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This week, for a second time, a federal district judge – this time in Hawaii – issued an injunction against President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from several specific countries.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, in the case of state of Hawaii and Ismail Elshikh v. Donald J. Trump, had the temerity to order that “Enforcement of these provisions in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this court.”

In other words, this judge in the district of Hawaii issued a restraining order that supposedly has nationwide enforceability.

The only problem is: He has no authority to do so.

Article III of the U.S. Constitution establishes the judiciary and defines its powers, authority and limitations. Section 2, Paragraph 2 clearly states: “In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction.”

What that means is that, barring a constitutional amendment, any case in which a state is a party must be heard by the Supreme Court, the only court with the authority and jurisdiction to hear such cases.

Since one of the plaintiffs in the case at issue is the state of Hawaii, District Judge Watson had no jurisdiction, nor authority, to even hear the case.

The same holds true for the several other District Courts that have heard and/or issued rulings on cases of like kind.

That paragraph of the Constitution goes on to state: “In all the other cases before mentioned (in Paragraph 1), the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as the Congress shall make.”

Under that authority Congress went on to enact the Judiciary Acts of 1789, 1801, 1865, and 1925. These various Acts established the federal judicial system we have today, consisting of nine Supreme Court Justices, the various Circuit Courts of Appeal, the various District Courts, and their various jurisdictions, responsibilities and powers.

Part of that structuring defined court power to establish that the only court with national jurisdiction is the Supreme Court. For example, any ruling handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court only has enforcement power within the geographical boundaries of that Circuit, which are the nine Western states, including California.

That’s why it’s not unusual to see different Circuits hand down conflicting rulings on the same issue, with the Supreme Court then stepping in to address and resolve the conflict by issuing a determinate ruling with national authority, thereby assuring a consistent application and rule of law across the nation.

The geographical, jurisdictional and enforcement power of a District Court is even smaller, as it’s a subset of the Circuit Court.

So, just as the authority of a ruling by a Circuit Court is constrained by its geographical boundaries, so is the authority of a District Court’s ruling constrained to its own district.

From this it’s easy to see that, in addition to hearing a case over which he had no jurisdiction, District Court Judge Watson issued a ruling and restraining order that he attempts to apply outside the geographical borders of his own limited authority.

This is beyond unacceptable; it’s a repugnant attempt to usurp and arrogate power.

Were I Trump I’d instruct the State Department and other involved agencies to ignore these illegal rulings by this, and other, district judges who have far overstepped their legal authority.

If these tin pot local judges want to set up a confrontation between the judiciary and the executive branches, then let’s bring it on.

Thomas Jefferson expressed his concern that the federal judiciary was potentially “the most dangerous branch” of government because, once seated, judges were installed for life and not accountable to the electorate.

Unfortunately, particularly in recent decades, we’ve been seeing those fears realized as arrogant activist judges have taken to regularly exceeding their authority to facilitate their own political agendas, as facilitated by the cynical practice of “judge shopping” by litigants eager to promote and achieve their own political ends, goals they generally can’t achieve through the regular political process.

This must come to a halt, even if that has to be done through a constitutional confrontation.

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.

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Comments
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  • charles maurice detallyrand

    Just as a curiosity, how is it possible only you, a great constitutional and legal scholar no doubt, are keen to this observation regarding original jurisdiction? Do you think perhaps you might just be misinformed?

    • Castaic Clay

      Careful, you will melt the snowflakes

      • Ron Bischof

        Careful, he’s sensitive to use of “bullying” descriptive terms like snowflake.

        Is this you courageously “taking back” the supposed epithet, CC?

      • charles maurice detallyrand

        Oh and what a special snowflake he is. I think he is perhaps a little too used to online safe spaces where they just censor people who have opposing views.

        • Ron Bischof

          Up is down, eh? Risible. 😀

          End users don’t have the ability to “censor”. Being dismissed an unserious isn’t the same thing, eh?

          • charles maurice detallyrand

            No, as expected you misunderstand.

            Is unserious an adjective? I’m curious where does one learn to write like that?

