Hawaii Dems Swiftly Hit Sessions For ‘Island In The Pacific’ Remark

Paul Sancya/AP

Hawaii’s Democratic senators on Thursday quickly went after Attorney General Jeff Sessions for questioning how a federal judge from the Aloha State, which he instead referred to as “an island in the Pacific,” was able to block the Trump administration’s travel ban.

“Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics,” Sen. Mazie Hirono wrote on Twitter, adding that the attorney general’s remarks were “ignorant & dangerous.”

Sen. Brian Schatz also chimed in, urging Sessions to “have some respect” for his home state.

The attorney general made waves by telling conservative radio host Mark Levin on Wednesday 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.”

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson was one of several federal officials who moved in March to block President Donald Trump’s revised executive order barring refugees and immigrants from six majority-Muslim countries.

As Schatz pointed out, Watson was confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2013, when Sessions was still a Republican senator from Alabama.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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