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Federal judge blocks Trump plan to punish ‘sanctuary cities’

CLOSE Federal judge blocks Trump plan to punish ‘sanctuary cities’
Federal judge blocks Trump plan to punish ‘sanctuary cities’

Another one of Trump's executive orders was halted in court. This time, it deals with 'sanctuary cities.' USA TODAY

AP TRUMP SANCTUARY CITIES A FILE USA CA

In this Jan. 25, 2017 file photo, a woman holds a sign at a rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco. (Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP)

A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday partially blocked President Trump's attempts to punish "sanctuary cities" that do not fully comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts by withholding federal grant money.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick ruled that Trump exceeded his presidential authority when he signed an executive order Jan. 25 directing his administration to withhold all federal funding from local jurisdictions deemed to be "sanctuary" jurisdictions. That general term describes more than 300 local governments that have limited their cooperation with federal immigration officials.

Orrick ruled that a president has the power to withhold some funding, including three Justice Department grants directly tied to law enforcement. He ruled that the Trump administration can withhold funding under those grounds.

But Orrick ruled that Trump's threats to withhold all federal grants were "coercive" and violated several fundamental principles established in the Constitution.

"The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds," Orrick wrote.

The ruling marks the latest courtroom defeat for Trump in his quest to limit legal and illegal immigration into the country. Federal judges twice blocked the president's attempts to temporarily suspend legal immigration from majority-Muslim countries, and Tuesday's ruling limits his ability to punish cities that don't fully comply with his efforts to halt illegal immigration.

The lawsuit was filed by government officials in San Francisco and Santa Clara who said local governments were facing billions of dollars in lost revenue because of Trump's order. They argued in court that the executive order was overly broad, included vague threats and never defined what the administration considers to be a "sanctuary" jurisdiction.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee applauded the ruling, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said it will allow local governments to fight back against the "executive overreach" of the Trump administration.

"Today's decision is a historic affirmation of the U.S. Constitution's core principles — that the President cannot usurp powers not given to him, and that the federal government cannot use federal defunding to coerce local governments into becoming federal immigration enforcers," Santa Clara County Counsel James Williams said.

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Justice Department lawyers argued that the order never intended to withhold all federal funding from local jurisdictions. The lawyers argued that cities, counties and states must comply with a section of federal law that requires local jurisdictions to share immigration information on people in custody with the federal government. A violation of those conditions, they argued, would bar the local entities from receiving three Justice Department grants and nothing more.

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said Tuesday that the judge "upheld" the government's ability to withhold some federal funding against sanctuary cities. He did not say whether Justice will

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Costa ends goal drought to help Chelsea open up 7-point lead

AP Published 4:51 p.m. ET April 25, 2017 | Updated 9 minutes ago

Costa ends goal drought to help Chelsea open up 7-point lead

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta, right, competes for the ball with Southampton's Dusan Tadic during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Tuesday, April 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) (Photo: The Associated Press)

LONDON (AP) — Diego Costa ended a seven-game goal drought in style to help Chelsea open up a seven-point lead in the Premier League with a 4-2 victory over Southampton on Tuesday.

The second-half double halted a barren run that began shortly after a reported dispute at the club as Costa was linked with a move to the financially-flush Chinese Super League.

Even as the goals dried up and the uncertainty about Costa's future persisted, manager Antonio Conte never doubted his striker's ability to make an impact in the title run-in.

"For the forward it's very important to score ... because the goal is your life," Conte said. "But for me I always said that I'm very pleased for his commitment, for his work for the team, because he's always working for the team."

Costa was heavily involved as early as the fifth minute at Stamford Bridge when he set up Eden Hazard's opener. After Gary Cahill restored Chelsea's lead, Costa scored two contrasting goals in the second half.

The striker's 50th Premier League goal was a header from Cesc Fabregas' cross and his next goal was the culmination of a mazy run through the defense that saw him exchange passes with Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez.

Those goals helped the league leaders nudge closer to regaining the trophy from Leicester, having had their advantage trimmed in recent weeks by Tottenham. Second-place Tottenham is now on the back foot as it prepares to play Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

But one potential obstacle to Chelsea's winning the title on the five-match final stretch remains the leaky defense that had been so sturdy earlier in the season. Both Southampton goals came from former Chelsea players, with Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand making it 12 league games since Conte's side kept a clean sheet.

Romeu's canceled out Hazard's opener. Manolo Gabbiadini was left unmarked to bring down James Ward-Prowse's corner at the far post and strike at Thibaut Courtois. The goalkeeper parried the shot but the ball fell to Romeu for a simple tap-in. Chelsea was already 4-1 in front when Bertrand rose above Cahill to head in a cross from Cedric Soares.

"When you keep a clean sheet, it's a great achievement for your team," Conte said. "I think this situation we have to improve. We have to continue to work and try to improve our mistakes."

