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GOVERNOR CUOMO: ‘THE PRESIDENT IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW’

GOVERNOR CUOMO: ‘THE PRESIDENT IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW’

Press Release courtesy of the Office of the Governor of the State of New York

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo responded to U.S. Department of Justice’s move to formally label New York City an “anarchist jurisdiction.”

The President talked about the anarchist jurisdictions. This is a continuation of his political theme which is that he’s the law and order candidate. I understand the politics but when you try to manipulate and distort government agencies to play politics which is what the Trump Administration has done from day one, it’s what the SALT taxes were, just taking from Democratic states to give to Republicans, it’s what the Trusted Traveler Program was which has been outed by the US Attorney in the Southern District, so this is more the same.

If you remember, the Trump Administration tried this once before, not a new play. A couple of years ago they said sanctuary cities would not get federal criminal justice moneys and we said it was illegal and unconstitutional. We sued them and we won. Federal court said they could not take the federal money that was appropriated by Congress.

New York City has about $7 billion in federal funding which is much higher than the other cities he’s named. Seattle only gets about $365 million. Not only – it’s a lot of money but compared to New York City, it’s not. Portland, Oregon, $252 million. New York City, $7.4 billion. Congress appropriates funds with specific legal requirements, so New York City gets HOME money from HUD. That’s affordable housing money, it’s appropriated with specific laws about the administration of that money. It gets community development block grant, CDBG, from HUD. There are specific legal requirements on that funding. The President can’t supersede the law and say, “I’m going to make those funds basically discretionary funds,” which is what he would to do to basically say, “I control all federal funding.” He doesn’t control federal funding. The federal law controls federal funding, and the federal law is very specific: Jurisdiction doesn’t get affordable housing money if it does this, jurisdiction gets community development money if it does this, the jurisdiction gets Title I education funding if it does this. And the President is not above the law – that’s the Constitution of the United States.

Policing is a power by the Constitution that is left to the States. That’s the Tenth Amendment, it’s left to the States. New York City is a creature of State law and the State, New York State, has the Constitutional authority for policing power. So just like sanctuary cities when he did it a couple of years ago and lost, if they actually do this, we will challenge it legally and he will lose once again because we’ve seen this play before. But again, it’s just for the politics and part of his campaign rhetoric.

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