

      It further instructs its employees to specifically IGNORE any lawful, legitimate federal LE inquiries into status current status of person’s known to be in violation of federal law.. That constitutes willful obstruction of a federal agent in the performance of his duty as well as aiding and abetting a suspected federal violator. This is the law that the City of Chicago is violating, by its blanket prohibition against assisting federal LEA with immigration law. And, that law is binding upon the City and its officers.

        See, for example:
        8 U.S.C. §1373 prohibits states and local jurisdictions from preventing their law enforcement officials from exchanging information with federal officials on the citizenship status of individuals they have arrested or detained. The Supreme Court upheld this provision in 2012 in Arizona v. United States.”

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | September 16, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    You’re wrong on both counts. First, the decision’s length and thoroughness is completely normal and expected no matter which way it came down. If the judge had issued a 2-page rejection, as you imply he should have, he’d be guilty of incompetence and malfeasance.

    Second, it is an absolutely fundamental principle of our federal republic that States and their subsidiaries have the inalienable right to refuse to assist federal officers in enforcing federal laws they don’t like. They did not have to help enforce the fugitive slave laws, prohibition, or the Brady law, and they don’t have to help enforce immigration laws. (and while this judge seems not to think so, precedent from the days of the fugitive slave laws says they have the right to forbid their officers from rendering such assistance even voluntarily.)

      tom swift in reply to Milhouse. | September 17, 2017 at 12:53 am

      it is an absolutely fundamental principle of our federal republic that States and their subsidiaries have the inalienable right to refuse to assist federal officers in enforcing federal laws they don’t like.

      Which is superficial. This case is about federal money, not assistance by state employees.

        Milhouse in reply to tom swift. | September 17, 2017 at 3:54 am

        I’m not sure what you mean by “superficial”, but it’s on topic because Mac45 specifically denied it, and my reply was directed at that denial.

        It’s also on topic because the case is about conditions attached to federal money for the specific purpose of compelling assistance by state employees. True, the injunction doesn’t rest on the underlying constitutional issue but on the more concrete issue that Sessions has no legal authority to attach these conditions. In other words even if they are constitutional, they’re illegal.

        Note that only two of the three conditions Sessions imposed were enjoined. The judge found that Sessions likely does have authority for the third condition, or at least doesn’t clearly lack it, so he didn’t enjoin that one.

      C. Lashown in reply to Milhouse. | September 17, 2017 at 4:56 am

      “guilty of incompetence and malfeasance” = 5hit fire man! That’s pure heresy! It’s nigh impossible, and even if it was how could anyone tell the difference from what we’re seeing now? Would lawlessness increase in ‘Death City’, would illegal aliens flood the workplace, etc.

      That right went away in 1865. And you know it.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | September 17, 2017 at 9:11 am

        No, it most certainly did not, and if you don’t know that then you’re too ignorant to comment on the entire topic of federalism.

      Let me take your points in order.

      The judge goes on at extreme length over minutiae and inapplicable points, while simply ignoring the applicable City actions which constitute breach of contract. He goes on, at length, concerning the fact that the City can not abide by the 48 hour notification stipulation for incarcerated persons, as it does not operate any long-term detention facilities. This could have been handled in two SENTENCES. As the City does not have the means to comply with that stipulation, then it is a moot point, unless the DOJ actually uses it to illustrate a breach of contract.

      Then we have the fact that the judge simply ignores the fact that the WCO, as written, requires the employees of the City of Chicago to violate federal law.

      ” The current version of the WCO contains four key provisions relevant to this lawsuit:
      First , subject to exceptions for detainees who are suspected of serious crimes, have serious criminal histories, or are identified as known gang members, the WCO prohibits City officials “while on duty” from “expend[ing] their time responding to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”)] inquiries . . . regarding a person’s custody status or release date.”
      RJN Ex. E (current WCO), § 2-173-042.
      Second, subject to those same exceptions, the WCO prohibits City officials from “permit[ting] ICE agents access to a person being detained by, or in the custody of, the agency or agent” or “permit[ting] ICE agents use of agency facilities for investigative interviews or other investigative purpose.”
      As noted, these restrictions on the City’s cooperation with ICE do not apply if a detainee is suspected or convicted of a serious crime or is a known gang member.
      Third, the WCO prohibits City officials from “request[ing] information about or otherwise investigat[ing] or assist[ing] in the investigation of the citizenship or immigration status of any person unless such inquiry or investigation is required by Illinois State Statute, federal regulation, or court decision.”
      See id.
      § 2-173-020.
      Fourth, except when “otherwise provided under applicable federal law,” “required . . . by legal process,” or with written permission, the WCO prohibits City officials from “disclos[ing] . . . [the] immigration status of any person.”
      See id.
      § 2-173-030″

