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Black Lives Matter protesters march through a downtown street in Seattle, June 14. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

New York City, Portland and Seattle sued the Trump administration on Thursday over its threat to withdraw federal funding after the Justice Department designated the cities as "anarchist jurisdictions" for their handling of protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: In an effort to help his re-election bid, President Trump has tried to paint himself as a "president of law and order," arguing that Democratic-led cities have seen "crazy violence" since the start of nationwide demonstrations this summer.

The big picture: The lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington challenges a memo Trump issued last month threatening to pull federal funding from jurisdictions that "permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract these criminal activities (anarchist jurisdictions)."

  • The cities argue that Congress, not the executive branch, has the power to impose conditions on federal funding,
    • "No act of Congress gives the Attorney General the authority to designate cities as 'anarchist jurisdictions' from which federal funding may be withheld," the lawsuit says.
  • The cities add that Attorney General Bill Barr based his designation "on an arbitrary and capricious list of misleading and cherry-picked bullet-points about each City that in no way supports the assertion that the Cities have chosen to abandon their jurisdictions to lawlessness and violence."

The bottom line: The cities could lose funding for nearly 200 "programs that serve their poorest, sickest residents after the president moved last month to restrict funding, escalating his political battle against liberal cities he’s sought to use as a campaign foil," Politico first reported on Tuesday.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Scoop: Amazon Fresh eyes multiple Twin Cities locations

An Amazon Fresh store in California. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Amazon is planning a big entry into the Twin Cities grocery market beyond just the Burnsville store we told you about on Tuesday.

What's happening: Amazon also wants to bring checkout-free Fresh stores to Eagan Town Centre and a former JCPenney store in Coon Rapids' Riverdale Village, Nick confirmed with his sources.

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.