This nation’s top law enforcement officer is, evidently, quite ignorant of the law.
Speaking to conservative political commentator Mark Levin this week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed shock that a Hawaii federal judge has the authority to overturn a presidential executive order, even though that’s literally the way it works. It’s called checks and balances, Jeff.
The executive order in question is the second incarnation of Trump’s Muslim targeting travel ban, which Hawaii’s Judge Derrick Watson blocked before it could even go into effect. According to CNN, the Department of Justice is currently appealing Watson’s decision.
This fate is the same one that the first incarnation of Trump’s Muslim ban met, having been struck down by a Washington federal judge. That Muslim ban repeal was later held up in the Ninth Circuit Court upon its appeal by the federal government.
The Trump Administration, however, evidently didn’t learn its lesson. Besides the fact that the president signed a new version of the Muslim ban into law just shortly after the first one was struck down, the White House is still pushing forward with their efforts to get the second version of the Muslim ban enacted.
And, as mentioned, AG Sessions evidently doesn’t quite understand how the administration even got to the point of having to fight in court for their beloved Muslim ban in the first place.
He told Mark Levin:
‘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… The judges don’t get to psychoanalyze the President to see if the order he issues is lawful.’
Sessions’ reference to psychoanalysis is birthed out of the fact that Judge Watson — and other judges involved in this saga — have pointed to the fact that Trump called what he was going to do in writing a travel ban a “Muslim ban” before he officially signed that ban into law.
In the United States of America, because of a thing called the First Amendment — something which the Trump team may or may not have ever heard of — the government doesn’t get to make laws that discriminate against people based on religion. The Trump team doesn’t get to come around now and pretend like the travel ban is a matter of legitimate national security.
The other issue inherent in Sessions’ remarks — namely, that the state of Hawaii is just some “island in the Pacific” — was addressed nicely on Twitter by both of Hawaii’s two U.S. Senators.
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
You can check out an audio of Sessions’ comments below.
Featured Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images