I am acutely aware that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is an educated man.
He went to law school; passed the Alabama state bar; served as a federal prosecutor; tried to become a federal judge in the 1980s, but was rejected by the U.S. Senate because of some things he reportedly said about black people; then he was elected to the Senate.
He now serves as U.S. attorney general, thanks to an appointment by Donald John Trump.
There. Having stipulated all of that, I need to remind the attorney general that he should not disrespect the tenet of judicial review that the nation’s founders established when they formed our republic more than two centuries ago.
I say this with no desire to lecture the AG about the law, or the U.S. Constitution.
However, when he pops off about a federal judge sitting on the bench “on an island in the Pacific,” he has disrespected one of the basic frameworks set aside by those founders.
The judge presides over a federal court in Hawaii, one of the nation’s 50 states. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled against Trump’s temporary travel ban on constitutional grounds. The travel ban is now heading to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
You’ll recall, too, that the president himself referred to another federal jurist in Washington state as a “so-called judge” when he struck down an earlier travel ban involving refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. Trump might need a lecture about the Constitution and the separation of powers written into it; he might need to be told about how the founders intended for the judiciary to be independent of political pressure. Given that Trump had zero government experience prior to becoming — gulp! — president, he might be unaware of the not-so-fine print written in the Constitution.
The attorney general should know better than to disparage a federal judge in the manner that he did.
An island in the Pacific? C’mon, Mr. Attorney General.
Suck it up. Let the courts do their job. Sure, you are entitled to challenge court decisions’ legality. However, let’s stop the petulant put-downs.
Same thing goes for you, too, Mr. President.