The Corner

Politics & Policy

It’s Now Racist to Question Whether a Hawaii Judge Should Make Immigration Policy for the Entire United States

This is a stupid controversy even by the standards of the Trump years, but Jeff Sessions is getting slammed for a comment about a judge on “an island in the Pacific,” a.k.a. Hawaii, blocking the president’s travel ban. Sessions said on the Mark Levin show, “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.” Clearly, Sessions was highlighting the geographic remoteness of Hawaii as a way to emphasize the ridiculousness of a single judge making such a sweeping national judgment. But Sessions is being accused by his critics of denying Hawaii’s statehood in keeping with his racism, slandering a federal judge, and playing to vicious and long-standing anti-Hawaii sentiment. It’s obviously too much to ask these critics to get a grip (they won’t for the next four-to-eight years). So, it’s probably best to adopt a tone of light dismissiveness in response, which is why the DOJ statement is just right: “Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific — a beautiful one where the Attorney General’s granddaughter was born. 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.”

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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