Sessions: Politicizing judges the threat, not Trump's criticism

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Michael F. Haverluck (

AG Sessions press conferenceAttorney General Jeff Sessions insists that the real threat to America’s judicial system is the increased politicization exhibited by its judiciaries – not President Donald Trump’s criticism of their rulings to block his executive orders.

Defending Trump from accusations made by Democrats that he is too critical of federal judges – and that he wants to assume too much power over the judiciary – Sessions maintained that judges are not beyond reproach.

“[J]udges are] not above being talked about," Sessions told CBS This Morning on Friday. "The real threat to the independence of the judiciary is if judges become more political and people cease to believe they're making decisions [based] on law and facts."

Trump not out of line

Sessions, who stressed that he has practiced before numerous judges in the United States for many years, impressed the fact that he has nothing but the “highest regard for them,” but also said that disagreements with their rulings are not out of line.

The newly appointed AG says that Trump is merely doing what presidents of the past have been doing since the formation of the country.

"It's right for the president, as he's done historically over the centuries, to express opinions over judicial opinions," the nation’s top cop continued. "They have a lifetime appointment. Their pay can't be cut and their decisions can be commented on."

Sessions has also indicated that the president was in the right when he criticized U.S. District Judge William Orrick, who delivered a temporary ruling in a lawsuit in San Francisco, California, that challenged Trump’s executive order to cut funding to sanctuary cities.

"The one that he criticized – I think – was wrong," Sessions commented on Trump’s remarks about Orrick, whose court is under the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled against Trump’s first travel ban in February, Newsmax reports.

Orrick recently claimed that Trump’s attempt to cut funding from sanctuary cities – because they failed to comply with federal agents’ requests to detain criminal illegal aliens – did not make complete sense to him.

"Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves," Orrick insisted regarding the Trump administration’s third major setback on immigration policy, according to a Bloomberg News report posted by Newsmax.

The administration has been venting its frustration with Democratic judges, who it believes are pushing back because the Obama administration is no longer forwarding its progressive agenda.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus says the appeals court is simply out of line.

 “[The ruling as another example of the] 9th Circuit going bananas," Priebus was quoted in the report. "The idea that an agency can't put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these moneys are spent is something that will be overturned eventually, and we will win at the Supreme Court level at some point."

This is not the first time the White House has come into conflict with judges in the 9th Circuit.

“The administration has often criticized the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,” the Bloomberg report noted. “Orrick does not sit on that court, but his district is in the territory of the appeals court, which has ruled against one version of Trump's travel ban.”

More defense of Trump …

Sessions reportedly was also quick to defend Trump concerning his appointment of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, recently insisting on ABC that the vetting of Flynn was sufficient, while noting that the process simply cannot screen out everything.

The issue over Flynn’s short-lived appointment was under high scrutiny by Democrats.

“Flynn's payments from the Russian and Turkish governments are under scrutiny because Trump's former national security adviser may not have got[ten] clearance from the Pentagon to accept them, as is required by law,” the Washington Examiner reported. “The White House hasn't released its documents from vetting Flynn, despite requests from the House Oversight Committee.”

Discussing the controversy, Sessions asserted that the process is not always perfect when it comes to screening candidates for roles in the White House.

"I'm comfortable that they're working hard to do vetting, but obviously, oftentimes you can't catch everything that might be a problem," Sessions expressed, according to the Washington daily.

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