Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on Mark Levin’s show and the subject of the second Trump executive order limiting travel to the US from a handful of failed states and state sponsors of terror came up.
(Let me digress into shameless puffery, on Wednesday, Levin read one of my post on his show)
@streiffredstate being red on Mark Levin Show, Damn cool.
— Rhylon Rhodes (@Helsfire75) April 20, 2017
“We’ve got cases moving in the very, very liberal Ninth Circuit, who, they’ve been hostile to the order,” Sessions said. “We won a case in Virginia recently that was a nicely-written order that just demolished, I thought, all the arguments that some of the other people have been making. We are confident that the President will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit. So this is a huge matter. I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”
Last month, a federal judge in Hawaii, Judge Derrick Watson, issued an order that blocked Trump’s ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries. The Department of Justice is currently appealing the decision.
“I think our President, having seen some of these really weird interpretations of the executive orders that he’s put out, I think he’s more understanding now that we need judges who follow the law, not make law,” Sessions said.
“The judges don’t get to psychoanalyze the President to see if the order he issues is lawful. It’s either lawful or it’s not. I think that it will be real important for America to have judges in the model of Judge (Neil) Gorsuch and (the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin) Scalia, people who serve under the law, under the Constitution, not above it, and they are faithful to the law. They honor it and don’t try to remake it as they’d like it to be.”
Aaaand we were off to the races
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 21, 2017
Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) April 20, 2017
Mr. Attorney General: You voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It's my home. Have some respect. https://t.co/sW9z3vqBqG
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 20, 2017
As Sessions’ spokesman said:
“Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific — a beautiful one where the Attorney General’s granddaughter was born,” Ian Prior, the DOJ’s principal deputy director of public affairs, said in an email. “The point, however, is that there is a problem when a flawed opinion by a single judge can block the President’s lawful exercise of authority to keep the entire country safe.”
A Justice Department spokesman said Sessions was simply objecting to one judge asserting authority to block a presidential directive nationwide.
I don’t have a lot of problem with what Sessions said. Watson called Trump a bigot in his opinion, determined out of the blue that campaign speeches are enforceable in court, and ruled based on what he wanted US policy to be. You don’t, as a federal judge, get to impose your judgment over that of the Executive and Legislative branches and then take shield behind the idea that you are an impartial arbiter of fact. Watson needed to be called out. Watson really needs to be impeached because he has forfeited any presumption of “good behavior” by his actions.