County Supervisor Dave Cortese Shuts Down Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

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.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. I’ve gotta hand it to Dave Cortese. He held his ground, he kept to the actual talking point and Judicial action. Tucker Carlson tried to take him into the bathrooms, segregated schools and every other matter which Tucker has an opinion on, but had little to do with the decision that day made by the Juddiciary to void an illegal Executive order. Good for you Dave!

    Now can you help us out here in District-7 and get rid of your huge mistake called 2500 Senter Road? This huge biggest in the nation facility will hurt the safety of our nieghborhood and the threaten the very lives of people to be warehoused there. Not to mention drop our poroperty values like the bomb that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    • Tucker Carlson used examples of the intent and precedent of the laws silmiar to the one about federal law now being trampled on by Judge Orrick.

      There is nothing in the constitution that backs the claims that federal law not be complied with, particularly without penalty.

      Both Orrick and Cortese are full of it.

      Orrick should be impeached, and Cortese as well.

      • The Constitution grants the federal government certain defined powers. Forcing local law enforcement to hold aliens for them is not one of those powers.

    • 2500 Senter is supportive housing for the formerly homeless. It will have only a third more units than SF’s Richardson Apartments, at 365 Fulton, which is also supportive housing for the formerly homeless. 365 Fulton has neither hurt the safely of their neighborhood, nor threatened the lives of the people who have made their homes there. Nor has the value of adjacent properties dropped

      Supportive housing brings not just housing, but structured living, to people who could not cope with the world as it is. Supportive housing has been around for decades. It lets people live in decency, instead of curling up on a sheet of cardboard in a doorway, with their worldly goods in a nearby shopping cart. I am amazed that anyone would prefer that life for anyone.

      • Balderdash!
        Everything you have stated above is not only misleading but out right falsehoods. Propaganda belongs in autocratic societies where you have no choice but to swallow it whole. Not here.

        • CHI EXPAT has stated specific facts that can be checked and verified, whereas you are stating your opinion which can not be checked nor verified. Perhaps you might try doing some research instead of spouting your opinion as fact.

          Supervisor Cortese had all the facts and backed them up with the constitution than can be checked and verified. He avoided spouting his opinion. Perhaps you should learn from his example.

          • Mr. Aguirre,
            CHI EXPAT uses “Formerly Homeless” as defining the population at 2500 Senter Road. This is misleading and wrong. The population will be for 100% Chronic Homeless. As I have stated before these individuals are the “Worst of the Worst” and subject to Santa Clara County Housing Authority’s Chronic Homelessness Direct Referral Program (CHDR).

            “CHDR program resources are critical to ensuring the development and successful operation of planned permanent supportive housing projects such as the 160-unit 2500 Senter Road project.”

            HUD’s Definition of “Chronic Homeless”

            Richardson Apartments is a 120 unit or a much smaller facility in a high rise section of San Francisco, where as 2500 Senter is surrounded by single story homes in a suburban neighborhood and is 160 units for double occupancy or 320 individuals. No families or children allowed due to 100% Chronic population. Richardson has only 12 units subject to MSHA or California Mental Health Services Act.

            SCC Housing Director Ky Le, brags that “2500 Senter to be one of the largest of this type facility in the Nation.” This Mental Facility is out of place in the nieghborhood it is to be placed in.

            Also, District-7 already carries the along with D-6 and D-3 90% of all supportive and low income restricted deed housing in San Jose. This is dead center of D-7, at Tully and Senter Roads.

            The Housing First model or Harm Reduction Supportive Housing allows continued drug addiction and also Alcohol is allowed in the Studio Apartments. This needs to be a sober living environment considering the mental issues that drugs and alcohol bring to this vulnerable population.

          • The residents of the Richardson Apartments also were formerly chronically homeless before they were housed.

            The two projects draw from an identical population. And fearmongering also occurred in SF before the residents of the Richardson Apartments moved in.
            Further, I can find no reference to any mental health service facility in the 2500 Senter apartments.
            Once you get people off the streets, they are little inclined to go back to them.

  2. When Carlson started bringing up the bathrooms, segregated schools, etc., and asking Cortese if it was ok for the Federal government to do those things…I would have told him, “I am NOT a judge and that would be for a judge to decide. If you wish to know an answer, you might want to contact one.”

