Sunday, April 30, 2017

Congress can rein in activist judges

The following article was published on the American Thinker website on April 27th

President Trump has issued two executive orders directing a temporary halt to immigration from certain countries along with the most recent order to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities and counties. 

The travel-related orders have been challenged in federal court and have been stayed by activist federal judges using the flimsy pretext that these E.O.s are an abridgement of the immigrant's constitutional right to religious freedom.

Forget for a moment that the subjects of these E.O.s aren't American citizens, therefore are not entitled to protections under our Constitution, and focus instead on the functional result of such a brazen attack on the separation of powers.  The basis for these orders is not religion, but rather the lack of functioning governments in these nations from whom we can gather sufficient information to adequately vet their émigrés. 

The order to withhold funds has also been challenged and subjected to a stay.

President Trump correctly believes that it is his duty to prevent the wrong-headed importation of potentially dangerous individuals and to halt the ongoing subsidizing of local governments enabling illegality.

The left (predictably!) lost their minds.  In their rush to oppose all things Trump, they turned to their primary method of implementing policy – the courts – usurping powers constitutionally vested in the office of the president.  The hubris of the activist wing of the judiciary has long been troubling, but this presumptive, arrogant overreach is unprecedented.

No intellectually honest interpretation of the Constitution or applicable law can provide a rational basis for just one of nearly 3,000 federal judges to have the power to exercise a de jure veto over the actions of the president in the course of his duties as commander-in-chief – especially when the existing law so clearly and unequivocally grants the president the statutory authority to act in the specific manner the judge is presuming to stay.

While such egregious misuse of the judicial power constitutes an impeachable offense, there is an easier and less protracted means of reining in these black-robed tyrants.

Congress can, under their broad authority to govern the inferior courts, strip the federal courts of their jurisdiction over executive action when the president is exercising the statutorily granted power to suspend or modify entry to the United States.

Simply put, Congress established the lower courts and can modify (even remove) the jurisdiction of those courts.

This can be done through the same administrative rules and procedures by which court districts are routinely drawn or modified.  This means streamlined committee handling and rapid implementation.

Indeed, there is precedent for this.

The "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996," signed into law by Monica Lewinsky's old boyfriend, stripped jurisdiction to challenge certain actions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (the forerunner of today's ICE) from federal courts.

Congress can put an end to this unconstitutional and irresponsible judicial activism.  Reassert the proper role of the courts, and do so before one of the once banned immigrants or refugees commit another act of criminality or terrorism.

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