Trump looks to limit powers of liberal activist judges to halt ‘unfair’ wide-ranging national injunctions
In the end, President Donald Trump’s greatest legacy may very well be the impact he had on the courts, and this is not limited to his federal judge appointments.
With liberal activist judges quick to stymie Trump administration policy initiatives with wide-ranging injunctions, be it on immigration, border security or any number of other issues, the president is looking to push the issue to the Supreme Court.
In a speech last week before the Federalist Society, Vice President Mike Pence said the administration has been “unfairly” targeted by injunctions and this “must come to an end,” according to The Hill.
“So I say to all those gathered here: For the sake of our liberty, our security, our prosperity and the separation of powers, this era of judicial activism must come to an end,” Pence said. “The Supreme Court of the United States must clarify that district judges can decide no more than the cases before them.”
With the left regularly turning to the courts to stop policy decisions they disagree with, having much success with forum shopping, if Trump is able to stop lower courts from being able to issue broad injunctions, it could “dramatically limit the authority of judges,” The Hill noted.
Under the guise of protecting the people, liberal advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union are suddenly aligning with our Founding Father to say that this authority is protected under the Constitution.
Cecillia Wang, a deputy legal director for the ACLU, charged that the Trump White House’s goal “is simply to stand in the way of justice.”
“I can’t take seriously the vice president’s threat to undo what the founders of the country, the framers of the Constitution intended, which is to have a safeguard against unlawful executive branch action,” Wang said, according to The Hill.
Wang must have missed the part about Pence saying they’re looking to the Supreme Court for clarity.
Sasha Buchert, a senior attorney for the LGBT rights group Lambda Legal, used the administration’s ban on transgender service members as justification for a national injunction by a district judge, saying the decision impacts more than just those who filed the lawsuit.
“When the extent of the harm is nationwide, the relief should be nationwide,” she told The Hill.
Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, testified back in December 2017 before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, that when issuing nationwide injunctions, district courts “are invading the jurisdiction and authority of other federal courts in other appellate circuits.”
He also said “such nationwide injunctions can lead to forum shopping and conflicting decisions that are diametrically opposed.”
Citing Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending entry of aliens from various terrorist safe havens in Africa and the Middle East, Spakovsky noted a federal judge in Washington issued an opinion enjoining the order and a Massachusetts federal judge “came to the exact opposite conclusion, finding no constitutional or statutory violations that warranted a restraining order.”
Spakovsky too cited the Constitution and the intent of our founders in regard to the potential effects of wide-ranging injunctions.
“The type of forum shopping that can occur when a single district court can bind the entire nation endangers the perceived legitimacy and stability of the judicial branch established by Article III of the Constitution,” he told Congress.
“It may raise serious questions in the minds of the public about the objectivity and partisanship of the judges chosen by plaintiffs because the judges are viewed as holding particular ideological and political views and opinions that will benefit the plaintiffs in their cases.”
It’s questionable if the Supreme Court would be willing to take on a case challenging the constitutionality of nationwide injunctions, but Justice Clarence Thomas is on the record in support of taking up the issue — the conservative jurist was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush.