A federal judge in Hawaii relied on his own personal feelings and flawed interpretation of Trump’s campaign rhetoric to block his newest travel ban.
Obama appointed this judge 3 years ago. Obama traveled to Hawaii 48 hours prior to judge’s anti-travel ban ruling, Plus a judge he graduated Law school with. Just a big coincidence… Right?
Whether you agree or disagree with the executive order — and there are plenty of people on both sides of that debate, for many different reasons — the judge’s ruling has some serious problems. Here are a few of them.
1. Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings.
Trump said the temporary travel restriction was needed for national security. In issuing his temporary restraining order, Watson said Trump’s order was a result of nothing more than religious animus against Muslims. The judge’s order is predicated on what he thinks Trump wants to do, not the order itself.
Throughout the ruling, Judge Watson concedes there’s nothing about the executive order that would be problematic if not for his interpretation of Trump’s statements made in the months and years prior to issuing it. He repeatedly states his feeling that Trump had a bad motive in issuing the order.
Judges using campaign rhetoric to infer intent instead of plainly evaluating the law as written is a dangerous development. Also because the public can witness the selective use of this trick, it undermines confidence in the judiciary at a time when the judiciary can’t afford too much erosion of trust. More