Trump vs Federal Judge: A story about checks and balances
Facing yet another federal judge temporarily blocking his efforts at rolling out a Muslim travel ban — this time just hours before the ‘revised’ Order was about to take effect — President Trump is continuing to lash out wildly.
He accused the federal judge of committing “judicial overreach”, and returned to his favorite fallback argument, as he tried to peddle forth the idea that “We’re talking about the safety of our nation, the safety and security of our people…This ruling makes us look weak”.
If that quote sounds familiar, it’s probably because it is — using fear to advance political agendas and gather supporters is not exactly unfamiliar ground for our dear President. From attacking undocumented immigrants to spreading suspicion about the intentions of desperate, fleeing Syrian refugees, Trump has mastered the art of scapegoating groups that are among the most marginalized and oppressed.
This time, at least, one Hawaiian federal judge saw through the bluff. In a scathing review, Judge Derrick Watson said, of the government’s arguments, that “the illogic is palpable”; that there was scant evidence of the government truly being worried about national security (“…the questionable evidence supporting the Government’s national security motivations…justify granting the Plaintiffs’ TRO [temporary restraining order]”); and finally, that there was little to no real difference between the prior Order and this dressed-up one (“…the Court cannot find the actions taken during the interval between revoked Executive Order №13,769 and the new Executive Order to be ‘genuine changes in constitutionally significant conditions’”)
It is highly important to note that this is still just a temporary restraining order; the administration could, as Trump has indicated he would, continue to fight the ruling to the highest court. It is also highly important to note that there are many, many battles still up ahead: those who strive for justice can never be complacent, especially in the face of such blatant aggression.
At the same time, it is worth noting that Watson’s ruling embodies a long tradition of the judicial branch often serving as the last check to a unified President and Congress. To help ensure that this institutional resiliency and spirit of resistance remain, we must all be constantly engaged, passionate, and unified.
We must also remain vigilant of the ongoing hate crimes transpiring before us. As we battle with policies at an institutional level, we must also fight to dispel ignorance at a ground level; actively speaking out, reporting hate crimes, and providing support to grassroots. Lastly, do not sacrifice your spiritual, mental, or physical well being; be sure to reach out to your MSAs along with taking advantage of the resources we have available.
- Authored by Adnan Perwez | Secretary of MSA West