      As noted this ordinance directs City employees NOT to assist federal agents in the enforcement of federal laws and, further, directs them to specifically obstruct and hinder the investigative authority and efforts of federal LEOs. This, in itself is prima facia evidence of conspiracy to violate federal law. But, the judge chose to ignore this entirely.

      But, it gets even worse. For some odd reason, the judge, who is sworn to uphold the laws of the United States, not only sees nothing wrong with the stated intention of the City to violated federal law, but makes the insane case that by actively aided and abetting the violation of federal law, this somehow makes the City safer.

      Finally, it is irrelevant, under the law, if a party to a contract suffers damages from the enforcement of the provisions of said contract, if said party willfully violates those provisions. This is what the City of Chicago is doing. And, the DOJ, as the agency responsible for administering the contract, is well within its rights to cancel the contract unilaterally for breach of contract.

      This is just another example of judicial activism.

      As to your second point, nowhere, in the Constitution of the Untied States is there any provision for a state to unilaterally refuse to abide by federal law. But, even if such a right may have been implied in 1787, it was largely shown not to exist in 1865. Since that time, the courts have consistently ruled that all federal laws apply to States and theirs subordinate political jurisdictions, unless said law is unconstitutional.

      Now, you are using the argument that states, and lesser jurisdictions, do not have to ENFORCE federal law. This is true. In fact, they are specifically prohibited from doing so, as there is an inherent separation of authority between state governments and the Federal government. However, neither the states, nor their subordinate jurisdictions have any right to VIOLATE federal law. And, the City of Chicago, by its actions under the WCO is doing just that; violating federal law by obstructing the enforcement efforts of federal agents and by aiding and abetting criminal violators.

The cover-up of causes for mass emigration from second and third-world nations, refugees and survivors of Obama’s “clean” wars, and millions of lives deemed unworthy, inconvenient, or profitable in Democratic-operated abortion chambers, continues its rabid progression. It seems we are at the edge of the American Republic and well into the establishment of a neo-National Socialist state.

And the judge will be enforcing his new immigration law exactly how?

    Milhouse in reply to Max17. | September 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    He has no new immigration law. He will be enforcing his injunction the same way every judge does.

      redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | September 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      judges don’t enforce anything: the executive branch does.

      as we saw over the last 8 years, if the executive doesn’t do anything, the judge might as well save their breath.

I like it that Sessions isn’t going to preemptively stop what he’s doing regarding grants, because a court of very doubtful jurisdiction writes a ruling.

There’s no court order requiring the FedGov to issue these grants, nor can there realistically be one.

    Milhouse in reply to artichoke. | September 16, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    He certainly is going to stop, or he’ll find himself in contempt.

      artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | September 17, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      I like to think Sessions doesn’t care too much about that. He’s not going to put the serving AG in jail. And when he’s no longer AG after 8 years, he’ll be too old to do much with.

So you can’t withhold Federal grants.

Whats to stop the DOJ from arresting and charging Politicians, Police Chiefs/Sheriffs, an Police Officers that obstruct justice.

Seems like a much better sollution than having to wait of the Supreme Court!

    Milhouse in reply to Merlin01. | September 16, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    The same thing that stops them from arresting you for being an ignorant dictatorial wannabe-fascist. They cannot arrest people for exercising their constitutional rights. If they do so they are criminals and will promptly be arrested and go to prison for a long time.

      The “constitutional right” to nullify Federal law went away in 1865, to much applause from people like you. If what you said was even remotely still true, any state that wanted to could tell the ATF “We won’t enforce Federal gun laws, and your officers can be treated as kidnappers. We won’t assist you in any manner, including investigating any response the citizens choose to make. After all, laws against killing Federal agents are also Federal laws, and we don’t have to use our resources on those, either.”

