By Matt Rooney
The fight against Phil Murphy’s Sanctuary State experiment is heating up, Save Jerseyans, with multiple New Jersey counties openly opposing the Administration’s anti-ICE directive and two counties (Sussex and Ocean) now challenging Murphy’s AG Gurbir Grewal in court. It’s nice to see some elected officials with intestinal fortitude! Especially here in the great Garden State ahead of reported enforcement actions this weekend.
Don’t get your hopes up for a quick resolution. It’s going to be a long, hard struggle, one which likely won’t see a total victory for the opposition unless/until Murphy is kicked out of office in 2021 (Murphy and Grewal don’t have much respect for the Constitution as it is, so don’t count on them respecting a federal court’s interpretation which differs from their own). There is some new hope on the legal front of this war, however, all the way over on the Left Coast.
A little background: Los Angeles initially sued the U.S. Department of Justice (then led by Jeff Sessions) when it denied the city a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant to hire more police officers over the city’s sanctuary city policy; cities were awarded “points” based upon factors including cooperation with immigration enforcement authorities.
The district federal court ruled in LA’s favor AND issued a nationwide injunction.
On Friday, the 9th Circuit panel’s majority decided that “because DOJ’s scoring factors encouraged, but did not coerce, an applicant to cooperate on immigration matters, the panel also rejected Los Angeles’s claims that DOJ’s use of the factors infringed on state autonomy in a manner that raised Tenth Amendment concerns.”
FYI: New Jersey lies inside the 3rd Circuit and an appeal to a larger 9th Circuit panel is likely (before a possible trip to the SCOTUS, especially if we eventually end up with a “circuit split“), so Friday’s decision is just one more step (albeit a potentially big one) on the road to restoring law and order in Sanctuary States like California and New Jersey.
But it’s a very promising sign for a number of reasons; among them is confirmation that President Trump’s judicial appointments have de-radicalized what was once the nation’s most militantly far-Left federal court. Will rouge governors like Murphy and attorney generals like Grewal persist in their non-compliance when federal dollars dry up? Probably, at least until (or if) public pressure ramps up.
Keep the faith! Good people are fighting back.