President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed as "ridiculous" a US judge's ruling blocking an executive order that could deny billions of dollars to so-called sanctuary cities harboring illegal immigrants.
Judge William Orrick of San Francisco's federal court on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction barring any attempt to implement Trump's January 25 executive order.
"First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities - both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!" Trump tweeted.
Orrick wrote that federal funding "that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves."
His decision -- which could affect more than 300 cities and counties that have denounced Trump's order -- is another blow to the White House following successful court challenges to its two travel bans targeting Muslim-majority countries.
The White House reacted with a vitriolic statement late Tuesday, claiming that "the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy".
The judge's "erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country," and is "one more example of egregious overreach" by a single judge that "undermines faith in our legal system."
The White House claimed that "San Francisco, and cities like it, are putting the well-being of criminal aliens before the safety of our citizens, and those city officials who authored these policies have the blood of dead Americans on their hands."
Trump on Wednesday later added in two separate tweets: "Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the 'ban' case and now the 'sanctuary' case is brought in... the Ninth Circuit, which has a terrible record of being overturned (close to 80%). They used to call this 'judge shopping!' Messy system."
According to the website Politifact, the Ninth Circuit Court -- which hears cases from most of the western United States, including Alaska and Hawaii -- has a "higher-than-average reversal rate, but not the highest."
However "the massive size of the 9th Circuit compared to the handful of cases it sends to the Supreme Court every year make reversal rates an imperfect measure of the quality of the 9th Circuit's decisions," Politifact said.
"More broadly, experts say this statistic is a poor way of comparing courts."