This Isn’t The First Time The Judge Who Issued A Stay On Trump’s Executive Order Dabbled In Controversy

Posted: Feb 05, 2017 6:25 PM

We know that the federal judge who issues a nationwide stay on the travel provisions of President Donald Trump’s executive order was a 2004 Bush appointee. He was confirmed 99-0. He’s been presiding as a district judge for the Western District of Washington state. And this isn’t the first time he’s dabbled in controversy. Sure, he’s name is all over the news after he issued the stay on Trump’s order, but he also ruled against the Seattle Police Union in 2016, citing “black lives matter” in his judgment (via Seattle Times):

U.S. District Judge James Robart, pointedly reacting to the Seattle police union’s rejection of a tentative contract, said Monday [8/15/16] he would not let the powerful labor group hold the city “hostage” by linking wages to constitutional policing.

“To hide behind a collective- bargaining agreement is not going to work,” Robart said during a dramatic court hearing he opened by laying out a path for police-accountability reform and closed with an emotional declaration that “black lives matter.”

Robart, who is presiding over a 2012 consent decree requiring the city to adopt reforms to address Department of Justice allegations of excessive force and biased policing, called for major changes that would directly affect the union’s membership: streamlined appeals of officer discipline and internal investigations conducted by civilians rather than sworn officers.

Kevin Stuckey, who recently became president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) in a power shake-up and listened in court to the judge’s blistering remarks, said the union is prepared to sit down with the city and reach a deal.

“The judge has given us our marching orders,” Stuckey said, insisting the union’s vote this summer to reject the deal was not tied to money but to the leak of confidential contract details to The Stranger newspaper.


Robart ended the hearing with deeply personal remarks, in which he noted a statistic that showed, nationally, 41 percent of the shootings by police were of blacks, when they represented 20 percent of the population.

“Black lives matter,” he said, drawing a startled, audible reaction in a courtroom listening to the words coming from a federal judge sitting on the bench.

The Seattle Police Department, like in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Chicago, has a history of misconduct. From unjustified shootings to cyberstalking, there probably was cause for the Department of Justice to order a review of the policing methods and recommend changes—even without the black lives matter commentary. Still, the fact that he used the controversial phrase in his SPD ruling calls into question whether this judge has activist leanings. All we can discern from that ruling and this recent decision is that we probably shouldn't be shocked that Judge Robart issued the stay (via Q13 Fox):

Judge Robart, in his ruling, said the federal government was “arguing that we have to protect the U.S. from individuals from these (seven) countries, and there’s no support for that.” He said the state of Washington proved that the local economy and citizens had suffered irreparable harm and an injunction should be applied.

We have written how President Trump was well within its authority to write this order. It’s written quite clearly in the Visa Waiver Program, which Obama signed off on in 2015 in section 1182 (f) of the law.

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate

Second, Andrew McCarthy noted how this doesn’t violate Hart-Celler since this order was issued as a national society priority. Hart-Cellar removed the quotes that racially skewed immigration to the U.S. from western European nations. He also added how U.S. v. Curtiss-Wright established the primacy of the executive regarding international relations, which includes immigration.

The fact is that while former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates clearly had a political opinion, and not a legal one in her letter, which promoted her firing, Robart seems to have written an opinion that the president doesn’t agree with. I don’t agree with it either.

The fact is that some form of legal challenge was going to happen. The intentions to file lawsuits were made and the bungled rollout, especially the provision regarding green card holders, added to the confusion that probably prompted the nationwide stay. I’m not so sure how this order hurts Washington State’s residents and local economy, but I look forward to the appeal. And when this judge referred to black lives matter in a ruling regarding the SPD case, we could probably have read the tealeaves before he stayed the order nationwide.

Right now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most liberal courts in the country, refused to reinstate the travel moratorium. The court will open up hearings to challenges to the order at 3 A.M. EST. The DOJ has until 6 P.M. tomorrow to respond.

Last Note: Reagan barred Cuban immigrants and Clinton suspended immigration from Sudanese citizens who were government officials or members of the armed services. This isn't a constitutional crisis. It's just liberal hysteria.