William Barr got it right when he said in his speech before the Federalist Society on November 15, 2019 that there has been an intentional erosion of executive presidential powers. “The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched-earth, no-holds-barred war of ‘resistance’ against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.”
And how the mainstream media reacted to his speech only served to buttress Barr’s comments. In reporting on the speech, The Washington Post went with the headline, “The most alarming part of Barr’s speech was its angry partisan tone.” The Post went on to say that “Barr set out a dangerously inflated view of presidential power. He inveighed against judges for ‘usurping presidential decision-making authority’ and appointing themselves ‘the ultimate arbiter’ of disputes between the president and Congress. He dismissed the role of congressional oversight—what he termed the ‘constant harassment’ of the executive branch.”
Not only should Barr be angry about the encroachment of the judicial branch on the executive branch, but so should all Americans who believe in our system of government. It’s clear to many of us who are not lawyers or experts on the separation of powers among the three branches of government that something has gone horribly amiss.
What is also clear to those of us who actually watched the entire video, Barr didn’t dismiss the role of congressional oversight as the Washington Post reported, but rather chastised them for not fulfilling their responsibility to do so. What was also clear was his respect for the intended checks and balances inherent in our government, which has now tilted disproportionately to the judicial and, thus, his purpose in sounding the alarm.
Almost weekly we hear of another federal judge blocking or challenging the Trump administration’s policies and orders. To wit, as reported on in Axios today, “A U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C. temporarily blocked Trump administration plans to reinstate the death penalty by halting on Wednesday night the scheduled executions of four federal death row inmates.”
For his remarks, Barr has been relentlessly attacked by the left-wing media, with pundits calling him authoritarian, scary, fascist and bizarre. But the extent and instances of the judiciary to attempt to police the president are unprecedented. No other president in U.S. history has been challenged in court more than President Trump.
Federal court judges blocked Trump from rescinding DACA in 2018, which was not congressionally approved legislation or an executive order. DACA was simply an executive branch memorandum that was issued after Congress rejected the program multiple times in the normal legislative process. Trump had every right to rescind this Obama-era mandate under his executive authority, yet this didn’t stop the left from employing the judiciary to hamper the administration’s desire to do so.
On January 27, 2017, Trump issued Executive Order 13769 (Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States). The order was intended to suspend the entry of certain aliens from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, countries already identified as terrorist hotbeds.
The U.S. activist press and the left immediately challenged President Trump’s authority to issue such an order even though the executive branch is clearly endowed with such power for the security of the nation, including under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code.
In fact, the “Resistance” has effectively slowed down or struck down almost all of President Trump’s policies, including transgenders in the military; federal funding for sanctuary cities; efforts to curb illegal immigration with new policies on border entry points, revoking temporary protected status for immigrants from certain countries already living legally in the United States and family separation; regulations that would permit employers to stop covering workers’ birth control under the Affordable Care Act for religious or moral reasons; and other various moves, such as blocking CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press pass and other proposed policies, chief among them denying President Trump’s request for funding the wall and beefing up the border patrol—for the purpose of national security.
The left has weaponized the judiciary to thwart the will of the people by handcuffing the President to make good on his promises to those Americans who voted him into office specifically to enact these same policies. I’m angry over this abuse of power and so is Attorney General Barr, and it is about time the abuses were addressed forthrightly.
You may not agree with President Trump’s policies, but our form of government was intended to allow the executive and legislative branches to spar over laws, orders and procedures, not the judiciary, which should be the final arbitrator of law—not trying to read into a president’s intentions and motivations like the local town psychic or invoking dubious nationwide injunctions for political purposes.
The judiciary and federal judges should do less palm reading and issuing shaky nationwide rulings that afford them stolen power to effectively run the country as unelected officials. Barr’s speech merely highlighted the rancor, deceit and lust for power the Resist movement is capable of, with Americans witnessing for themselves the spectacle of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the bench.
According to The Atlantic, “Under the Constitution, the federal courts are vested with ‘judicial Power,’ which has traditionally been understood to limit them to resolving disputes between the parties who appear before them. That makes sense in a democracy: Unelected judges shouldn’t adjudicate the rights of nonparties or referee abstract political fights.”
But I’ve never met a progressive who likes tradition, have you? The remedy to right this listing ship is to insist that the Supreme Court expressly rule on the legality of these national injunctions and shut down the abusive power of court shopping, where leftists get their cases heard in the infamous Ninth Circuit Court in front of like-minded judges.
At its core, the judiciary isn’t a left-right issue. Rather, it is whether or not we will uphold our Constitution and quash the subversive Resist movement that is intent on being its own unelected banana republic. #Reignwell