Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese gamely endured an interrogation from Fox News host Tucker Carlson about a recent court victory for so-called “sanctuary cities.”
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump’s attempt to withhold money from jurisdictions—this county among them—that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration agents. U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in lawsuits brought by San Francisco and Santa Clara County, saying the president has no authority to impose new conditions on federal funds.
Carlson invited Cortese onto his show for comment, and commenced the split-screen segment with a question about what right the county has to resist an executive order. Armed with a smirk and firm grasp of Constitutional law, Cortese explained how Trump’s edict was riddled with problems.
“We can’t hold people as a county without due process, probable cause, without a warrant in a criminal jail for a civil violation,” Cortese stated matter-of-factly. “We knew that. We knew the president of the United States can’t usurp the spending powers of the United States Congress and can’t interfere with local control by trying to coerce people in counties by threatening to take away billions of dollars in federal funding that’s completely unrelated to his policies.”
Carlson then deployed his signature tactics: crosstalk, putdowns and repeated insistence to “answer my question.”
“You’re saying that because you don’t like a law, you don’t have to comply with it, but every other taxpayer in the United States still has to send you money,” Tucker exclaimed. “So where does it come from? This is a brand new thing. At least acknowledge that.”
Cortese didn’t take the bait.
“It doesn’t matter what I say,” he responded. “The federal courts today acted. They said what we already knew and what you should know, is that the Constitution of the United States is the law of the land. It’s paramount.”
Thanks to the force of confirmation bias, both conservatives and progressives applauded the exchange for different reasons. Some people saw Cortese as a smug liberal who wouldn’t give a straight answer. Others commended him for staying on point, despite Tucker’s leading questions and interruptions.
Locally, at least, a host of viewers agreed with the South Bay Labor Council’s Ben Field, who scored the round in Cortese’s favor.
— Ben Field (@WorkerVoice) April 26, 2017