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Federal Judge - AG Sessions JAG Grant Update UNCONSTITUTIONAL

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Posted on July 29 2018


as previously discussed in May, Philadelphia v AG Sessions JAG Grant and “so called Sanctuary Cities” here and here.


Sanctuary Cities Round Two...

Not to belabor the point, over a year ago I stated that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had likely overstepped/exceeded his authority as it relates to the retroactive “conditions” he (and the Trump Administration) unilaterally imposed on JAG Grants.


Essentially when funds/appropriations are authorized by Congress, the Executive Branch has zero constituional authority to place “conditions and/or strings” to funds that Congress has already appropriated. As further affirmed 


The Attorney General & Department of Justice Position via their July 2017 Notice, found here and here.


“So-called 'sanctuary' policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,”

”These policies also encourage illegal immigration and even human trafficking by perpetuating the lie that in certain cities, illegal aliens can live outside the law. This can have tragic consequences, like the 10 deaths we saw in San Antonio this weekend. As part of accomplishing the Department of Justice's top priority of reducing violent crime, we must encourage these 'sanctuary' jurisdictions to change their policies and partner with federal law enforcement to remove criminals.

From now on, the Department will only provide Byrne JAG grants to cities and states that comply with federal law, allow federal immigration access to detention facilities, and provide 48 hours notice before they release an illegal alien wanted by federal authorities. This is consistent with long-established cooperative principles among law enforcement agencies. This is what the American people should be able to expect from their cities and states, and these long overdue requirements will help us take down MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs, and make our country safer."


After what seems like a letigation marathon, on July 27, 2018 U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber granted summary judgment in favor of the City of Chicago. Judge Leinenweber granted a permanent injunction against all three grant conditions and denied the Trump Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

If I am tracking this correctly, since AG Sessions announced these unlawful “conditions” and strict application/adherence to section 1373, this July 27th Ruling is now the eighth time a federal court has ruled against the Trump Administration add conditions and effectively punish cities by withholding federal JAG grants funds. See pages 39 & 40, which read in part:

Compliance Condition does not fail because it violates the anticommandeering doctrine.

Attorney General has no authority to demand compliance with Section 1373, hereby deemed unconstitutional, under the Byrne JAG statute. 


Moving along to pages 41 & 42 the Judge makes the determination, again when you read the 52 page Order & Memo remember that Congress did NOT apply the “pre-conditions or any condition” as recited by AG Sessions. This important distinction should not be conflated or misconstrued. If Congress wanted “immigration” conditions applied “wholesale” on the Byrne JAG Grant, they would have “legislatively” added & codified those conditions. Ergo once again the Trump Administration grossly overstepped its “constitutional authority”:


Compliance Condition does not fail because it violates the anticommandeering doctrine. It fails because the statutory authority on which it depends sanctions only the imposition of “applicable” federal laws; because Section 1373 no longer falls within that category, the authority for the Compliance Condition has been stripped away

...the Attorney General’s Motion to Dismiss must be denied, and Chicago’s Motion for Summary Judgment must be granted on Counts I and II as to the Compliance Condition.


Pages 43 & 44, last summer I noted that the declaration of  Lieutenant Hannigan’s would be critical in the City of Chicago’s argument. Because those who know and understand the value of actual “Community Policing” read his declaration and knew Lieutenant Hannigan was 100% correct. The Judge astutely pulls from Hannigan’s declaration: twenty-nine years of experience, “requiring Chicago’s police officers to request immigration status would drive a wedge between [the CPD] and the local communities.”

Doing so “would run the risk of alienating portions of the Chicago population; could increase hostility toward law enforcement in vulnerable areas of the City; and could deprive officers of valuable sources of information.”

If Chicago were to adopt such a policy, he avers “that the type of cooperation [the CPD is] able to achieve with immigrant communities would be materially damaged.”


When the opportunity presented itself for AG Sessions to provide the court with any peer reviews, reports or a declaration to support his “so called Sanctuary cities are hotbeds for crime”  the Attorney General demurred. He offered nothing, no facts absolutely nothing to support his unsubstantiated “claims”.

Conversely the City of Chicago offered declarations, peer studies and solid facts that showed, in general the Immigrant Community tends to commit less crimes. To wit the Judge took the time to point this out, I now refer you to pages 45 abd 46, frankly the Judge did not hold back:


Chicago’s compliance with the Conditions would damage local law enforcement’s relationship with immigrant communities and decrease the cooperation essential to prevent and solve crimes both within those communities and Chicago at large.

Trust once lost is not easily restored, and as such, this is an irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law.

To read the Judge’s 52 page Order & Memo you can download via this Open Source Link, found here. Late Friday night Mayor Emanuel issued the following press release and statement, which reads in part:

“Today’s opinion in favor of Chicago and against the Trump Justice Department marks a major win for all Chicagoans and a significant victory for public safety,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We will never be coerced or intimidated into abandoning our values as a welcoming city. Welcoming immigrants, refugees and dreamers from every corner of the globe is part of Chicago’s history, and part of our future, no matter which way the political winds are blowing in Washington.”


And I think it’s worth repeating Cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and most major American cities have a wonderful diverse population. The immigrant community is truly what makes America Great. Versus the divisive and heavy handed radical immigration policies of the current administration. As I previously said, we are a County of Immigrants, in my America we are welcoming to all...


I would put a pin in this, I could be wrong but reading the legalese tea leaves, I get the distinct impression that Judge Leinenweber may in fact move to a Nationwide Permanent Injunction. Why? Based on his well thought-out and exquisitely articulated Opinion coupled with Case No. 17-CV-5720 (THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF MAYORS) and their newly filed complaint.




JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS III, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States,

Case No. 18-cv-4853, which largely pulls from the identical arguments that Chicago and Philadelphia used, the likelihood of success increased exponentially after the July 27, 2018 Ruling. 


One of the biggest issues I have with the Trump Administration is they consistently demonize the immigrant community. Trump feeds on hate and driving a large wedge thereby amplifying the “US vs Them” mentally. The truth of the matter is study after study shows that immigrants committe far less crimes. I suppose one could competently argue the immigrant community comits fewer crimes because they have far more to lose, than you and I. But on personal knowledge and belief every immigrant I know just wants to work hard and provide their family a better life. That they would be willing to give up everything just to come to America and have a fair shot at the “American Dream”.


See Cato Institute twitter thread below:



Yet even in the face of multiple Federal Judges rendering Order & Memos that clearly and concisely determination that AG Sessions’ -new- JAG conditions are unconstitutional and his office exceeded its constitutional authority, the DOJ published this July 20, 2018 Notification for FY 2019 JAG Applicants. See DOJ-OPA Announcement here.


 As updates become available I will update this entry. -Spicy Out.

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