March 22, 2022

Courts, Not Kings & Queens

Exceeding judicial authority to impose liberal preferences

Judge Jackson’s record shows regular misuse of judicial authority to impose liberal preferences instead of what the law demands. 
In a rare move for the courts, Judge Jackson tried to dictate the specifics of training materials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • DHS training materials directed officers to seek evidence and require asylum seekers to present some “facts” showing a credible fear of persecution 
  • Typically, these training materials and non-final agency actions are decided exclusively at the federal agency’s discretion 
  • But Judge Jackson found that she had the power to dictate their content, deciding this training material was “entirely unreasonable” and placed an impermissible burden on asylum seekers  
  • She even decided that illegal immigrants had standing to sue based on these training materials 

  • Judge Jackson weighed into an impending impeachment battle between the executive branch and legislative branch, even though courts typically stay out of political disputes 

  • Judge Jackson signaled she would be willing to compel executive branch officials to comply with congressional subpoenas 
  • She ordered former White House Counsel McGhan to testify before Congress 
  • This demonstrates an expansive view of judicial power, claiming that a politically charged subpoena fight between the Executive Branch and Congress is no different than “ordinary citizens bring[ing] subpoena-enforcement claims in federal courts” 

  • Disregarding the text and plain meaning of the law, Judge Jackson issued an unusual nationwide injunction to prevent the Trump administration from deporting illegal immigrants 

  • Congress granted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the “sole and unreviewable” discretion to determine whether illegal immigrants should be subject to expedited removal (See 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1)(A)(iii)) 
  • Judge Jackson decided that she had the authority to strike down the policy – without citing any statutory text or precedent 
  • A unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit reversed Judge Jackson  
  • And in a forceful rebuke of Judge Jackson’s opinion, an Obama appointee said “[t]here could hardly be a more definitive expression of congressional intent to leave the decision about the scope of expedited removal, within statutory bounds, to the Secretary’s independent judgment” 
    Ignoring extensive historical practice, Judge Jackson halted three executive orders signed by President Trump regarding federal labor-management relations 

  • Judge Jackson acknowledged presidents have “substantial authority” under the Constitution to regulate relations between federal agencies and their employees  
  • Still, Judge Jackson ignored recent Supreme Court decisions to hold that she had the authority to dictate these labor rules  
  • The D.C. Circuit reversed Judge Jackson, criticizing her for ignoring binding precedent and exceeding her authority as a judge