Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Will We Ever See the End of Universal Injunctions Issued by Activist Judges?

            U.S. District Judges continue to issue injunction barring the Trump administration from implementing new policies. The latest such injunction was issued by U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs of North Carolina. The injunction stoops “a new policy that changes how the government calculates the duration of an illegal immigrant’s unlawful presence in the country.”

          The judge was not wrong to issue an injunction because that is a tool that judges use to “stop someone from doing something.” The problem comes from the choice of injunction made by the judge according to GianCarlo Canapara at The Heritage Foundation.

[Biggs] could use an injunction that prevented the government from using the new calculation on the plaintiffs who sued, or she could use a so-called nationwide injunction that barred the government from using the new calculation against anyone, anywhere.

Biggs chose to issue a nationwide injunction. Actually, that’s a misnomer. These are better called “universal” or even “absent-party” injunctions, because they aren’t limited either by their geographic scope or the parties they cover.

Instead, they stop the government from enforcing a law or policy against anyone, anywhere.

            U. S. Attorney General William Barr, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Justice Clarence Thomas, and Justice Neal Gorsuch are just a few of the people who have criticized these universal injunctions. What are they and are they legal? The Constitution defines the roles of the judicial branch and says that judges do not “pass laws or set broad policies.” Those roles belong to other branches of government.

Instead, according to Article III, judges decide “Cases” and “Controversies,” which are actual legal disputes between specific parties. Whether civil suits between private parties or criminal cases involving the government, these disputes are brought by the parties, and judges settle them for the parties.

It makes sense, therefore, that when a judge issues an injunction in the process of deciding a particular case, that injunction will not cover more than is necessary.

            That would necessitate the use of common sense, and most conservatives know that common sense is not a trademark of liberals. Liberals judges have usurped authority that the Constitution does not give to them, and the judiciary branch of the federal government is much “more powerful that America’s Founders intended.” Their injunctions do the following.

First, they empower judges to exercise power over the entire government, rather than just the parties who brought a case before them.

Second, universal injunctions give individual district judges far more poser than they ought to have….

Third, they undermine public confidence in the judiciary by giving activists judges near limitless power to undo the laws and policies of the democratically accountable branches of government….

Finally, universal injunctions lead to what Gorsuch calls “rushed, high-stakes, low-information decisions” ….

            The rushed decisions usually end up at the Supreme Court where the question is asked if the court of appeals erred. The Supreme Court needs to remind the lower courts that they have limited jurisdiction and should stop issuing universal injunctions.     

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