POLITICS
07/09/2018 08:42 pm ET

Federal Judge Dismisses Trump Administration Lawsuit Against California Sanctuary Laws

The judge, however, ruled that the DOJ could proceed with its attempt to block part of one of California's sanctuary laws.

A federal judge on Monday dismissed the Trump administration’s lawsuit challenging several California laws that protect undocumented immigrants.

U.S. District Judge John Mendez sided with California in its request to reject the Justice Department’s complaint against SB 54, known as the “sanctuary state law,” and AB 103, which requires transparency in the monitoring of detention facilities, as well as a provision of AB 450, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, that requires employers to inform workers before handing over their employment records to federal authorities.

Mendez ruled that the government’s case against other provisions of AB 450 would be allowed to go forward that make employers risk a fine for failing to keep federal agents out of their workplaces without a warrant.

The ruling comes just days after Mendez denied the Justice Department’s request for an injunction against SB 54, AB 103 and the employee-notice provision of AB 450, ruling that the laws were “permissible exercises of California’s sovereign power.” 

By dismissing the majority of the federal government’s lawsuit, Mendez rejected the Trump administration’s argument that federal law trumps state sanctuary policies and that the federal government has pre-eminent power under the U.S. Constitution to regulate immigration.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra celebrated the ruling in a statement on Monday.

“Today’s decision is a victory for our State’s ability to safeguard the privacy, safety, and constitutional rights of all our people,” Becerra said. “Though the Trump Administration may continue to attack a state like California and its ability to make its own laws, we will continue to protect our constitutional authority to protect our residents and the rule of law.”

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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