          • Ron Bischof

            Speaking of understanding, dictionary trouble?

            unserious |ˌənˈsirēəs|

            adjective

            not serious; lighthearted.

          • charles maurice detallyrand

            Lol you edited your post, it read “Being dismissed an unserious”…

            Geez man can’t even admit to simple errors? No not a wordsmith like yourself?

          • Ron Bischof

            You’re crowing about a typo correction? Emphasis on the lightweight aspect of the adjective definition, it appears.

            Your attempt at a misspelled ad homimen regarding my surname seems to be your speed. I’m amused that you spent time on it. 😀

  • Brian Baker

    I’m quite familiar with that statute, Mr. Fake Name.

    Rather than go into a long explanation of why that statute, enacted in 1948, is itself unconstitutional, other than as I explained in paragraphs 5 and 9, I’ll simply let you read it for yourself:

    https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/only-the-us-supreme-court-has-constitutional-authority-to-conduct-the-trial-of-the-case-against-arizona-governor-brewer/

    • charles maurice detallyrand

      Well take it up with the Supreme Court who has essentially disagreed with you view for nearly 230 years. Marbury v. Madison actually works more against your argument than you and your wordpress blogs might think. Instead I suggest you read about the history of original jurisdiction, maybe look for credible sources on the matter. Ughh, next you’ll be saying something like “there’s no law requiring one to pay federal income tax”. I mean tax protesters use the same sort of arguments. Who is more likely to be right Brian, you and your wealth of knowledge on the subject, your layman’s understanding of law, or the Supreme Court itself, and not just the current one but every court before it going back to Marbury v. Madison?

      But you know it’s not me you need to convince, it’s the Supreme Court. Why not take this argument up with them or offer it to Trump and the Justice dept (who also disagrees with your opinion) and see how far you get?

      • Brian Baker

        Bud, you seem to have confused me with someone who actually gives a damn about what you “think”.

        You’re just a nimrod who doesn’t even have the guts to comment under your real name. As far as I’m concerned you can just go crawl back under your rock.

        • Gary Bierend

          Have you ever noticed that “charles” doesn’t provide any evidence that would make his case, instead he tells you to do his research for him?

          • charles maurice detallyrand

            Here are some other things I don’t feel the need to present evidence for aside from this court’s authority to hear a case such as this — water being wet, the sky being blue, the existence of gravity. Sorry but it’s your lot that fails to present evidence that isn’t pure fiction or fantasy.

          • Gary Bierend

            And which “lot” exactly would that be?

        • Brian Baker

          And apparently, in spite of being such an “expert” on the law and rules and such, he doesn’t apply the same standard to himself, as he persists in hiding behind a fake name, DESPITE The Signal’s TOU rules against it.

          A gutless wonder AND a hypocrite. How droll…

  • lois eisenberg

    What is beyond unacceptable is the way that the liar-in-chief continues to lie
    and his supporters accepting this unacceptable behavior !

  • Frank Rizzo

    The decision is a bunch of gibberish that will be overturned. it actually says anyone from anywhere in the world has the right to come here for any reason and the government can’t stop it for any reason. Which is obviously not the case if you have more than a single digit IQ.

    Then it actually listed someone who the temporary travel ban doesn’t apply to because (1) he is American and (2) he is from Egypt originally which is not on the travel ban. Why mention him? Because he is SAD his mother-in-law cannot visit. Really? You based you judgement on THAT?!? Wow. Just wow. (Not to mention who on Earth wants their Mother-In-Law to visit? Obviously a made up story)

    It goes against a number of laws in place. It goes against common sense. Plus they don’t have the jurisdiction. But then again, the judge was appointed by Obama, so will go against Trump even with no facts to support him.

    • Brian Baker

      Frank, I agree it will — or at least SHOULD BE — overturned, for a plethora of reasons. But to do so, Trump’s got to go to the mat on this, and for more reason than just overturning this one moronic ruling. We need to put an end to this bull once and for all.

