President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to impose a travel ban on citizens from countries deemed to pose a security threat to the United States— due to go into effect this week—was blocked on Tuesday by a federal judge in Hawaii.
Derrick Watson, district judge for the US District Court of Hawaii, granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the ban—in what was an obvious act of judicial activism designed to undermine the constitutional efforts of a democratically elected President.
How do we know it was an obvious act of judicial activism? Because Judge Watson—who just so happened to go to Harvard Law with Barack Obama and was appointed to his current position by the former President—also blocked Trump’s last travel ban, a block which was overruled by the Supreme Court itself.
Watson wrote that the latest ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor”—which only affirms the chances that Watson’s block will eventually overturned for precisely the same reason as his earlier attempt to thwart Trump. The simple fact is that same judge is re-litigating the same argument that the Supreme Court already rejected—both from Hawaii and the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts.
As Fourth Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer explained in his dissent the last time Trump’s travel ban was blocked—the Fourth Circuit was split along partisan lines, 10 Clinton and Obama appointees in favour of the block, three Bush appointees against—there is no sound legal basis for blocking the President’s efforts at implementing such a policy. Indeed, the liberal activist judges needed to effectively “fabricate” a new law just to block the ban.
“I conclude that the district court seriously erred (1) by refusing to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in Mandel [which held the Attorney General’s right to refuse somebody’s admission into the US]; (2) by fabricating a new proposition of law—indeed, a new rule—that provides for the consideration of campaign statements to recast a later-issued executive order; and (3) by radically extending Supreme Court Establishment Clause precedents,” Niemeyer wrote.
“The district court’s approach is not only unprecedented, it is totally unworkable and inappropriate under any standard of analysis,” he continued. The Supreme Court agreed.
The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling to allow President Trump’s travel ban to go ahead signalled a huge victory for the constitutional separation of powers. Not one of the Supreme Court’s liberal justices agreed with any of the lower courts’ rulings, a fact which speaks volumes about just how partisan those courts have become.
We have entered dangerous times when courts base rulings on partisan politics rather than law, especially where issues of national security are concerned. The White House called Watson’s ruling “dangerously flawed” and argued that it “undercuts the President’s efforts to keep the American people safe”.
“These restrictions are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our nation,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“We are therefore confident that the judiciary will ultimately uphold the President’s lawful and necessary action and swiftly restore its vital protections for the safety of the American people.”
It undoubtedly will—and an activist liberal judge will undoubtedly try to delegitimise it yet again.
American Mitchell Feierstein is a New York and London based fund manager and author of the book Planet Ponzi.