By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief
(National Sentinel)Â National Security: When U.S. District JudgeÂ Derrick Watson ruled earlier this year that President Donald J. Trump’s travel ban, restricting U.S. entry to people from six terrorism-infested countries, was ‘unconstitutional’ because of what the president said on the campaign trail about “Muslims,” he committed one of the more outrageous examples of Left-wing judicial activism in recent memory.
Now Watson is back for an encore. EvenÂ after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled mostly in favor of the president in issuing the 90-day ban — ruling, in part, thatÂ “the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security” — Watson is once again assuming the role of the head of the Executive Branch.
As reported byÂ The Wall Street Journal, Watson late Thursday issuedÂ anotherÂ injunction against the travel ban, deciding for himself that the Trump administration’s interpretation of the high court’s ruling is wrong:
The justices said Mr. Trumpâ€™s administration couldnâ€™t enforce the ban against people with bona fide relationships to people or organizations in the U.S. Days after, the Trump administration adopted a narrow view of what relationships counted for an exemption from the ban.
Administration officials said visa applicants and refugees with U.S.-based spouses, children, parents and siblings would be allowed in. But those with only lesser tiesâ€”such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousinsâ€”would be subject to the ban.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii took issue with that interpretation. He issued an order late Thursday, which applies nationwide, that says people with broader family ties are also exempt from the ban.
â€œThe Governmentâ€™s definition of close familial relationship is not only not compelled by the Supreme Courtâ€™s June 26 decision, but contradicts it,â€ the judge wrote.
Judge Watson said the Trump administrationâ€™s ban implementation after the high court ruling tilted the scale too far in its favor and against those travelers with U.S. family connections. He ordered that the ban not apply to â€œgrandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States.â€
â€œCommon sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members,â€ the judge wrote.
Once again, for the record, here is what the relevant U.S. statute givingÂ presidentsÂ (not federal judges) absolute authority to decide who can and cannot enter the country:
Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 states: â€œWhenever the President finds that the entry ofÂ any aliens or of anyÂ class of aliensÂ into the United StatesÂ would be detrimental to theÂ interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for suchÂ period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens orÂ any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on theÂ entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.â€
Further, under the Constitutionâ€™s Article II, Sect. II, clause, Trump â€” as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and head of the Executive Branch â€” has the authority to make national security policy for the country, and his executive orders were always couched in that authority, and that very concern.
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It’s pretty obvious this judge, an Obama appointee, has a problem withÂ Trump, and one that he did not have with the man who nominated him to the federal bench: During his tenure, he implemented similar bans, even earning the moniker “Deporter-in-chief.”
Frankly — and this isÂ not unprecedented — the White House, as inÂ the president, should simple ignore this partisan hack and continue operating under the guidelines provided by the SCOTUS ruling last month.
As reported by Reveal,Â University of St. Thomas law professor Michael Paulsen has made Â an argument for â€œdepartmentalism” — meaning, in cases where the president and the courts interpret the Constitution differently, the president’s interpretation is supreme, not the courts.
â€œThe power of constitutional interpretation is a divided, shared power,â€ Paulsen argued, â€œincident to the functions of each of the branches of the national government â€” and to instruments of state governments, and of juries, as well â€” with none of these actors literally bound by the views of any of the others.â€
At the start of the Civil War, President Lincoln ignored the Supreme Court, which disagreed with his suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Of that incident, Paulson — in a book co-authored with his son Luke, noted:Â â€œImplicit in Lincolnâ€™s action was his belief that he was not bound as President to obey a judicial order he believed incorrect as a matter of constitutional law â€” the boldest challenge ever made to judicial supremacy in constitutional interpretation.â€
And while there is noÂ recent case similar to this, Trump at some point may have to take the route of “departmentalism” when it comes to his travel ban, deciding for himself whether his power as president and duty to protect the country isÂ more constitutional than an activist judge’s order loosening the ban on the nonsensical presumption that the president is a bigoted racist who hates Muslims.
Critics will call such a move an ‘unprecedented attack on the Constitution and the rule of law.’ Well, the president can make the very same argument, andÂ should.