The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has been a thorn in the side of the Donald Trump administration since day one.
Trump was hoping to balance the court’s liberal slant when he appointed Judge Mark Bennett to the bench, but even Bennett’s presence was not enough to prevent the court from ruling in favor of sanctuary cities again.
Steinle Case Dismissed
32-year-old Kate Steinle died on July 1, 2015, after being shot by an illegal immigrant who was protected by sanctuary city policies, despite having been previously deported five times.
José Inez García Zárate claimed the gun accidentally went off. He also claimed he only found the gun moments before Steinle was shot.
García Zárate was acquitted of all murder charges, but he was convicted on felony gun possession.
The case gained national attention during the 2016 presidential campaign when Trump cited the case.
When the family did not get justice in the criminal trial, they filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco and former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi for releasing García Zárate from jail three months before Steinle’s murder without informing ICE.
The court dismissed the case, admitting that Steinle’s death was “undeniably tragic” but ruling that the sheriff did not violate any laws by not notifying ICE.
“The tragic and unnecessary death of Steinle may well underscore the policy argument against Sheriff Mirkarimi’s decision to bar his employees from providing the release date of a many times convicted felon to ICE,” Bennett said. “But that policy argument can be acted upon only by California’s state and municipal political branches of government, or perhaps by Congress.”
Why the court continues to offer more protection for illegal immigrants than it does for U.S. citizens is baffling.
This exact point was taken up by Daniel Horowitz of the Conservative Review, who wrote, “What is indefensible, though, is how this same court grants illegal aliens the right to access federal courts when Congress has explicitly barred it.”
This decision will no doubt invigorate Senate Republicans to go nuclear to push through more Trump judicial appointments to hopefully get some common sense back on the bench.