‘Court injunctions blocking Trump threaten democracy’
WASHINGTON, Sept 7: The power of federal judges to block orders by the Trump administration, such as its attempts to crack down on migrants, constituted a threat to Democracy, US Attorney General Bill Barr said in an opinion piece published on Friday.
Barr wrote in The Wall Street Journal that judges have stalled President Donald Trump's initiatives nearly 40 times with "nationwide injunctions" in the face of lawsuits challenging the legality of those initiatives.
That is double the number of injunctions Trump's White House predecessor, Barack Obama, faced, and Barr warned it is the sign of lawyers and lower court judges overusing a "procedural device" for political ends.
The "device" is a lawsuit asking a judge to prevent the immediate implementation of a decision or rule to protect the rights of a plaintiff.
Supporters of the injunctions say they have grown in use because of the number of legally weak policy decisions and orders by the president.
But Barr suggested injunctions have become a potent political tool, warning that a Democratic president in the future will face the same type of legal assault confronting the Trump administration.
In the case of Trump, most of his decisions on immigration policy have faced immediate court challenges on behalf of an ostensible nationwide class of migrants, in which their lawyers -- usually pro-migrant and human rights groups -- request the judge to immediately halt implementation across the country.
Barr said federal judges who normally rule on cases within a specific district have applied their injunction judgements nationally against the original intent of local implementation. -AFP