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Friday, July 7, 2017

No Surprise Here -- Federal Judge Defers to Supreme Court

You have to wonder if the Attorney General of Hawaii went to law school.  After the Supreme Court issued its ruling that lifted the stay regarding almost all of the President's Executive Order temporarily suspending entry into the USA from six countries with particular problems with terrorism, the Hawaii AG went into federal district court to try to expand the exception for entrants with close family members in the USA.  The AG wanted a federal judge in Honolulu to expand the meaning of close family members to include grandparents and some others.  Even with an extremely political and compliant federal judge, the AG was wasting his time.  No federal district court judge would step into defining an order that the Supreme Court had issued.  Only the Supreme Court would do that.  Nevertheless, the Hawaii AG rushed into court in Honolulu a day after the Supreme Court ruled to seek an "emergency" expansion of the definition of close family members.

Yesterday, the Honolulu judge issued his decision.  It was not a surprise.  The judge deferred to the Supreme Court.  He said that if the Hawaii AG wanted to clarify the Supreme Court ruling, the place to do that was in the Supreme Court and only there.

Let me put this decision into proper context.  If a general orders the army to advance, you don't try to change that order by asking a second lieutenant to rescind or modify that order.  It just isn't going to happen.  Any lawyer who understands the federal court system would know that.  As I said at the start, it makes you wonder if the Attorney General of Hawaii went to law school.

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