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7th CCoAs UPHOLDS Nationwide injunction - Bryne JAG

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Posted on April 19 2018


Attorney General Sessions April 2017 Announcement

second wave of “new” conditions Bryne JAG


This April 2017 Time Magazine Article gives you a solid background as to the irreparable financial “injury” would be for Cities and Countries who did not comply with the unlawful and unconstitutional Trump Executive Order. The impact of the Department of Justice withholding tens of millions of Bryne JAG funding could have been disastrous.




  Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals


District Court Nationwide Injunction


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:17‐cv‐05720 — Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge.
City of Chicago Original Complaint here 
City of Chicago Press Release here 


This case in particular was one of the very first that I proactively monitored. At the inception of Trump’s Executive Order, I noted that it was likely unconstitutional because the Executive Branch does not have the power to add or in this case retroactively add “conditions or strings” to funds Congress has appropriated.

Attorney General Sessions sheer willingness to exceed the Department of Justice’s and Executive Branch authority, it was mind boggling. Sessions served in Congress for decades.  Moreover this overt overreach was a clear sign of things to come from the Trump Administration. I certainly wish someone would sit down with Trump and tutor him on a basic civics of our government. Trump clearly has no respect for or understand of:  three co-equal branches of Government. It is clear Trump has a limited understanding of how our founding fathers framed our Government and built in Checks and Balances.

In a 49 page Order & Opinion, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide injunction. Which blocked the Trump administration from using a public safety grant to force so called “sanctuary cities” to comply with Trump’s “tougher” immigration policies. The Appeals Court, agreeing with a lower court that the city of Chicago would likely to win on its claims and merits.

‘the issue before us strikes at one of the bedrock principals of our nation, the protection of which transcends political party affiliation and rests at the heart of our system of government - the separation of powers” 


Today’s order goes on to state, in the most eloquent terminology:

“The founders of our country well understood that the concentration of power threatens individual liberty and established a bulwark against such tyranny by creating a separation of powers among the branches of government..

”“If the Executive Branch can determine policy and then use the power of the purse to mandate compliance with that policy by the state and local governments all without the authorization or acquiescence of elected leaders, that check against tyranny.”

“The Attorney General in this case used the sword of federal funding to conscript state and local authorities to aid in federal civil immigration enforcement, the power of the purse rests with Congress, which authorized the federal funds at issue and did not impose any immigration enforcement conditions on the receipt of such funds.”


  • “Nor as we will discuss, did Congress authorize the Attorney General to impose such conditions It falls to us, the judiciaryas the remaining branch of the government, to act as a check on such usurpation of power.


‘We are a country that jealously guards the separation of powers and we must be ever‐vigilant in that endeavor”


  • “In the face of the failure of Congress to pass such restrictions and the issues,with the legality of the Executive Order—on July 25, 2017, the Attorney General pursued yet another path to that goal and issued the conditions for recipient of the Byrne JAG funds that are challenged here”




And finally we get to page 35, the Court concludes:

“Accordingly, the district court did not err in determining that the City established a likelihood of success on the merits of its contention that the Attorney General lacked the authority to impose the notice and access conditions on receipt of the Byrne JAG grants, and did not abuse its discretion in granting the nationwide preliminary injunction in this case. The decision of the district court is AFFIRMED.”

Link to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Order here 






Edward Byrne Memorial


Justice Assistance Grant Program - Bryne JAG



What is Bryne JAG?:

This is a grant program named after a NYC police officer, Edward Bryne, who was killed in the line of duty in 1988. At the time Officer Bryne was protecting an immigrant witness, who agreed to testify against drug dealers.


Who authorizes appropriations & administers the funding?

The Bryne JAG funding was authorized by Congress via the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) 2005 - Public Law 108–447 108th. The CAA essentially merged merged the discretionary Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Program with the formula-based Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) program. Congress, you can read the 658 page CAA here


Title I—Department of Justice (see page 55)

That funding provided under this heading shall remain available until
expended, as follows—

    • (1) $634,000,000 for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program pursuant to the amendments made by section 201 of H.R. 3036 of the 108th Congress, as passed by the House of Representatives on March 30, 2004

You can review the Department of Justice Bryne JAG requirements here


The Byrne JAG, is Federal Funding, that Congress appropriates for State and Local Law Enforcement to fund. The extreme immigration policy and daily fear mongering from the Trump Administration may take years and possibly decades to repair. It is astounding to me how much damage Trump has caused in a short amount of time. Trump traffics in fear and hate. He is not a leader nor does he represent “real” American values. Trump is only loyal to himself and the almighty dollar. 

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