The Latest: Court hears arguments in sanctuary-cities case

AP News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2018 1:28 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on an appeal hearing in Chicago on the Trump administration's policy seeking to tie federal grants to enforcement of immigration laws (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

Oral arguments before an appeals court have focused on whether President Donald Trump's administration was overstepping its authority by withholding public safety grants from sanctuary cities, such as Chicago, unless they fully enforce immigration laws.

The case before a three-judge panel at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday stems from a city of Chicago lawsuit. The Justice Department appealed to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit in a bid to reverse a lower-court ruling temporarily freezing the policy. That freeze applies nationally.

Judge Ilana Rovner asked if the Trump administration was unduly expanding its powers at the expense of states' rights. She suggested it was by threatening to withhold grants and "conscripting" city police to enforce federal laws.

Government lawyers argued the administration has authority to apply that pressure.

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9:50 a.m.

An appeals court will hear arguments on a Trump administration request to reverse a lower-court ruling temporarily freezing its policy of withholding public-safety grants from sanctuary cities that don't fully enforce immigration laws.

The hearing Friday at the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals focuses on whether the administration exceeded its authority in setting new conditions not in legislation establishing the program. The case stems from a Chicago lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber's freeze applies to all 50 states. The Trump administration says, at worst, it should only apply to Chicago.

In a related case, U.S. District Judge William Orrick in California in November blocked President Donald Trump's executive order nationwide that cut funds to sanctuary cities, saying Trump can't set new conditions on spending OK'd by Congress.

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This story has been corrected to show that the judge's last name is spelled Leinenweber, not Leinenwebber.