The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed the Trump administration a setback in its efforts to withhold grants from so-called "sanctuary cities." The court ruled that the decision to withhold funding from certain cities is a violation of "the principle of Separation of Powers."
"The panel held that, under the principle of Separation of Powers and in consideration of the Spending Clause, which vests exclusive power to Congress to impose conditions on federal grants, the Executive Branch may not refuse to disperse the federal grants in question without congressional authorization."
The three-judge panel said that it is up to Congress to set limits on how grant money is dispersed.
"Absent congressional authorization, the administration may not redistribute or withhold properly appropriated funds in order to effectuate its own policy goals," Chief Judge Sidney Thomas wrote.
The court did lift a nationwide injunction that was set by a lower court but kept the injunction in place in California.
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