Hawaii AG Slams Sessions’ Comment On Judge On ‘Island In The Pacific’

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2017, file photo, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin speaks at a news conference in Honolulu announcing the state of Hawaii has filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's travel ban. Hawaii is planning to challenge Trump's revised travel ban. A motion filed in federal court on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in Honolulu says the state wants to amend its existing lawsuit challenging Trump's previous order.  (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)
Audrey McAvoy/AP

Hawaii state Attorney General Doug Chin on Thursday criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for remarking that it is amazing that a judge on “an island in the Pacific” could stop President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

“President Trump previously called a federal judge in California a so-called judge. Now U.S. Attorney General Sessions appears to dismiss a federal judge in Hawaii as just a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific,” Chin said in a statement. “Our Constitution created a separation of powers in the United States for a reason. Our federal courts, established under article III of the Constitution, are co-equal partners with Congress and the President. It is disappointing AG Sessions does not acknowledge that.”

During an interview on “The Mark Levin” radio show Wednesday, Sessions complained that a federal judge in Hawaii blocked Trump’s travel ban, appearing to question that judge’s authority.

“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 said.

Under fire from Hawaii Democrats for Sessions’ remarks, the Department of Justice on Thursday released a statement noting that Hawaii is an island in the Pacific.

“Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific – a beautiful one where the Attorney General’s granddaughter was born,” Ian Prior, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said in a statement. “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.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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