According to PublicCitizen
, a nonprofit website that tracks political donations, Federal Judge William Orrick III bundled hundreds of thousands of dollars for Barack Obama’s electoral campaign. It was Orrick who issued an injunction in the Northern District of California against the Trump administration when San Francisco, and Santa Clara County, sued over President Trump’s plan to withhold federal funding from jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities and harbor illegal immigrants.
Orrick’s ruling contends that Trump's executive order order targeted broad categories of federal funding for sanctuary governments, and that the plaintiffs would probably succeed in proving it unconstitutional. The federal lawsuit will continue to work its way through the courts. The Department of Justice has threatened to cut off eight so-called “sanctuary” cities, including San Francisco.
It was Orrick who issued a restraining order against the National Abortion Federation -- an advocacy group that revealed undercover videos that purported to show employees of abortion-provider Planned Parenthood plotting to sell organs taken from aborted babies. Orrick’s wife, Caroline Farrow Orrick, is an advocate of abortion.
The PublicCitizen website shows that Orrick and his law firm raised at least $200,000 for Obama in 2008, and donated more than $30,000 to groups in support of Obama’s candidacy. Obama then nominated Orrick to a federal judgeship in 2013, which Orrick occupied in 2015.
In 2010, After Arizona passed a controversial immigration law known as SB 1070, Obama’s Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Arizona because of this bill. At the time, Orrick was working at the Justice Department and coordinated the Obama administration’s argument against SB 1070. He said during his confirmation hearings, “Regarding Arizona, I attended meetings where the impact of SB 1070 on the operations of DHS and law enforcement was discussed [and] where the preemption analysis of the lawyers working on this issue was discussed.”
Also during the Senate confirmation process, Orrick promised that his political views would never color his judgement on the bench. “My varied legal background is evidence that I will treat all litigants fairly and with respect, and that I will not let my personal views interfere with the administration of justice,” he said. “… I have great respect for every type of client I have represented. I have never let my political beliefs affect my legal judgment, and believe that politics have no place in the courtroom.” He added, that federal district judges must “bind themselves tightly” to precedent.
As to how he would hear immigration cases, Orrick promised to recuse himself “from any case that was pending in OIL [Office of Immigration Litigation] while I was Deputy Assistant Attorney General and from any other case as required by the Code of Conduct for United States Judge as well as other relevant Canons and statutory provisions.”
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