Jeff Sessions learns constitutional basics from Hawaii attorney general
In a radio interview Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions displayed a disconcerting lack of knowledge about the U.S. legal system, specifically the whole part about checks and balances. Sessions, who needs a nap, told host Mark Levin he was “amazed” that a Hawaii district court judge could overrule an executive order.
On Thursday, Hawaii Attorney General Dougal Chin responded with an attempt to teach Sessions how the U.S. Constitution works:
“President Trump previously called a federal judge in California a so-called judge. Now U.S. Attorney General Sessions appears to dismiss a federal judge in Hawaii as just a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific. Our Constitution created a separation of powers in the United States for a reason. Our federal courts, established under article III of the Constitution, are co-equal partners with Congress and the President. It is disappointing [Attorney General] Sessions does not acknowledge that.”
“Disappointing” is one way to put it. The Trump administration’s attacks on disagreeable judges threaten the judicial branch’s very capacity for judicial oversight, an especially necessary responsibility when the White House seems so interested in unconstitutional shit. Hawaii was on Sessions’s decaying mind because district court judge Derrick Watson temporarily blocked Trump’s revised travel ban.
“The Court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has,” Watson wrote in his ruling. “The Supreme Court and this Circuit both dictate otherwise, and that is the law this Court is bound to follow.”
The Justice Department appealed Watson’s injunction in March, arguing the president does have authority to restrict travel from six Muslim-majority countries and pause refugee resettlement. It also appealed a more narrow ruling against the ban issued by a Maryland district court. These appeals will be heard by the 9th circuit, which overturned Trump’s first attempt at religious discrimination, only to be called by the president a “bad court.” My dude, maybe you’re just a bad president?
[photo: Warner Bros.]