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State and Local Government Law

2021

Federalism

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Sanctuary Cities And The Power Of The Purse: An Executive Dole Test, Douglas M. Spencer Jan 2021

Sanctuary Cities And The Power Of The Purse: An Executive Dole Test, Douglas M. Spencer

Publications

A constitutional clash is brewing. Cities and counties are flexing their muscles to frustrate national immigration policy while the federal Executive is threatening to interfere with local law enforcement decision making and funding. Although the federal government generally has plenary authority over immigration law, the Constitution forbids the commandeering of state and local officials to enforce federal law against their will. One exception to this anti-commandeering principle is the Spending Clause of Article I that permits Congress to condition the receipt of federal funds on compliance with federal law. These conditions, according to more than 30 years of Supreme Court …