As Donald Trump's presidency spirals out of control, his administration is somehow staying focused on discriminating against Muslims and tearing their families apart.
While Donald Trump is either hiding out in his bedroom or humiliating himself on the global stage, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is keeping his eye on the ball: fighting to ban Muslims.
On Friday, Sessions went running to the Supreme Court — claiming to do so “reluctantly” — to enforce the Trump administration’s new rule of banning grandmas from Muslim countries.
In June, the court had partially lifted the stay on Trump’s Muslim ban, allowing an exception for those who could demonstrate a “bona fide relationship” with someone in the United States, such as an immediate family member.
The State Department then issued its bizarre definition of what constituted an immediate family member.
Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, and uncles did not count.
Unsurprisingly, outrage in response to this ridiculous definition of “family” has been immense — and not just on Twitter, though certainly there as well.
The state of Hawaii went back to court on the matter, and U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson determined that the “close familial relationship” is “unduly restrictive.”
The Trump administration disagrees. In a statement, Sessions attacked Watson, suggesting he did not have the authority to issue the ruling that he did:
Once again, we are faced with a situation in which a single federal district court has undertaken by a nationwide injunction to micromanage decisions of the co-equal Executive Branch related to our national security. By this decision, the district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for that of the Executive branch, defying both the lawful prerogatives of the Executive Branch and the directive of the Supreme Court.
This is not the first time Sessions has attacked Watson. In April, during an appearance on a right-wing radio show, Sessions dismissed Watson as merely “a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.”
Attacking the authority of the court is also one of Trump’s favored tactics. During the presidential campaign, he attacked Judge Gonzalo Curiel and said his “Mexican heritage” disqualified him from being able to rule fairly on a civil lawsuit against Trump.
Since taking office, Trump has repeatedly ranted on Twitter about the 9th Circuit and other courts that have stayed his patently discriminatory travel ban on Muslim countries.
For a president — even one as ignorant and inexperienced as Trump — to undermine the authority of the judiciary is appalling and stinks of authoritarian gall.
However, it is indisputably unacceptable coming from the nation’s top attorney, who should absolutely know better and should demonstrate respect for the rule of law and the judicial process.
That Sessions would behave in such a way in order to defend a hateful and discriminatory order that does not even recognize grandmas as legitimate family members just makes it that much worse.