Judge Watson Takes On Da Trumpeter — Round #2

What constitutes a ‘bona fide’ relationship?  Apparently not a grandparent, at least in the eyes of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions.

supreme-court-2017.jpgOn Monday, 26 June, the Supreme Court decided to allow parts of the Trump administration’s revised travel ban to move forward, while also imposing certain limits, as the court prepares to hear arguments in October on the scope of presidential power over border security and immigration. The court said the ban could not be imposed on anyone who had “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” However, the court failed to define ‘bona fide’, leaving the door open for the administration to write its own definition.

It did, and on 28 June, the administration issued new guidelines that defined ‘close family’ as a parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, whether whole or half. It excluded “grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-laws and sisters-in-law, fiancés and any other ‘extended’ family members.”

And Donald Trump was happy … very, very happy.


Judge Derrick Watson

However, on Thursday, 13 July, federal Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii ruled that the ban should not prevent grandparents and other close relatives of residents from entering the United States. He further declared that refugees with ties to a resettlement agency that was committed to receiving them had a relationship that made them eligible to enter the country.

“Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”

And as regards refugees working through a resettlement agency …

“An assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency, in fact, meets each of the Supreme Court’s touchstones. It is formal, it is a documented contract, it is binding, it triggers responsibilities and obligations, including compensation, it is issued specific to an individual refugee only when that refugee has been approved for entry by the Department of Homeland Security.”

Needless to say, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not pleased …


Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions

“Once again, we are faced with a situation in which a single Federal District Court has undertaken by a nationwide injunction to micromanage decisions of the coequal executive branch related to our national security. The Supreme Court has had to correct this lower court once, and we will now reluctantly return directly to the Supreme Court to again vindicate the rule of law and the executive branch’s duty to protect the nation. By this decision, the district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for the national security judgments of the Executive branch in a time of grave threats, defying both the lawful prerogatives of the Executive Branch and the directive of the Supreme Court.”

And he wasted no time.  On Friday evening the Justice Department appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn Judge Watson’s ruling, arguing that Judge Watson’s interpretation “empties the Court’s decision of meaning,” because it includes “not just ‘close’ family members, but virtually all family members.” On Saturday morning, the Supreme Court filed a motion calling for the Hawaii court to respond to the Trump administration’s request by noon on Tuesday.

Interestingly, I found not a single tweet from Trump himself this time.  Of course, he was in France on Thursday when the good judge made his ruling, and then when he returned home on Friday he went to the U.S. Women’s Open, so perhaps he is otherwise occupied.

It should be noted that Judge Watson is the same judge who went against Trump in mid-March, just hours before the 2nd travel ban was set to begin, by issuing a nationwide temporary block to the revised travel ban.  Judge Watson is a man who stands behind his convictions and does not allow himself to be bullied.  I give him a ‘hats off’ for that!  doffing-hat

Sessions and Trump make much of the fact that this ban, which primarily affects Muslims, is necessary to keep the nation safe. The reality is that we do not need to ban refugees from the United States to keep our country safe.  Almost every incident of mass murder, or ‘terrorism’ in the U.S. since 11 September 2001 has been committed by U.S. citizens.  The refugees who enter this country are families … mothers & fathers bringing their children to a country where they hope they can be safe.  Banning them does not keep us safe, and if the administration in Washington is too ignorant to see this, then they need to be replaced with people who have humanitarian values. When the administration sees a terrorist behind every tree, in every grandparent, then they have become paranoid and need to step aside and let some people who listen to facts and make decisions based on those facts and common sense rule the roost.

muslim-memeThere is a reason the travel ban has been controversial from the outset.  It discriminates based on religion and it would deny sanctuary to those who are most in need.  The supporters of the ban are of the notion that they wish to “make America white again”, and they have bought into Trump’s rhetoric that Muslims are all evil, all terrorists, all looking for the means to destroy the U.S.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I imagine the Supreme Court will, by the end of next week, overrule Judge Watson’s ruling, and that is sad, for it is in direct opposition to the very values on which this nation was founded.

19 thoughts on “Judge Watson Takes On Da Trumpeter — Round #2

  1. I thought racial discrimination was illegal in America. If it isn’t, then why doesn’t the administration simply ban all Muslims from entering the USA? And then what are you going to do with all the Muslims who are already there? I don’t think this travel ban has been well thought through.
    Stay well Jill. I’ve been thinking about you and your writings. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, by law, racial discrimination is illegal in the U.S., as is religious discrimination. But in respect to Muslims, Donald Trump has convinced enough people that every Muslim entering the country must be suspected of being a member of a terrorist organization. Which, of course, is far from the truth, and terrorism in the U.S. is largely perpetrated by the very same WASPs who condemn Middle-Eastern refugees based on their religion. And I could expound for hours, but … this is a comment, not a book, so I won’t … 🙂 Bet you’re relieved! Bottom line, though, is that you are correct … it was NOT well thought out, and as unnecessary as the proposed wall on the US-Mexican border!
      Thanks Jack! Try not to think too hard about my writings, or you will find yourself down here in the dark rabbit hole with me! Some days it is not a fun place to be! Many big hugs!!! ❤


    • So do I, my friend! If everyone is all the same, we have nothing to learn from each other. I have learned so much from my Syrian & Iraqi friends … new foods, a few Arabic phrases, a bit of culture and history … it’s just a wonderful experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Judge Watson Takes On Da Trumpeter – The Militant Negro™

  3. I’s like to buy that man (Judge Watson) a drink and shake him by the hand. I have to confess that whenever I read about Trump, Sessions or any others of that sad gang, I want to forget that I don’t believe in violence. When Trump decides to ban Muslims from every country rather than just the ones where he doesn’t have business interests I’ll be more inclines to accept his rhetoric, not believe it though.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had the same thought … this man deserves a medal of honour! And yes, I frequently forget these days that I am a non-violent person, especially when I am behind a car with a Trump bumper sticker! 🙂 I keep reminding myself that this is but a blip in history and that this too shall pass. I am crossing fingers that the Supreme Court will agree with Watson … I doubt it, but hope springs eternal, so maybe?
      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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