President Donald Trump is vowing to take his fight to the highest court, calling the decision by a federal judge to block an executive order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities as "ridiculous".
The administration stated that the ruling "undermines faith in our legal system" but that it is "confident" it will be successful in the Supreme Court and will pursue "all legal remedies to the sanctuary city threat".
"Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the "ban" case and now the "sanctuary" case is brought in the Ninth Circuit, which has a bad record of being overturned (close to 80%)", Trump wrote over two tweets.
This nationwide ruling is only the latest in a string of federal judges using their position to push back against controversial immigration orders presented by President Trump.
The statement noted that any city that prohibits officials from cooperating with federal immigration authorities is violating federal law, as mandated by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
Trump's words were also cited by federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii, who last month blocked his revised ban on new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries.
Orrick ruled on two cases brought by the city of San Francisco and California's Santa Clara County.
Orrick also ruled that Trump's January 25 order to deny federal funds to sanctuary cities violated the Constitution.
The government hasn't cut off any money yet or declared any communities sanctuary cities.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said the president has no authority to attach new conditions of his own to spending that was approved by Congress.
"The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the president, so the order can not constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds", he said.
The Trump administration plans to appeal the ruling from the district court, which falls under the USA 9th Circuit.
Even if the president could do so, those conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive, as the executive order appeared to be, Orrick said. If Justice Department lawyers lose the case before the left-leaning appeals court, they can ask the Supreme Court to weigh in. "These cities are engaged in unsafe and unlawful nullification of federal law in an attempt to erase our borders", the White House said in a statement.
In the last Supreme Court term, the 9th Circuit came in second on that score. Local enforcement say the policy would discourage immigrants from reporting crime.