You would think that a little dude from Baja Alabama who became Attorney General of the whole dang United States would have just a little bit of inkling that in our beautiful constitutional republic we have judicial review of executive and legislative actions. You are maybe not ready for the new world of 2017 in which some states and some federal circuit courts are more equal than others. Would federal judicial review be less surprising if it came from a big ol’ judge in Texas? Or Alaska? Would that be big enough?
Update: Not gonna give you a break, Mr. Pepe Beauregard Dingleberry Sessions. Lost my sense of humor a while back. How about you? Sativa got you all riled up, little dude? Try some mellow indica next time.
Constrained discretion vs. unconstrained discretion: that is the issue in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today re the “ban” or whatever alternative term you like. Presidents have “wide authority,” the media tell us, and they are not lying about that. (However, few if any TV heads have emphasized that there is already extended vetting before foreigners are allowed into the U.S. from the countries in question. Newswatchers could easily get the impression that there was little if any filtering during the Obama administration.) But unconstrained presidential discretion is another matter. Giving any president, even Mr. Trump, unconstrained discretion over anything has big league downsides. The only possible upside would be that Trump’s blame-shifting, which is already unconstrained by common sense or facts or shame, would be even less believable. But the price is far too high. If Trump manages to fool courts as well as Congress that his whims are unreviewable and that any oversight is unpatriotic and dangerous–game over.