Things That Matter

Sanctuary Cities Protected By Judge Who Says President’s Executive Order Is Inconsistent With Law

The productivity of President Trump’s first 100 days has come into question quite a bit recently. While it has been an eventful time for the young administration, it has also been served many political defeats. Today, Trump’s administration faced another setback as an executive order that would deny federal funding to sanctuary cities was temporarily blocked, Politico reports. The decision came after both San Francisco and Santa Clara filed lawsuits against President Trump’s executive orders.

According to The New York Times, the latest injunction was handed down by William Orrick, a Judge from United States District Court for the Northern District of California.


According to Judge Orrick, the scope of the executive order, which would penalize cities that protect their undocumented population, had a broader reach than federal law allows, the Washington Post reports. In short, the President cannot withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities, because the funds were not allocated by Congress under these conditions in the first place.

According to Politico, Judge Orrick released a statement on the issue, saying that comments from both President Trump and Attorney General Sessions would violate the conditions set by congress as it relates to allocating funds. Adding:

If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments. The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds.

According to the Washington Post, Judge Orrick doubled down on his opinion, saying:

The defunding provision is entirely inconsistent with law in its stated purpose and directives because it instructs the Attorney General and the Secretary to do something that only Congress has the authority to do–place new conditions on federal funds.

The Washington Post also mentions that many of the preexisting grants have no ties to conditions based on immigration or law enforcement.

Some pro-Trump people feel the judge’s interpretation goes too far.


Their main argument is that sanctuary cities protect criminals, or that because Judge Orrick was appointed by former President Obama, that his motives are likely biased.

Others pointed out that the judge was well within his jurisdiction.

However, the injunction doesn’t completely prevent President Trump from enacting future measures from targeting sanctuary cities.


The point of contention for Judge Orrick is that President Trump is trying to rewrite, or undermine current laws that were enacted by Congress. If the President could do this, the Washington Post points out, he could use excessive power to force cities into unlawful compromises. Moving forward, the government still has the power to designate cities as sanctuary cities, putting them in the crosshairs of future legislation. And, as it sees fit, the government can still determine whether or not a city can receive funding if that city is in violation of preexisting legal conditions.

[h/t] Washington Post: Federal court rules against Trump’s executive order targeting sanctuary cities

READ: President Trumps Deportation Demands Are Putting ICE And Border Patrol Into Compromising Positions

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

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What Is the 25th Amendment and What Does it Do?: A Primer

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What Is the 25th Amendment and What Does it Do?: A Primer

via Getty Images

So in case you missed it, some crazy stuff went down at the Capitol yesterday. A mob of far-right Trump supporters broke into the Capitol building in “protest” of Congress ratifying President Elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes.

The heinous episode shocked and rattled many Americans. After months of inflammatory rhetoric, President Trump effectively activated his base into violent and treasonous actions. And people are upset. 

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have since called for Trump’s resignation. But knowing President Trump, it isn’t likely that he’s going to do that.

Because of that, lawmakers have reportedly been having talks to discuss invoking the 25th Amendment.

The 25th Amendment has four sections that dictate what will happen in the event of an acting president being unable to carry out the duties of office. These events have usually amounted to…colonoscopies (no, really). But this time around, lawmakers are looking to the fourth section of the amendment to remove Trump from office. And this is where the wording gets super lawyer-y.

Section Four the 25th Amendment states:

“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

Translation: The Vice President, Trump’s cabinet, the Senate leader, and the Speaker of the House would all have to agree to ousting Trump.

It’s a little complicated, so let’s break it down. Vice President Pence and the majority (11 out of 23) of Trump’s cabinet would have to agree that he is unfit for office. Then, they must submit a written request to the “President pro Tempore” of the Senate (who is Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley) as well as the Speaker of the House (California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi).

But wait, that’s not all. As soon as this motion is enacted, President Trump would be able to contest that decision (which he most definitely would). In that case, VP Mike Pence, Senator Grassley, and Congresswoman Pelosi would have to re-draft another statement insisting that he is, indeed, unfit for office.

Then, two-thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives would have to agree with their decision.

Only then would Trump be permanently removed from the presidency.

So, yeah…a lot of steps. But there’s a good reason for that. If removing a president from office were easy, it would be done a lot more often and our democracy would be a lot shakier.

Remember relentlessly hearing about the “checks and balances” of our government in elementary school? This is what our teachers were talking about. A lot of different people in different parts of the government have to sign-off on hard decisions so we can all make sure every action is justified and reasonable.

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