California’s governor on Thursday ruled the state’s endangered species law to be unconstitutional, saying it violated a provision of the state constitution that states the state can’t enact laws that will “impose any duty upon the people of California to protect the public from any species.”
The ruling comes less than a month after California Gov.
Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have made California a sanctuary state, saying the measure would have forced counties to enforce federal immigration laws.
In his opinion, Judge William Alsup, in an opinion joined by Judge David Tatel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, wrote that the sanctuary provision “is a direct violation of Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution” and is “impermissible in a state government under the Constitution.”
The decision is a victory for Gov.
Newsom, who has been a vocal critic of sanctuary cities and the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
In the ruling, Alsup said that the law “does not provide that the Legislature can pass legislation that would create a duty upon counties to take certain actions.”
Instead, Alsuess said, the state must adopt legislation “that imposes a duty” on counties to “take certain actions to protect” endangered species.
The ruling is not binding, and Alsup’s decision could have wide implications for other states considering sanctuary laws, including Arizona, which recently became the latest to make sanctuary cities legal.
The law, passed in 2015, prohibits sanctuary jurisdictions from providing financial support to any entity that provides services to immigrants who are in the country illegally.
Alsup wrote that “it is clear that the state legislature is entitled to interpret the law to impose a duty on counties that would result in the imposition of a duty for counties to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.”