That Damned Constitution Again!

A few days ago, Donald Trump admitted that he has no idea what he is talking about. It is a startling admission from a man who leads the free world. But there you have it.

Am I exaggerating? I think not. Who can forget when candidate Trump was asked what his views on NATO were. Without hesitating, he said it was “obsolete”. He recently admitted had no idea how to answer the question. Now he knows better.  Errr … let’s set aside for a moment that a sane individual might have said that  I will be taking a close look at NATO or something like that. But without any idea what he was talking about, Trump just said, “Burn the house down.”  And now errr … “belay that –  Don’t burn the house down.”

The Marx brothers could not do better.

Which leads us to our current Trump created crisis – whether the Trump Administration can withhold funding from cities that hold themselves out as “sanctuaries”, protecting immigrants from Trump immigration policies. A Federal judge said that doing so would likely violate the constitution.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the order’s enforcement, effectively preventing the administration from pulling federal funds from the sanctuary jurisdictions that sued and others that may likewise feel their federal funding is at risk if they don’t go along with Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.

Trump went on a tweet storm lashing the 9th circuit for this. Errr … except of course that the decision did not come from the 9th circuit.  Again, see what I mean? Why do we even bother listening to this guy?

But here is the weird thing. The judicial order in question actually applies a principle laid down a few years ago by Justice Roberts in the Obamacare case. Roberts articulated a conservative principle that limits federal power to “hold a gun” to local government heads to force them to do the bidding of the feds. And that is exactly what Trump wants to do here.

So here is the question. Assuming Trump appeals to the 9th circuit and then the Supreme Court. What will Roberts day now? And what about our buddy sitting in the stolen seat?

Stay tuned!

BTW, I just heard about the legal argument of the justice department in the district court. The argument was that the president’s order was so vague, it could not be determined if it affected San Fransisco or the other jurisdiction that sued.  Defending on the basis of poor drafting?  That is indeed a new low.

 

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