Barr: Judges must stop nationwide injunctions
Lone judges’ rulings already have halted president’s plans 40 times
William Barr hasn’t pulled many punches as attorney general. He bluntly told Congress the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. And he confirmed special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions that there was no Trump collusion with Russia.
Now he’s taken on a new fight: that of lone judges sitting on district court benches who want to control the national policy set by the president and his administration.
It’s already happened dozens of times to President Trump, delaying his efforts to restrict terrorists’ access to the U.S., deport illegal aliens and more.
The Washington Examiner reports Barr wrote a commentary in the Wall Street Journal that takes his arguments to the people.
The nationwide rulings by lone judges “create an unfair, one-way system in which the democratically accountable government must fend off case after case to put its policy into effect, while those challenging the policy need only find a single sympathetic judge.”
He suggested the authors of the Constitution didn’t want individual judges to hold the power to stop policy decisions by the political branches.
Trump repeatedly has been targeted in his policy decisions by Democrats who shop for a sympathetic judge, file a lawsuit and get a favorable “nationwide” ruling.
Barr said there were 20 national injunctions during Barack Obama’s eight years but already 40 so far into President Trump’s tenure.
“Shrewd lawyers have learned to ‘shop’ for a sympathetic judge willing to issue such an injunction,” Barr wrote. “These days, virtually every significant congressional or presidential initiative is enjoined – often within hours.”
That, he warned, threatens “our democratic system.”
The Examiner reported: “The ‘best example’ of ‘harm’ caused by these national injunctions, Barr said, relates to the legal fight over Trump trying to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers protections for individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as children, instituted under former President Barack Obama.”
Because of the injunction, there was no chance for any political solution, he said.
“Far from solving the problem, the DACA injunction proved catastrophic,” he wrote. “The program’s recipients remain in legal limbo after nearly two years of bitter political division over immigration, including a government shutdown. A humanitarian crisis – including a surge of unaccompanied children – swells at the southern border, while legislative efforts remain frozen pending Supreme Court resolution of the DACA case.”
Democrats have claimed they seek injunctions whenever they think something the administration does is unconstitutional, but their solution is to have only a district judge rule. That’s far short of having the Supreme Court determine the outcome for the nation, as the judicial process establishes.
The report said Barr “warned the Democrats’ eagerness to embrace injunctions could one day come back to haunt them.”