  3. They judge shopped for a guy who was an Obama fundraiser to issue a ruling that ignored the law. Not unusual these days. Ultimately, it won’t stand. Until then, people like Cortese can continue to protect those who are here illegally and incarcerated.

  4. > Armed with a smirk and firm grasp of Constitutional law, Cortese explained . . . .

    Huh? Am I reading “The Onion” or what?

    “Cortese explained . . .” that the Constitution is a “living document” and means whatever progressives want it to mean.

  5. Carlson smoked Cortese….no contest. In what liberal mirror were you watching your TV? Get serious!

    • I’m with this guy my whole family is liberal and I’m on the fence but Tucker made him sound like a puppet who could not answer a question, how could you in your right mind think it was even a contest!!!!!!! If you are going to debate anybody you must debate by answering each other’s question not repeating your self over and over. But maybe it is me whom is blind because people actually think he did well. The only few people who do well are people who answer his questions like Mark Cuban even Caitlyn Jenner. You don’t have to agree with him you just have to know what your talking about……

  6. He in NO WAY beat tucker!! All he could say over and over the judges decided!! He could not give any legal precedent in which tucker pointed out!!! A win for this idiot HAHA!!!

  7. Cortese is pandering to the immigrant issue, while ignoring all the people in the county on issues deeply connected to federal funding. Not to support anything about Trump’s assault on immigrants, but if Trump were to look at Santa Clara Family Courts, he could find plenty of violations that could allow the feds to withhold far more than what is at risk with the money tied to the sanctuary issue. Everyday Santa Clara County Family court judges are thrashing immigrants in family courts, by failing to provide interpreters, and failing to follow federal child support guideline payments. And what about immigrants like Neha Raostogi who get the crap beat out of her , only to get ignored by Cortese’s lap dog DA #JeffRosen

  8. Simple question for the smug Cortese, would you take a bunch of these illegal criminal immigrants home with you to hang out with your wife and daughters? Furthermore, would you be willing to accept legal responsibility for any and all additional crimes they commit against US citizens? Would you be willing to be sued by the victims personally? Are you willing to lose your home and all other assets if they commit felonies and you are held libel? I seriously doubt you would answer yes to any of these questions but you seem to have no problem setting them loose on innocent citizens. You are a big mouth coward!

  9. Cortese didn’t take the bait.

    May I translate? Thank you:

    In that interview Dave Cortese twisted himself into a pretzel, avoiding all of Tucker Carlson’s questions. He refused to give a straight answer to a single one of them. He might as well have said, ‘Cortese’s my name, and deflection’s my game.’

    Carlson gave Cortese one example after another of similar situations, forcing Cortese to either dodge the questions, or lose the debate. Cortese dodged;a stand-up guy would have given straight answers.

    Just like 99% of the local electeds who believe that illegal aliens should have a higher priority in local government affairs than either law-abiding citizens or the potholes in our streets do, Cortese is gutless. So when the wind changes direction, watch them change direction with it.

    When he’s faced with the imminent prospect of reconsidering or sticking to his non-existent principles, Cortese will fold like a cheap suit. He’ll sell out his illegal puppets/pals to keep the federal loot flowing to the voters and say, “Thankyouverymuch, Mr. President Trump, Sir! May I have another?”

    Right now this is all fake posturing based on a shopped judge’s bought and paid for opinion. But when push comes to shove Cortese will tuck tail and climb down, once again pandering to the voters. Any takers?

    Finally, I for one look forward to seeing this bogus decision shoved so far up that anti-Constitutional judge’s fundament that he’ll have to gargle to spit it out.

    ‘Justice Gorsuch’ Trumps this department store judge. So stay tuned, folks, this is just Act I. The Fat Lady is still in her dressing room…

  10. this is seriously beautiful…watching President, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisor Dave Corstese staying on point with facts to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson about the nationwide injunction barring the Trump Administration from enforcing Trumps executive order that could have denied our County $1.7 billion in services because of “Sanctuary Cities”.

    seriously, pretty much every night that i’ve been out in public in the last few months, i’ve had a conversation about politics with people i don’t already know, and i’ve had some sort of conflict with some arrogant guy, kinda like Tucker Carlson….someone who apparently can’t handle other people for having an opinion that differs than his.

