With little real political clout at the federal level, the left is striking back at Republican rule through the courts. Until the judicial swamp is drained of federal judges who ignore the U.S. Constitution, in favor of ideology, the progressive agenda will be advanced through the courts and the Trump administration will continue to face dubious legal challenges to its agenda at every turn.
Once again, President Trump’s executive order (EO), imposing a temporary hold on entry to the U.S. from certain countries, has been stopped by a federal judge who willfully disregards the President’s legal power to invoke such a measure. The Hawaii judge – a former Harvard classmate of Barack Obama – was unable to cite a legal justification for his ruling and, instead, chose to rely upon his personal interpretation of the President’s intent. Comments made by Mr. Trump whilst on the campaign trail are now, it seems, a sound basis for legal challenges to his decisions as President.
If one were to extrapolate this reasoning to support all judicial rulings, the potential implications are frightening; could any defendant – in any legal proceeding – be convicted, based on the judge’s interpretation of intent because of some previous comment made by said defendant? The entire concept of being innocent until proven guilty would be nullified, since anything one says could, in theory, be used against them in any future court case, regardless of the legality of their actions.
There is no debate about the legality of the President’s executive order; those who argue in support of Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling can only repeat the narrative that the intent is to discriminate against Muslims, even though nothing in the wording of the order defines any such bias. So, in reality, Watson is saying that he has the right to define intent, rather than produce a sound, legal argument.
In Watson’s written opinion, as reported by the Washington Post, he stated “a reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.” He also argued that there was a “strong likelihood of success” that the EO would be found unconstitutional.
Not for the first time, a federal judge has unilaterally assumed for himself the power to defy the federal government, based – not upon strict constitutional definition – but upon a vague, politically-motivated interpretation of the founding document. In this particular case, Watson has turned to the First Amendment’s establishment clause. Constitutional rights, however, do not extend to foreigners who are outside the United States and have no legal status in this country. Were the opposite true, The United States government would have to insist the United Nations adopt the U.S. Constitution as its supreme – and only – guiding document; nullifying all treaties, resolutions and policy positions that do not comply. Only then would all citizens – of all countries – be afforded constitutional rights. Such an idea is, of course, preposterous.
Watson’s opinion is politically partisan and has no sound legal basis. Should the fight over this travel ban reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the most likely outcome would be deferment back to a lower court. Any SCOTUS ruling – assuming no split decision – would set a monumental and far-reaching precedent.
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