FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP’S ORDER ON RESTRICTING FUNDING FOR “SANCTUARY CITIES”: A federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked President Trump’s efforts to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary cities” that choose not to cooperate with immigration enforcement. District Court Judge William H. Orrick called the president’s executive order an abuse of power, and stated that only Congress could make a spending decision that substantial, The New York Times reported. Trump called the ruling “ridiculous” in a tweet, exclaiming, “See you in the Supreme Court!”
“Today’s ruling is one more proof of the vital importance of independent federal courts at all levels, as checks against executive overreach,” said Nan Aron, president of our sister organization Alliance for Justice, in a statement. “With more than a hundred vacancies on those courts, it’s more critical than ever that senators examine every federal judicial nominee to ensure their loyalties are only to the law and not to any party or politician.”
TRUMP PUSHES TO FILL FIRST LOWER COURT VACANCY WITH JUDGE THAPAR: Judge Amul Thapar, President Trump’s nominee to the 6th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals and first lower court nominee, appeared for his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, reported The Washington Times.
The White House “also hopes to announce at least 10 judges in the next two weeks, according to people familiar with the deliberations,” reported Politico.
FEDERAL APPEALS COURT WILL RECONSIDER OHIO’S EXECUTION PROTOCOL: A federal appeals court agreed to reconsider its recent decision stopping Ohio from executing three death row inmates. The controversy is over Ohio’s use of a lethal injection drug called midazolam. The court will consider whether or not the drug entails a “substantial risk” of serious pain that violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, reported Reuters.