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | September 17, 2017 at 9:45 am

        There is no constitutional right to nullify federal law, and nobody involved in this matter claims there is or ever was. No sanctuary city or state has ever supposed there was such a right. Nullification has absolutely nothing to do with this, and the fact that you bring it up demonstrates your stunning ignorance. Forget nullification; it’s completely irrelevant to any issue today.

        States and their subsidiaries absolutely do have the right to refuse to enforce federal laws they don’t like, or to assist the feds in enforcing them. Not only can any state, county, or city that wants to tell the ATF that it won’t enforce Federal gun laws, many routinely do. You seem completely ignorant of the famous case in the Clinton years, when a group of brave county sheriffs refused to conduct the background checks required by the Brady Act, and the Supreme Court upheld their right to do so. You progress from ignorance to idiocy when you continue “and your officers can be treated as kidnappers”. Obviously they cannot do any such thing, and if you are under the delusion that any state or city treats ICE officers as kidnappers then you belong in a padded room.

        And yes, states can refuse to assist the feds in enforcing the law against killing federal officers, but generally it doesn’t come up because the FBI doesn’t want the local yokels getting involved in their case. If the local police like, though, they can investigate it just like any other murder, which is against state and local law.

          Except that nullification is EXACTLY what you’re defending.

          8 U.S.C. §1373 prohibits states and local jurisdictions from preventing their law enforcement officials from exchanging information with federal officials on the citizenship status of individuals they have arrested or detained. The Supreme Court upheld this provision in 2012 in Arizona v. United States.”

So, give a grant of $100. Grant received.

    Milhouse in reply to herm2416. | September 17, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Wrong. People who know nothing about the subject should research it before commenting. DOJ has no discretion over the amount of the grant.

      artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | September 17, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Where does it say in the legislation in unambiguous clear (yet still constitutionally unchallengeable) language that the Sec. of State has absolutely no discretion over the amount of grants?

      Just leaving out that discretion from the text isn’t enough, we know that new text can be assumed by the Executive. Obama did that more than once.

Congress giveth, and Congress can taketh away.

GOPe rats nothwithstanding.

    Not to mention this corrupt leftist sleaseball.

    Which is pretty much what the judge says. What Congress gives, DoJ can’t arbitrarily take away.

    And when Congress isn’t terribly clear on exactly what conditions it imposes on its gifts, it’s not obvious that the Executive can make up for that oversight by imposing its own conditions.

    Seen in that light, the decision isn’t terribly weird. Rather sensible, actually.

    Congress can (usually, but not always) take away what it giveth. This injunction doesn’t question that; the judge rejected (at least at this stage) the city’s constitutional claim. But Jeff Sessions is not Congress. He can not take away what Congress giveth, unless Congress says he can (and not always then). In this case the judge found that Congress does seem to have said he can impose the third challenged condition, but it didn’t say he could impose the first two, so he can’t.

It does seem to be a reasonable condition of Federal law-enforcement grants that they be given to entities who are, in fact, following Federal law.

    Matt_SE in reply to georgfelis. | September 17, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Often there is some lag between Congressional action and local circumstances. If Congress itself had to take care of all the vagaries of enforcing their laws, nothing would ever get done.

    The executive EXECUTES. The president is the spackle that fills in the cracks of our system.

    Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | September 17, 2017 at 4:02 am

    The judge explicitly agreed with you, and further found that Sessions does seem to have statutory authority to impose that condition, so he didn’t enjoin it. So what’s your objection to this decision?

Once again, a rogue judge writing law as they see it, not as it is to be interpreted… Chicago empty city… Illinois broke state.. Effects of demo-rats ignoring the constitution… Obummer rules.

Call the bluff…see what happens.

4th armored div | September 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

it seems to me that DOJ can just lose the paperwork as they have done countless time and/or slow walk cutting the check.

just ask the previous admin.
the DOJ does not need to fight this openly just let the glue of gov’t do it’s usual ‘speedy’ job.
isn’t that right rags ?????