- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Lawyers and politicians are two of the most hated professions in America, and yet when they put on a judge’s robe, they all of a sudden become beyond reproach and are to be revered.

That’s nonsense.

President Donald Trump is right — our court system has become politicized. The Obama administration flooded it with activist judges that ruled in favor of advancing liberalism, to the detriment of our national sovereignty. So it’s no surprise the courts would work to stop Mr. Trump’s agenda.

Last year, a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit by the state of Texas which sought to bar the federal government from resettling Syrian refugees after the Paris terrorist attacks. In the lawsuit, Texas argued that the Obama administration had failed to regularly consult with it before it placed refugees in the state, as required by the Refugee Act of 1980.

Texas simply wanted to know more specific information about the refugees — who they were, and how much money they would cost the state — before they were relocated there.

Texas’ standing, or justification for bringing the case, was real and measurable. Admitting more Syrian refugees would put Texans’ national security at risk and would cost the state in terms of increased public service spending.

The federal judge declined to say whether the Obama administration violated the Refugee Act, and instead ruled on procedural grounds — arguing that Congress hadn’t given the states an explicit mechanism to sue the federal government under existing law.

Alabama, which also sued the Obama administration on its Syrian refugee policy, was also blocked by the courts.

In August, U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. Ott denied Alabama the standing to sue the Obama administration writing: “Nothing in the Refugee Act requires defendant to provide plaintiffs with information necessary to assess security and other potential risks posed by refugees, or information necessary to adequately plan and prepare for the arrival of refugees in the state, in regard to security and requests for social services and public assistance.”

So, in other words, the federal government has the right to impose immigration policy on the states, even if that policy may produce actual harm.

But, as we’re finding out, what applied to the Obama administration, isn’t so with the Trump administration.

Judge James Robart, of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington State, put a halt on Mr. Trump’s immigration executive order, which temporarily banned foreign entry from seven terrorism ridden countries, after Washington State sued the federal government on the grounds they wanted more refugees.

What was its standing?

That Mr. Trump’s “ruling would reinstitute those harms, separating families, stranding our university students and faculty and barring travel.”

So, Washington State’s standing was on behalf of foreign nationals, to not inconvenience them.

But what about the Americans residing in that state?

Well, Judge Robart didn’t seem convinced the federal government knew what it was talking about when it insisted the temporary ban was in the interest of national security.

“How many arrests have there been of foreign nationals for those seven countries since 9/11?” Judge Robart asked a Justice Department lawyer in court on Feb. 3. “Let me tell you. The answer to that is none, as best I can tell.”

Yet, Mr. Robart’s assumption was wrong.

As Byron York at the Washington Examiner pointed out: “Last year the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest released information showing that at least 60 people born in the seven countries had been convicted — not just arrested, but convicted — of terror-related offenses in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. And that number did not include more recent cases like Abdul Artan, a Somali refugee who wounded 11 people during a machete attack on the campus of Ohio State University last November.”

But who cares about the facts, when there’s politics at play.

In an essay in the Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz points out other areas where the courts have shown utter hypocrisy in their immigration rulings — where they’ve chosen to advance liberal policies and ignore rule of law.

“The courts prevented the Arizona government and Sheriff Arpaio from enforcing existing immigration law, yet they have green lighted sanctuary cities,” he writes. “The courts have blocked Texas from preventing illegal aliens from obtaining birth certificates yet they have allowed Chicago to ignore ICE detainers.

The courts called Mississippi’s grievances against President Obama’s illegal DACA amnesty ‘speculative,’ but have readily welcomed Washington State’s illegitimate grievances demanding more immigrants,” he penned.

These rulings are troubling.

The executive branch has the Constitutional right to protect its citizens’ national sovereignty and security when it comes to immigration orders, and yet the courts seem to want to strip this right away from the Trump administration.

Activist judges, indeed.

They deserve to be called out on their inconsistent and hypocritical rulings.

• Kelly Riddell is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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