As President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions continue to persecute undocumented immigrants across the country, Sessions is arguing that federal courts have no business blocking Trump’s policies.
Sessions most recently announced that his Justice Department is suing the state of California over state and local laws designed to force federal immigrations and customs agents to do their job while adhering to the due process requirements outlined by the Constitution.
Rather than just busting into private homes and businesses and arresting people, agents must have a warrant signed by a judge to do so.
But both executive orders have been blocked or partially blocked by federal courts, decisions that have resulted in whining from Trump and Sessions.
Last year, Sessions frequently accused judges of overreach and derided what he calls “government by litigation.”
And he did the same thing during a speech to the Federalist Society’s 2018 National Student Symposium this week.
“Our Founders set up a marvelous system in which Congress writes our laws, the Executive Branch carries out our laws, and the Judiciary applies those laws to cases and controversies,” Sessions began.
“But this group knows well that there is always a serious risk that some judges will fail to respect our representatives in Congress and the Executive Branch and, instead, claim the power to set policy—a power courts do not have.
For example, we recently had a judge tell one of our fine lawyers openly in court that “you can’t come into court to espouse a position that is so heartless.” Not illegal. Not unlawful. Heartless.
As Attorney General of the United States, I am shocked by the actions of certain judges who fail to respect the constitutional responsibilities of the executive and legislative branches. These branches are coequal and the courts are not superior.”
Although the courts are empowered to decide specific cases and controversies, they do not have the final word on every policy dispute. On matters of policy, the branches that are directly accountable to the people must be given proper respect.”
“In truth, this is a question of raw power — of who gets to decide the policy questions facing America: our elected representatives, our elected president or unelected lifetime-appointed federal judges,” Sessions added.
Here’s the video via YouTube.
Clearly, Sessions doesn’t seem to understand our system of checks and balances. And as America’s top attorney, he of all people should know better.
The judicial branch exists to check the executive branch and legislative branch in order to maintain balance in our government. For over 200 years, the courts have had the power of judicial review and it’s the job of the courts to determine if a policy is Constitutional or not and what the law is.
According to Marbury v. Madison:
“It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.”
Courts have every right to block Trump’s policies if it is determined that they violate the Constitution. If Sessions has a problem with that, he’ll have to wait for the Supreme Court to decide when the cases reach its docket.
Sessions seems to think that courts should just stay out of Trump’s way and let him do what he wants without giving the people any recourse to challenge him.
But if the Founding Fathers didn’t want anyone to challenge the laws and orders from the legislative and executive branches, they wouldn’t have created the judicial branch. Sessions has the legal right to appeal the decisions of lower courts, but he cannot demand that courts stop exercising judicial review and the crucial role the courts play in our government.
You can read Sessions’ full remarks here.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot