A Civics Lesson for the Attorney General

Courts in Washington state and California blocked implementation of the Trump administration’s first plot to bar those evil Muslims from entering the U.S.  This attempt was undertaken before the new administration even had an attorney general, which was probably a bad idea because the people behind that executive order apparently received their legal training watching Ally McBeal and the outcome of their effort reflected that.

A second attempt also was rejected by the courts, and it seems Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking it kind of personally.  That ban was rejected by two courts, actually:  one in Maryland and another in Hawaii.  Sessions seems to have made peace with his Maryland defeat but is bumfuzzled about how a court in Hawaii, of all places, could influence government in the white states, er, the mainland U.S.

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.

Yes, Mr. Sessions, a judge in Hawaii – a judge, incidentally, whose appointment to the bench you voted to confirm while a member of the Senate – can really issue an order that stops the president of the United States from exercising what he decided was not within the president’s statutory and constitutional power.

Just like a judge in California.

Or Washington.

Or Maryland.

Do you know why, Mr. Sessions?

Because Hawaii is one of the 50 United States, just like New York, California, Texas, Florida, and all the rest.  Even Alaska, waaaaaay up there.  And your own sweet home, Alabama.

This means that long ago, the people who make such decisions concluded that Hawaii, even though it is “an island in the Pacific,” is suited to be one of us.

Hawaii:  the only place in the U.S. that knows more about being on the receiving end of a foreign attack than New York City.

Because it is a state, decisions rendered by Hawaii’s courts, whether state or federal, have the same force of law as those rendered by courts in any other state.

Including your home state of Alabama – as if a man from Alabama, of all places, has any business looking down on the people or the institutions of any other state.  Yes, casting aspersions on the right of a judge in Hawaii to exercise the same authority as judges in the other 49 states is a man from Alabama.

Alabama:  a state with public schools rated 39th in the country.

Alabama:  a state where more than 25 percent of children live in poverty.

Alabama:  a state with fourth-lowest median household income in the country.

Alabama:  a state with the third highest poverty rate in the country.

Alabama:  a state with more teen births than any other state.

Alabama:  a state with the highest infant mortality rate in the country.

Alabama:  a state where 30 percent of all traffic deaths are caused by drunk drivers.

Alabama:  a state with more prison inmates on death row than all but three states.

Instead of being surprised that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what some people, including the Attorney General, mistakenly believed to be his statutory and constitutional power, perhaps the bigger surprise is that a man from Alabama who was once considered too racist to be a federal judge is now the Attorney General of the United States.

Class dismissed, Mr. Sessions, although we are sorely tempted to keep you behind for some additional tutoring because you have apparently fallen behind on your lessons.

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