(National Sentinel) Frank Language: Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not mince words on Monday when he took some federal judges to task over his belief that their decisions were based more on political beliefs than the rule of law.
Sessions was particularly frank with his language, indicating that at least in some instances federal judges could face “calls for their replacement” if they continued their judicial activism.
The AG was especially critical of a federal judge who called one of POTUS Donald Trump’s policies towards illegal immigrants “heartless.” Another judge, he said, put “the inner workings of a Cabinet secretary’s mind” on trial in a bid to block the federal government from inquiring about citizenship status on the upcoming 2020 Census.
He blasted one judge who called the president’s policy toward illegal immigrants “heartless,” and said another judge put “the inner workings of a Cabinet secretary’s mind” on trial to pave a path to block the government from asking about citizenship on the 2020 census.
“Once we go down this road in American government, there is no turning back,” Sessions said in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation, according to the Washington Times. “We are seeing it in case after case. When a hot-button policy issue ends up in litigation, judges are starting to believe their role is to examine the entire process that led to the policy decision — to redo the entire political debate in their courtrooms.”
It’s not, Sessions reminded; their role is to rule on the merits of the law, not the intentions behind it or even whether the president’s motives are pure.
Sessions told the Times that several decisions by federal judges amount to improper intervention in policy decisions that are rightfully and constitutionally the president’s to make, not the Judicial Branch.
“He has monumental responsibilities and no court without serious cause should interrupt the function of government. It takes untold hours and time to deal with these things. It slows up multiple agencies of government,” he said.
The Times noted further:
He chided one judge who earlier this month issued an injunction blocking Homeland Security from phasing out special Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of migrants from El Salvador, Haiti and elsewhere.
Federal law says the Homeland Security secretary’s TPS decisions cannot be reviewed by courts, but the judge ruled he was reviewing the process by which the secretary reached the decision, not the decision itself.
One crux of his decision was Mr. Trump’s reported use of an insult to describe El Salvador and some African countries during a closed-door immigration meeting earlier this year, which U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen, an Obama appointee, said showed “animus” that could have poisoned the administration’s entire decision-making process.
In his speech Monday, Mr. Sessions also criticized U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who last year during a hearing told a Justice Department he couldn’t defend a policy “that is so heartless.”
As for approaching so-called “hot-button” issues, Sessions — a former U.S. senator — reminded federal jurists that Congress can either act on them or it can choose not to, but that either decision is one for the Legislative Branch to make, not the Judiciary.
Courts, he said, cannot step in and do what Congress has chosen not to do, calling that “judicial encroachment.”
Other federal court actions such as demanding the production of handwritten notes from Cabinet secretaries or, in a case the Supreme Court is now considering, ordering the Commerce secretary to be deposed over the Census citizenship case, are bridges too far.
“The Census question — which has appeared in one form or another on the Census for over a hundred years — is either legal or illegal,” said Sessions. “The words on the page don’t have a motive; they are either permitted or they are not. But the judge has decided to hold a trial over the inner workings of a Cabinet secretary’s mind.”
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