California Case Law - The FindLaw California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Opinion Summaries Blog

Sanctuary Cities Case: Sessions v. California Lawyers

In President Trump's war on immigration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions may go down in history as his greatest weapon.

One day, Trump is calling the attorney general a cartoon character. The next, Trump's main lawyer is calling out California for frustrating the president's policy.

If it comes down to a contest between White House lawyers and California lawyers, you might want to lay down your bets soon. Sessions, and Trump for that matter, might not make it to the playoffs.

"Every Power I Have"

Trump has fired more lawyers than he fired contestants on his television show. Sessions could be next, but he's not letting that stop him.

"California, absolutely, appears to me, is using every power it has -- powers it doesn't have -- to frustrate federal law enforcement," Sessions said. "So you can be sure I'm going to use every power I have to stop them."

If Trump doesn't fire him first, Sessions will be dealing with state Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the first round. Becerra, who has filed 29 lawsuits against the administration, has been waiting for this one.

But Sessions should also be worried about the backup players -- local government attorneys from Los Angeles to San Francisco who have sued over the sanctuary controversy. They say the federal government's actions -- penalizing local governments that do not cooperate with immigration authorities -- are "unconstitutional on their face."

It's Getting Personal

In announcing the lawsuit against California, Sessions personally targeted Oakland mayor Libby Schaff. He chastised her for warning local immigrants about an immigration raid.

"How dare you?," he proclaimed. "How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open-borders agenda?"

Schaff's response? Meet Melinda Hagg, BigLaw lawyer, former U.S. attorney and colleague of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Hagg will handle Sessions locally, but if he loses his job in the meantime, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen might already be on retainer. Stormy Daniels, the porn star with a story to tell, has offered to give back the lawyer $130,000 in hush money he said he paid her.

Related Resources: