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DHS police stand guard in front of an LA Immigration Court building. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge has sided with the city of Los Angeles and issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Justice Department from tying the allocation of federal grants to the participation of local police departments in helping enforce federal immigration laws.

Why it matters: The ruling is a significant blow to President Trump's executive order, signed last year, which threatened to withhold certain federal funds from "sanctuary cities." This is the latest in a string of judicial setbacks by federal courts that have temporarily reined in the administration's various efforts to impose and enforce stricter immigration laws.

The backstory: Los Angeles filed the suit last year after the DOJ declined the LAPD's request for certain grants. LAPD has routinely applied and received grants under the previous administration. But this time, the DOJ had asked LAPD to give immigration agents access to city jails and share information regarding arrestees. But the police department declined to do so.

What they’re saying: In the ruling, issued Wednesday, U. S. District Judge Manuel Real said the DOJ's action “upset the constitutional balance between state and federal power by requiring state and local law enforcement to partner with federal authorities.” He also said the administration overstepped its authority by issuing new grant rules without congressional approval.

  • City attorney Mike Feuer told reporters at a presser Thursday: “This is yet another dagger in the heart of the administration’s efforts to use federal funds as a weapon to make local jurisdictions complicit in its civil immigration enforcement policies.”
  • Devin O'Malley, a DOJ spokesperson, said in a statement that the injunction "is over broad and inconsistent with the rule of law." He added that the department is legally allowed to give preference to departments that promise to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

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Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

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Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conservative groups are unveiling huge ad-buys going after vulnerable House Democrats over tax increases and other revenue measures in their party's massive infrastructure spending bill, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden and Democrats have an immense amount of political capital riding on a $3.5 trillion bill facing razor-thin margins in both chambers. Conservatives are running ads targeting the House members who leaders will need to pass the measure.