Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday slammed a Hawaii judge who placed a nationwide block on President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from six majority-Muslim countries.
“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power,” Sessions said on “The Mark Levin Show,” in comments first reported by CNN.
Sessions said judges shouldn’t get to “psychoanalyze” Trump to determine whether his executive orders are lawful.
“It’s either lawful or it’s not,” he said.
The Hawaii judge, Derrick Watson, had granted a temporary restraining order on Trump’s revised travel ban in March, just hours before the federal government was set to begin enforcing it. Later that month, Watson extended his order blocking the ban.
Sessions said many of the judges who have ruled on Trump’s executive orders have come up with “really weird interpretations.” He praised conservative judges such as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and his predecessor, Justice Antonin Scalia, who Sessions said honour the law and “don’t try to remake it as they’d like it to be.”
“We’ve got cases moving in the very, very liberal 9th Circuit, who — they have been hostile to the order,” Sessions said, referring to the judges on the federal appeals court who blocked the original travel ban Trump signed in January.
“We are confident that the president will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the 9th Circuit. So this is a huge matter,” Sessions said.
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