    (and oh Lord help me if that opinion happens to be about “immigrants, refugees, people of other faiths, and or about people of color who face systematic obstacles to success, justice, and equity.”)

    • > watching President, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisor Dave Corstese staying on point with facts to Fox News’ . . .


      I did not see the Cortese interview, and I know from past experience that the concept of a “fact” for the left is, to put it kindly, subjective.

      Could you, in the interest of informing the public, recite some or all of the “facts” that you assert that Dave Cortese asserted and defended during the Fox interview. I have to confess ignorance in this matter. I DO NOT know what “facts” Cortese asserted or is claimed to have asserted.

      This is a cosmic moment in history. Finally knowing “the facts” could change my opinion of Dave Cortese and “Sanctuary cities”.

        • > i truly doubt that facts will change your opinion sjoutside…

          I’m not the only one who reads this forum, Ross. The entire internet reads this forum.

          Your credibility is on the line. You claimed the existence of some facts.

          “Stand and deliver”.

          • Its all there in the video (watch it for yourself)…a San Francisco judge blocked Trump’s executive order withholding funds from sanctuary cities that fail to comply with federal immigration demands by what some call shielding undocumented immigrants.

            The fact that a judge agreed with Santa Clara and San Francisco County (along with others) who all argued that the Executive Order in fact violates the Constitution and that Trump in fact threatened to deprive our communities of funds for local programs that in fact have nothing to do with his executive order.

            Increasingly, people are coming to see Trump as a bluffer and someone who in fact doesn’t know the Constitution, in fact rather than getting riled up about the things he says and does, they are calmly calling his bluffs and forcing him to back down.

  11. Cortese, a lawyer and a politician, is excellent at deflecting questions and staying on HIS message. No matter what an interviewer asks, he’ll just keep repeating his mantra of the moment irrespective of whether it’s responsive to the particular question at hand. No matter who said what, people watching this interview will respond in line with the personal belief or bias they had before they saw the interview. So, if you like Carlson or his point of view, you’ll say he won. If you like Cortese or his point of view, you’ll say he won. I believe both Carlson and Cortese did a good job of conveying their particular biases.

  12. WATCH THE ENTIRE SEGMENT before you accept the headline’s conclusion that Cortese “shut down” Carlson.
    I expect that the Supreme Court will eventually weigh in. Will the Board of Supes accept the Supreme Court’s decision, or is that in play too?

  13. Congratulations to Mr. Cortese for his ability to spew forth statements which, at best, could be said to be possibly true, rather than accidentally stating the following, which are almost assuredly true:

    Detainers are not illegal.
    The Secure Communities program was ended by Obama because of its effectiveness, not because of legitimate Constitutional issues.
    The liability risk to counties honoring detainers is confined to holding the detainee in excess of the specified 48 business hours maximum.
    The county can legally refuse to honor detainers.
    The county honored detainers without hesitation for the first four decades of the program; they became a moral issue only after illegals flooded this county.
    The county’s changing stand on the morality of detainers (based one year on ICE reimbursement, the next on the number of hours held) is more reminiscent of obstructionist behavior than principled.
    The county, motivated by politics and not policy, will in the future hold a dangerous felon for ICE rather than expose itself to a Steinlesque episode. It will try its best to do so quietly.

    Lastly, were Mr. Cortese a deer in season the look on his face during this interview would cause me to hold my fire as I’d assume he was caught in someone’s headlights.

  14. Says ROSS:

    > Its all there in the video (watch it for yourself)…

    Or, as they say in the UFO community: “The truth, it’s out there”.

    I’m sure that the urban legend that Dave Cortese has emitted some “facts” is as compelling to progressives as a Papal decree, but there are some of us who would still like to see and touch an actual, living, squirming space alien.

    • So funny that Ross refers to William Orrick as “a judge”, unless “a” stands for an “activist”?

      He helped Obama’s DOJ sue Arizona over its immigration law (SB 1070) despite its overwhelming public support and that, I guess, was a O.K. in his book. Now, fast forward seven years and he’s back at it with the tables turned; same agenda, different means.

