Ed Murray, the Mayor of the city of Seattle, has just launched yet another federal lawsuit against the Trump administration’s threat to withhold federal grants to so-called “sanctuary cities,” citing the 10th Amendment that deals with states’ rights. Murray also took to his bully pulpit to blast the Trump administration’s “war on cities” while simultaneously declaring that Seattle isn’t “breaking any laws” by simply choosing to ignore certain federal mandates. Per NBC News:
“Apparently the Trump administration, their war on facts, has now become a war on cities,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said. He said the goal of the suit is to have a judge declare the order unconstitutional.
“Let me be clear about the facts: We are not breaking any laws and we are prioritizing safety,” Murray said.
Of course, the comments from Murray followed Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ surprise appearance at Sean Spicer’s daily White House press briefing earlier this week to announce that his DOJ would be taking steps to not only require that so-called “sanctuary cities” enforce federal immigration laws but would also be seeking to claw back past DOJ awards granted to those cities if they refuse to certify compliance.
“Today, I’m urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws. Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for DOJ grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition for receiving those awards.”
“This policy is entirely consistent with the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs guidance that was issued just last summer under the previous administration.”
“This guidance requires jurisdictions to comply and certify compliance with Section 1373 in order to be eligible for OJP grants. It also made clear that failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants.”
“The DOJ will also take all lawful steps to claw back any fines awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates Section 1373.”
Meanwhile, Seattle’s AG also decided to chime in:
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said the effects of the executive order have already been felt, with victims in domestic violence cases choosing not to pursue prosecution due to immigration status. He said local governments do not enforce federal immigration laws. Holmes noted that terms like “sanctuary cities” are nebulous and ill defined.
“Instead of the press conferences from Washington, instead of the Tweets from the White House, we want to have a sober statement of the law that can be reassuring to the communities that this is still the rule of law, and it’s still a nation of laws,” he said.
Of course, the snowflake bastion of San Francisco has already filed suit against the Trump administration’s executive order, also citing the 10th Amendment. “This strikes at the heart of established principles of federalism and violates the United States Constitution,” attorneys for the city and county of San Francisco wrote in its complaint. A federal judge set a hearing for the city’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block the executive order for April 14.
Seems like the Trump administration, and few billion dollars in federal taxpayer subsidies, have struck a nerve.