Jeff Sessions implies that a Hawaiian judge’s decision isn’t relevant to America

April 22, 2017 • 10:00 am

Jeff Sessions is the Attorney General of the United States, which means he’s our chief law enforcement officer. Nevertheless, he doesn’t seem to recognize that Hawaii is part of the United States, as valid a state as any other.  Nevertheless, he didn’t seem to recognize that a Federal Court ruling in Hawaii, overruling Trump’s second executive order on immigrants, has the force of law. When Federal judge Derrick K. Watson of Hawaii issued the block, Sessions (who voted to confirm Watson) put his metatarsals in his mouth:

CNN reports:

Sessions told “The Mark Levin Show” earlier this week that he was “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.”

Called out on this gaffe, Sessions didn’t take it back:

“I don’t know that I said anything I would want to phrase differently,” he said Friday. “We’re going to defend the presidential order. We believe it’s constitutional. We believe there is specific statutory authority for everything in that order that he did.”

“It only delayed six nations who have had real terrorists connections for 90 days in the immigration process,” Sessions added.

And so it goes with the Trump administration. “An island in the Pacific”, indeed!

51 thoughts on “Jeff Sessions implies that a Hawaiian judge’s decision isn’t relevant to America

  1. Hawaii, known as “The Big Island”, is indeed an island in the Pacific, but the State of Hawaii is eight major islands home to 1.4 million Americans. There are 10 other states, many of them Republican, with smaller populations.

  2. As Andy Borowitz said: the amazing thing about Session’s statement is that he identified the correct ocean.

  3. Yes, Sessions proves again that he is not from Alabama for nothing. Having him as Attorney General is almost like having Taney on the Supreme Court.

    1. But Alabama has about 4.7 million inhabitants, while Hawaii has only 1.4. So Hawaii doesn’t count. Oops, what about NY or CA?

      1. Yes, and I have lived in Hawaii, so unlike Mr. Sessions, I know exactly where it is and very preferable to Alabama.

  4. This is a slanted misreading. Sessions in no way implies Hawaii is not part of the USA. Instead he makes the equivalent of the “chicken-hawk” argument: that the judge, being from an island so little at risk of an influx across its border. It’s a stupid argument, but it is not how you characterize it.
    Nor is asserting that judge got it wrong imply he thinks the ruling does not apply. I do not in fact how you can read the 90 day delay remark in any way other than as a complaint that the ruling DID in fact apply.

    1. I disagree; Sessions was implying that the decision in Hawaii, because it CAME from Hawaii, wasn’t that relevant:

      “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.”

      Yes, he knows it has to apply, but he’s trying to claim that it shouldn’t apply because it’s Hawaii, Jake.

      1. Sessions was implying that the judge was some kahuna who wears a lei and surfs Pipeline when he’s not on the bench — and is, thus, unfit to pass judgment on his betters, like Trump.

        He was “othering” the judge as a foreign exotic, the way Trump tried to do with Obama and his birth certificate.

      2. Neither of which establishes either that he doesn’t think it’s law or doesn’t apply, or doesn’t think Hawaii is part of the USA. Those are the assertions you made.

        I believe that, instead, he thinks it is a sad thing that it does apply, and for a stupid reason.

      3. The way I read it, Sessions’ objection is not that that judge is from Hawaii, but that “a single sitting judge out of 600, 700 district judges can issue an order stopping a presidential executive order”.

        1. The man was nominated 30 years ago to be a federal district judge himself, fer chrissakes. Plus, he’s a former U.S. Attorney and the former attorney general for the State of Alabama. He should have a basic understanding of the way our federal courts work.

          In any event, if that’s what he thought, what business did he have going on the radio show of an ignoramus like Mark Levin (the guy who recently floated crazy conspiracy theories about Barrack Obama wiretapping Trump Tower) to pop-off about it. It was unseemly, beneath the dignity of the office of Attorney General of the United States.

          1. Of course. As Craw already pointed out, Sessions’ objections are stupid ones, and people are free to disagree what he actually said. (I do.) But the way Jerry characterized it is not what he said.

    2. You might want to try for a pundit position on fox news with that slant. What he plainly said was the equivalent of saying in reference to Kansas, you know that piece of land out there in the middle of the dust bowl. Please give us a break.

      1. None of which was what Coyne actually said. Coyne said Sessions doesn’t seem to recognize Hawaii as a part of the United States. False. Coyne also said Sessions didn’t seem to recognize the judgment has the force of law; even he (Coyne) now concedes that is wrong. So on the points I objected to, I was right.

        1. ” . . . sitting on an island in the Pacific . . . .”