      An IGS-UC Berkeley poll from three months ago shows that 74 percent of Californians want sanctuary cities ended; 65 percent of Hispanics, 70 percent of independents, 73 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans yet “a judge” can simply, with a stroke of a pen mind you, tell everyone to go f*ck themselves?

      Welcome to Calibanana Republic, where anything goes whenever “a judge” says so!

      • So Eric Fuentes I didn’t know you worked for FAUX NEWS.

        You cite a Briebart article with your so called factual news, which in turn Briebart then cites The San Diego Union Tribune. Which by the way was recently bought by a conservative rich real estate developer in 2011.

        So are we to believe your numbers, and if so tell me WHY?

        In as far as FAKE NEWS, you by far are the go to guy.

        Thank God for Google Search.

  15. Must have watched a different interview because the one I saw exposed cortese as the smarmy, ignore any law I don’t like jerk that he apparently is.

  16. Cortese was handed his hat by Tucker Carlson. Jennifer, just like the rest of your liberal fake news, you can’t seem to report the truth. Cortese couldn’t even answer the questions and kept falling back on his water carrying talking points. Cortese was red faced because he didn’t know what to say. He found out it was CNN that was asking the softball questions. I loved it.

  17. Huh? It was Carlson who bested Cortese. So glad I don’t live inthe Bay Area where even reporters can’t tell the truth

  18. Perhaps we should keep Californians’ tax money here in Santa Clara County to fund local programs. A deduction for national security could be made and forwarded to the Feds.
    It appears that Mr. Cortese held to his principles and was not derailed by the inapposite questions and constant interruptions.
    How can there be a discussion when the moderator keeps interrupting?

  19. Tucker Carlson is the master of the strawman argument. Dave Cortese’s personal beliefs have nothing to do with the court decision.
    The federal government cannot conscript local law enforcement into doing its work for them, because of federalism, and because the Constitution does not grant the federal government that power. Conservatives applauded that ruling in US v. Mack, when Congress attempted to force local law enforcement to perform criminal background checks for prospective gun buyers. The Supreme Court ruled that Congress had no such power, and neither does the President.

    • Siding with the majority in that case (Printz v US), and suggesting an alternative route to securing cooperation at the state level, Justice O’Connor wrote:

      “Such incentives may include special awards, a progressive schedule of reimbursement based on the number of background checks performed by the state, and the withholding of federal funding from states that do not implement the federal program.”

      Given that President Trump’s intention is to withhold federal funding, as opposed to usurping the state’s authority, it would appear your citation of this case is doubly misleading.

      • Too bad for your argument that Justice Scalia wrote the official decision of the court, not the squiahy wishy-washy O’Connor, who wrote for herself only.

        Should I, too, conclude that you are arguing in bad faith?

        • Are you suggesting the alternative avenues of redress mentioned by Justice O’Connor are not allowed under the Constitution? If so, please cite your evidence, as it would be interesting to learn that a Supreme Court Justice had actually recommended a course of action that was illegal.

          By the way, the issue on the table is the constitutionality of withholding federal funding, not the conscription of local law enforcement.

          FYI, I never argue in bad faith.

        • > Too bad for your argument that Justice Scalia wrote the official decision of the court. . .

          Sounds like you’re rejecting the authority of the Supreme Court, CHI. But, that’s what Leftists do.

          “The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.”
          “It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.”

          “inside every Progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out.”

  20. ” by threatening to take away billions of dollars in federal funding that’s completely unrelated to his policies.”

    This has nothing to do with Trump’s policies. It has everything to do with following Federal Laws. I find it un-defendable that any elected representative of the public would side with any people who are in this country illegally and offer these criminals a place to continue their illegal residence.
    Once Sanctuary Cities are no longer considered a bad thing, then there will be laws enacted by the left to allow illegal and criminal illegal aliens to vote. Think on that for a while.

    • > there will be laws enacted by the left to allow illegal and criminal illegal aliens to vote.

      The Lefties are WAY, WAY ahead of you.

      Illegal aliens already vote, and Lefties don’t need any stinkin’ laws to allow them to vote. They just do it, and no one is going to prosecute them.

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