Comments About Hawaii Spark Outrage
'We Won’t Succumb to Your Dog Whistle Politics'
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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is still hopping mad that a federal judge in Hawaii blocked President Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban executive order last month, but his comments are sparking outrage. Sessions, in an interview with a far right wing radio host, referred to the 50th state as merely “an island in the Pacific.” That has many folks, including the state's U.S. Senators, outraged.
"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 told host Mark Levin, as CNN and Talking Points Memo report. The Attorney General was referring to 9th Circuit U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, of Hawaii.
Sessions called Judge Watson's ruling a "really weird interpretation" of Trump's executive order, and, in what some see as a further inappropriate remark, said, "we need judges who follow the law, not make law."
He went on to say that "judges don’t get to psychoanalyze the President to see if the order he issues is lawful. It’s either lawful or it’s not." That's actually false, and as Attorney General, Sessions should know better. There are many cases where courts have looked at the intent of lawmakers in deciding if a law is constitutional or not.
But many now are outraged at Sessions' earlier remarks, denigrating the State of Hawaii, home to over 1.4 million Americans, including 75,000 U.S. military personnel.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz took to Twitter to lambast Sessions, also reminding him that he voted to confirm Judge Watson:
Mr. Attorney General: You voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It's my home. Have some respect. https://t.co/sW9z3vqBqG— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 20, 2017
And U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono also slammed Sessions:
Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) April 20, 2017
Hawaii was built on the strength of diversity & immigrant experiences- including my own. Jeff Sessions’ comments are ignorant & dangerous— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) April 20, 2017
Others expressed anger and outrage:
Someone please tell Sessions that Hawaii is a state. An American in Hawaii is as American as one from Alabama. Or Indiana. https://t.co/kZb43EmCFp— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 20, 2017
Sadly, the Sessions Hawaii comment might be the least worst thing he's done as AG.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) April 20, 2017
The man is THE most dangerous Cabinet member.
Just In: Attorney General Jeff Sessions finds out Hawaii is a state— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 20, 2017
Jeff Sessions - you know, the guy who lied under oath and should have been prosecuted - doesnt know Hawaii is a US state— Jonathan Jewel (@jonathanjewel) April 20, 2017
@BraddJaffy It doesn't look great that the AG, who has been accused of racism, is dismissing the only state that has never had a white majority.— Aaron Sarka (@SarkaAaron) April 20, 2017
@brianschatz Grand Wizard Sessions thinks there are still only 48 states and calls the Civil War the "war of Northern aggression."— mikeytrapp (@mikeytrapp) April 20, 2017
It's not a jab at Hawaii specifically, Sessions just doesn't recognize any states added after the Missouri Compromise.— Ned Resnikoff (@resnikoff) April 20, 2017
California Congressman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee:
Mr. Attorney General, that island is a U.S. state, and that judge is part of a co-equal branch of government -- and thank God for that. https://t.co/wLQZ3n8bWh— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 20, 2017
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