      • Frank Rizzo

        Agreed. Well, he has stated he will take it to the Supreme Court this time if necessary.

        I also didn’t mention above that in the judge’s ruling it said the ban was against Muslims. In no place in the travel ban did it mention anything other than geographic locations. Again, nothing in the ruling made any sense in the real world

        • Brian Baker

          Well, you obviously didn’t read his “opinion”! Apparently, he can read Trump’s mind, and found the “ban” to be “discriminatory” because of things Trump said while campaigning. That automatically made the executive order “discriminatory”, you see.

          C’mon, Frank! Get with the program!

          • Frank Rizzo

            Does he want us to believe that ANYONE can read his mind? I think it would be like an Acid Trip in there LOL

        • charles maurice detallyrand

          Why didn’t he take it to the Supreme Court last time?

    • Sparta of Phoenix AZ

      He should ignore it just as the writer suggests…They will scream for impeachment but he will be vindicated in such a cut and dry case…

  • lois eisenberg

    Now the liar-in-chief has Britain involved his wiretapping lies !!!

  • lois eisenberg

    “Trump won’t back down on his wiretapping claim but he won’t provide any evidence either. That’s forcing his loyal aides to reach well past deductive reasoning into the land of — well, of LAUGHABLE reasoning. That’s always a dangerous game to play on this stage, and one insinuation really crossed the line this week.”
    OH HUM !!!

  • lois eisenberg

    “The more Trump squirms the mor he sinks” OH HUM !!
    “Trump is making up claims that have no reality” OH HUM !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “The world is laughing at us. They’re laughing at the stupidity of our president.”
    “Stupid is as stupid does”
    “So far Trump has been mercifully incompetent”

    • Sparta of Phoenix AZ

      No, there laughing at people such as yourself doing exactly what the writer mentions, going around the law to suit your worldview…Get used to losing…

      • lois eisenberg

        No they are laughing at you for not realizing that
        “So far Trump has been mercifully incompetent”

  • lois eisenberg

    “Trump’s clumsy tap dance:”
    “Donald must face the music for his IRRESPONSIBLE CONTINUED STATEMENTS. ”

    “Even as more and more responsible Republicans reject President Trump’s wildly irresponsible claim that his predecessor wiretapped him, Trump and his associates twist themselves into credibility-crushing contortions to avoid admitting the obvious.”
    OH HUM !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “While Donald Trump spent his weekend playing golf for the tenth time in eight weeks, the rest of the family reportedly jetted off to Aspen, Colorado,” and the liar’s family
    went on a skiing trip taking along 100 Secret Service Agents.
    OH HUM, that can’t be cheap????

  • lois eisenberg

    “Obama tapped Trump’s phones IN PERSON! Went in wearing a Con Ed coverall. Michelle stood guard while O spliced the lines. SAD”

  • lois eisenberg

    ” Donald Trump’s approval numbers are at a historic low in the latest Gallup tracking poll.”
    HO HUM !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “How some churches are preparing to offer literal sanctuary to fight Trump’s policies”

  • lois eisenberg

    ” To Russia with Love !
    Hail to wiretapping !

  • lois eisenberg

    “The F.B.I. director, James Comey, confirmed that his agency was investigating Russian meddling in the election and Moscow’s relationship to the Trump campaign, placing a criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House.”
    “He said he had no information to support Mr. Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped”
    The liar-in-chief and his ilk have been caught with their hands in cookie jar !!!
    Oh the irony of it all !!!

  • lois eisenberg

    “2 Months In, Trump May Already Own A First: Most Corrupt POTUS. Ever.”
    As the caricatures in some of the post show: HO HUM !!

  • lois eisenberg

    How appalling it is that the liar-in-chief is still being defended by his deplorable
    supporters and then some !!
    THE SICKNESS OF IT ALL !!

  • lois eisenberg

    Food for thought:
    “If you are still defending a treasonous, seditious, lying clown who slandered his predecessor, what does that make you?”

  • lois eisenberg

    “New documents show Trump aide laundered payments from party with Moscow ties, lawmaker alleges”