Reclaiming the Federal Judiciary

Reclaiming the Federal Judiciary
AP Photo/The Billings Gazette, James Woodcock

The widely publicized judicial resistance to President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily limiting entry into the United States by foreign nationals from certain countries has focused public attention as never before on the enormous power wielded by activist judges. Many people who do not generally follow the doings of the judiciary were alarmed by the ruling of Seattle-based Judge James L. Robart enjoining the so-called travel ban, despite the dubious “standing” of the two states challenging it (Washington and Minnesota). Many laypeople also listened in dismay to the oral argument before the Ninth Circuit, and have read extensive criticisms of both the temporary restraining order issued by Judge Robart and the unsigned Ninth Circuit decision refusing to stay the TRO, neither of which cited the statute expressly authorizing President Trump to take the disputed action.[1]

Whether or not they voted for President Trump, many Americans realize the President was attempting to fulfill a commitment he had made during the campaign, and is being thwarted—for spurious reasons—by unelected federal judges. It is a sobering modern-day civics lesson. Welcome to the world the late Robert Bork warned us about in his 1990 jeremiad, The Tempting of America. Now that the general public has finally recognized the problem of judicial overreach, the logical follow-up question is, “Why are so many federal judges so liberal?”

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