Hawaii Lawmakers Criticize Sessions' Island Judge Remarks - NBC Chicago
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Hawaii Lawmakers Criticize Sessions' Island Judge Remarks

Sessions said: "I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Hawaii Lawmakers Criticize Sessions' Island Judge Remarks
    Getty Images
    In this file photo, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the Department of Justice, April 18, 2016 in Washington, DC.

    Hawaii's Democratic lawmakers on Thursday criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he expressed amazement on a radio show that a "judge sitting on an island in the Pacific" could stop the president's travel ban.

    U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono responded by trying to give Sessions a civics lesson on Twitter, saying Hawaii has been a U.S. state for 58 years.

    The senator said later in a telephone interview the remarks showed a lack of awareness about the separation of powers between the judiciary and executive branches.

    U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson last month blocked President Donald Trump's executive order prohibiting new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily halting the U.S. refugee program. The Trump Administration appealed the ruling.

    Fatalities Confirmed After Van Hits People in Barcelona

    [NATL] Fatalities Confirmed After Van Hits People in Barcelona

    A white van jumped the sidewalk in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district on Aug. 17, 2017. Police say multiple people have been killed and wounded in this terrorist attack. The area is one of the city’s top tourist destinations.

    (Published 8 minutes ago)

    Sessions told the "Mark Levin Show" he's confident the president will prevail with his administration's appeal of Watson's travel ban ruling.

    "I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power," Sessions said.

    Hirono also said Sessions' remarks suggested he is prejudiced against Hawaii.

    "Why isn't a federal judge from Hawaii as able as any other judge from anywhere to issue rulings?" Hirono asked.

    She told Session on Twitter "we won't succumb to your dog whistle politics."

    Both Hirono and Sen. Brian Schatz emphasized that Sessions voted as a senator to confirm Watson as a judge.

    Trump Says 'Fixing the Inner Cities' Is a Priority

    [NATL] Trump: 'We're Spending a Lot of Money on the Inner Cities'

    President Donald J. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that "fixing the inner cities" is a priority for his administration. 

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017)

    Schatz chided Sessions more on Twitter by telling him the island where Watson made the ruling is named Oahu.

    "It's my home. Have some respect," he said.

    U.S. Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in an email that Sessions was questioning one judge's ability to block the president's executive order for the travel ban.

    "Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific — a beautiful one where the Attorney General's granddaughter was born," Prior said. "The point, however, is that there is a problem when a flawed opinion by a single judge can block the President's lawful exercise of authority to keep the entire country safe."

    Douglas Chin, Hawaii's attorney general, said in a statement it was disappointing Sessions doesn't acknowledge that the federal courts are "co-equal partners with Congress and the president."

    A clerk for the U.S. District Court in Hawaii said Watson declined to comment.

    Charlottesville Victim's Mother: Her Killer 'Magnified Her'

    [NATL] Heather Heyer's Mother Echoes Her Words: 'If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention'

    The mother of Heather Heyer speaks at her daughter's memorial service: "They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her."

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017)