A year ago, FAIR declared, “Judiciary Wages War on Trump, Jeopardizes National Security.”
Several court decisions later, activist district judges are expanding their reach to unconstitutionally subvert immigration laws.
The repeated hijacking of President Donald Trump’s travel ban is a case study in local courts meddling where they should not.
Busting their jurisdictional boundaries, district judges from Hawaii to Virginia have blocked the presidential order that bars nationals from terrorist-linked countries. The case is now, finally, before the U.S. Supreme Court where it belongs.
“These lower courts are turning immigration law into a charade. They’re way out of their depth,” says Richard Kelsey, a former assistant law dean at George Mason University and author of the legal-affairs blog, “The Committed Conservative.”
Strict constitutionalists decry “judicial tyranny” that goes beyond the travel ban. Most recently, they blasted U.S. District Judge John D. Bates for revoking Trump’s termination of Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Bates branded Trump’s DACA action “arbitrary and capricious.” The same, and more, can be said about a local district judge slapping a restraining order on the nation’s chief executive to extend a program never enacted by Congress.
Lower-court intervention in immigration law isn’t new. In 1997, a federal judge pushed the Department of Justice to follow a policy making it unlawful to detain children crossing the border illegally.
Obstructionism from the bench has taken on vastly larger and more dangerous dimensions since Trump took office. The judicial power grab has some conservatives, including Laura Ingraham, calling for action on Capitol Hill.
In fact, Congress has the authority to rein in “inferior” courts below the level of the U.S. Supreme Court. Any first-year law student knows that jurisdiction is a primary determinant in any case. Clearly, national immigration policies cannot be adjudicated in 94 separate federal court districts scattered across the country.
Alas, Kelsey doubts that lawmakers will bring order to the courts.
“Congress loves this. They never have to make a decision. They can just run against these judges at election time,” he told FAIR in an interview.
Something to consider next time you encounter a member of Congress who talks big but does nothing.