          Why, do you say, Sessions included the above phrase in his statement? To inform anyone who doesn’t possibly know that Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean?

          Obviously, Alabama (Sessions being from there) and not Hawaii (and every state of the United States, to hear certain boosterish citizens of each state exigently hold forth on why their state is the “greatest” state in the union, particularly in political convention state delegate roll call speeches) is the apotheosis of intellectual curiosity and highest arbiter of what is “relevant.”

        2. FWIW, Coyne doesn’t seem to care much for being called “Coyne”; I think he prefers Jerry, or Perfesser, or Mr. Coyne, or some such. (Not sure how he feels about “Chief” or “Big Guy” or “Ace.”) I call him “Citizen Coyne” sometimes, when he comments on politics, or policy, or matters of broad public interest. He hasn’t complained about it … yet, anyway. 🙂

    3. “… the judge, being from an island so little at risk of an influx across its border.”

      As opposed, say, to a judge in a hotbed of Muslim immigration like Alabama?

  5. I am under the impression that this Judge was a student with Mr. Obama in college. Does that have any bearing on her judgement? Regards. Pat Orlando.

    1. Judge Derrick Watson attended Harvard Law School with President Obama. He is of the male persuasion (both sex and gender, AFAIK 🙂 )

      No reason why it would have an bearing on this case.

  6. Well, I’m pretty amazed that politicians, judges and sundry factotums from Alabama and other backward states can stop the USA from advancing towards the degree of civilisation now prevailing throughout much of Europe.

  7. Jeff Sessions is the last (let us hope) in a long line of southern boll weevils to make their way to Washington, DC (albeit with the Republican registration that became de rigueur after enactment of the Civil Rights Act) — a line stretching back to Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, and thence to James O. Eastland and John Stennis and the other signatories of the so-called “Southern Manifesto.”

    Sessions is a good example of what “political correctness” was reacting against in its early, beneficent incarnation — the white male oblivious to his own privilege who looks down his nose at the “dusky races.” In those days, political correctness was merely a form of politeness extended to the historically disadvantaged, a recognition that all people should be addressed in the manner and form of their choosing (be it “African-American” instead of “negro” or “colored” or worse). Unfortunately, like one of those twisters roaring out of the Great Plains, political correctness spun out of control, heading off in directions unimagined, wreaking havoc upon those unlucky enough to be caught in its path, including, ultimately, those it was meant to benefit.

    Sessions’s remarks disparaging “a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific” is a taste of what it was like in the bad old days.

      1. That’s all I can think of whenever Sessions opens his mouth. A mint julep. Even his name makes me laugh:

        Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

        A pipsqueak with a big mouth and a large name, who has to denigrate in order to feel bigly himself.

        What a joke the man is.

        1. Sipping away, sitting in a swing on the wrap-around porch of a big white plantation manor house, fanning himself with a big wicker fan.

          1. Complete with French middle name. Though I suspect the French would prefer that to be quietly overlooked.

            ‘Good look’ indeed… 🙁


          2. I believe that, like his daddy (and his daddy’s daddy before him) Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s middle name comes from General P.G.T. Beauregard (the Confederate hero of the First Battle of Bull Run — or “First Manassas,” as Southerners are wont to call it), and his first comes from Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

            That’s some rebel pedigree, ain’t it?

          3. Can you imagine it being said with anything but a Southern drawl? ‘Beauregard’.

            It’s just so – ‘period’. Like an Englishman called Cecil or Montmorency.


            (Shouldn’t laugh. I’ve got one of ‘those’ middle names which I never use except on my passport. The Russian embassy, to my great joy, has, on my visa, (a) mispronounced it and (b) transliterated the mispronunciation phonetically into Cyrillic).

          4. A middle name written in Cyrillic might be all the qualification you need to qualify for a slot in the Trump White House, cr.

            You should look into that.

          5. I can’t imagine a worse fate. A bit like Fawlty Towers, I would imagine.


  8. Sessions’ logic is sound.

    1) Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
    2) Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.
    3) Therefore Hawaii is not part of the United States.

    It’s basic Trumposophy, people.

    1. I also think that, instead of a geographical misconception, Sessions’ statement was a ham-fisted swipe at Obama, another lawyer from Hawaii.

      Btw I grew up in Hawaii and went to the same fabulous school as Obama (Punahou). He went through a few years after my youngest sister. My mother worked in the school library and she remembers checking out books to him. How cool is that!

  9. In addition to the other readings of the Att’y
    General’s remarks, there might be the implication that Christian, Caucasian lawmakers in D.C. are closer to the center of the universe than…well, anybody who falls into any other categories.

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