Back to list

Keker, Van Nest & Peters Files Motion to Block Trump Sanctuary Cities Order


In conjunction with the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office, Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP today filed a motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction seeking to prevent President Donald Trump from taking any action against states, cities and counties based on his January 25, 2017 Executive Order targeting “sanctuary jurisdictions.”

County of Santa Clara v. Trump, No. 5:17-cv-00574 (N.D. Cal.) was filed on February 3, 2017, challenging the President’s directive calling for reprisals—including the loss of federal funds—against jurisdictions that the Trump Administration deems insufficiently compliant with its immigration enforcement agenda.

“President Trump’s Executive Order violates the Constitution and harms states and local governments across the country,” said Cody Harris, a partner at Keker, Van Nest & Peters. “The County of Santa Clara requires prompt injunctive relief so it can continue to provide essential services to its residents without the unconstitutional threat of defunding hanging over it.” 

The County of Santa Clara held a press conference this afternoon to discuss the motion.  Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams said, “Implementation of the President’s unconstitutional order would cause significant and irreparable harm to the County and its residents.”  He continued, “We are seeking a preliminary injunction now to protect the County from the President’s willful disregard of the limits on his power imposed by the United States Constitution.  Our founders wisely crafted a Constitution that protects state and local governments from any President’s efforts to use federal funding as a weapon to dictate how local resources are used.  This lawsuit seeks to affirm that basic American principle—regardless of one’s views on any specific local policy.”  

The County’s motion argues that the Executive Order violates constitutional separation of powers principles, the Tenth Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.  It seeks a nationwide injunction, and requests a hearing date of April 5, 2017.

Harris, John Keker, Bob Van Nest, Daniel Purcell, Nicholas Goldberg, and Ed Bayley are representing the County on a pro bono basis.