From Tropics of Meta by H. Robert Baker author of Prigg v. Pennsylvania: Slavery, the Supreme Court, and the Ambivalent Constitution :
As everyone with a Twitter feed already knows, Donald J. Trump is no friend of immigrants. In a spate of hot-headed executive orders this week, he slammed the door shut on refugees, banned visitors from seven Muslim countries, and promised to build a “Great Wall” physically separating us from Mexico.
But his wrath extended past Mexican day laborers and Muslim asylum seekers to take aim at the traitors within. In an executive jeremiad, Trump torched “sanctuary jurisdictions” for “willfully” violating federal law and causing “immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.” To such harmers of the Republican Fabric he threatens to withhold all federal funds, excepting those “as mandated by law.”
Strong stuff. But before we all blow a collective gasket at boisterous threats from the White House or the defiant voices of Bill De Blasio and Rahm Emanuel in response, we ought to pause. After all, this is nothing new. The state and federal governments have always been at loggerheads, since virtually the first days of the Republic. This latest salvo is yet another chapter in the saga of American federalism and the structural ways that rights are defined and protected and—most importantly—contested.