And yet the west London club seemed so relaxed about its advantage that captain John Terry had been brought on for his first league appearance since November and first since announcing he would be leaving at the end of the season.

It's likely that one of Terry's last acts of a 22-year association

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Cardinals LB reinstated after three-year ban

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azcentral sports' Kent Somers and Jay Dieffenbach discuss possible Cardinals strategy in the NFL draft, views on picking a quarterback and more.

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Top 5 defensive backs of 2017 NFL draft | 0:42

Bob McManaman selects his top five defensive backs for the 2017 NFL draft. Wochit

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS NFL mock drafts: Popular picks for Arizona Cardinals | 1:17

The Cardinals have the No. 13 pick in Thursday's NFL draft. Several players are linked to the team in many mock drafts. Wochit

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS NFL draft's top 5 linebacker prospects | 0:52

azcentral sports' Bob McManaman chooses the top five linebacker prospects in the 2017 NFL draft. (Photos by USA Today) Wochit

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Keim, Arians striking gold in draft's third round | 0:59

Arizona Cardinals' general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have found some of their best players in the third round. Wochit

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones talk about Celebrity Softball Game | 0:54

Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald and Chandler Jones discuss the importance of giving back and some bets amongst Cardinals players before the Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday at Salt River Fields. Patrick Breen/azcentral sports

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Cardinals looking for 'football character' in NFL draft | 1:04

Cardinals GM Steve Keim has a tough task when it comes to finding quality talent and character to add to the team through the draft. Wochit

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Kent Somers talks with Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker | 1:43

azcentral sports Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Fostee Rucker. || Video by Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker on expectations, adding Karlos Dansby | 1:23

Cardinals defensive tackle Frostee Rucker discusses learning from last year's expectations and adding Karlos Dansby and other veterans. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Shot Clock: Stay away from Reuben Foster? | 1:50

azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Sarah McLellan discuss whether character matters when evaluating talent for drafts.

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS Top 3 games in Cardinals schedule | 1:06

Breaking down the top three games of the Cardinals' 2017 season. Wochit

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WATCH THE LATEST CARDINALS AND NFL VIDEOS FROM AZCENTRAL SPORTS How the NFL schedule is made | 2:09

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LA mayor proclaims 'La La Land' day

Los Angeles' mayor proclaimed Tuesday "La La Land" day as acrobats suspended by ropes danced their way across the outside walls of City Hall. Mayor Eric Garcetti also sat at a piano to play music from the film, which claimed six Academy Awards in February and put a spotlight on various locales throughout the city with elaborate song-and-dance numbers. (April 25)

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Trump silence on miners shows tension between populism and conservatism

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Coal miners at a town hall meeting in Matewan, W.Va., last month. (Photo: Bill Pugliano, Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s silence on a battle over the health and pension benefits of retired U.S. coal miners is perplexing some — especially the miners who took center stage in his 2016 campaign.

On Tuesday, dozens of coal miners wearing matching United Mine Workers of America t-shirts huddled with lunch trays in a public cafeteria in the basement of a Senate office building, with just days to go until a stopgap measure funding their health insurance expires.

The U.S. House may reject a permanent fix to guarantee their health benefits, continuing the uncertainty they’ve faced since Congress passed a temporary fix in December. Though miners believe there is a bipartisan Senate deal on health care, there are no such assurances when it comes to pensions, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says should be part of a separate pension reform legislative package.

In USA TODAY interviews with coal miners, several cited their states’ strong support for the billionaire businessman in November.

“A lot of our members supported Trump,” said Joseph Holland, a 68-year-old former miner from western Kentucky who works with local retirees.  “I would like for him to step up and say ‘I want both the House and Senate to support this,’” he said. “I keep hoping and praying” and telling members to write Trump to say “I supported you, please stand by me.”

“We haven’t heard from him yet,” said Phil Smith, the union’s director of governmental affairs. “It would be helpful in terms of the negotiations process but also just in reassuring these retirees and those in the coal fields that his message still holds true, that he wants to help these communities,” said Smith.

The funding issue is one of many at stake in budget negotiations this week to keep the government funded, and Trump has been quiet on most of them.

Yet his choice to remain mum on the coal miners is notable since he made them the face of the “forgotten man” he vowed to prioritize once in office. Just before he was inaugurated, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., wrote Trump asking for his support on the health benefits issue in particular. His response back was a handwritten note, reading “I’m with the miners,”” Capito said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., at a town hall meeting in

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., at a town hall meeting in March 2017.   (Photo: Bill Pugliano, Getty Images)

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, has asked Trump several times for his advocacy, most recently in a Monday telephone conversation.

“This is a big one. If we can’t keep the promise to the miners we made, my goodness what promise can we keep?” Manchin said. In 1946, President Harry Truman created a retirement fund and medical and hospital funds for miners to guarantee their health and retirement security. “Mr. President, now’s the time to step forward and call (House Speaker) Paul Ryan and reaffirm with Mitch McConnell this needs to be a permanent

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