A single judge from San Francisco, Richard Seeborg, almost destroyed America. This lone jurist’s imbecilic ruling earlier this month barring the president from requiring asylum seekers to stay in Mexico, via the Migrant Protection Protocols, contributed to the tidal wave of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens flooding across the border.
Mexico, he claimed, is just too dangerous.
The holding has the potential of costing taxpayers billions of dollars and sent the message to millions of South and Central Americans that if they physically make it to the U.S., they can stay. The Ninth District Appellate Division temporarily placed Seeborg’s ruling on hold and just heard argument for a final disposition to be announced soon.
The question is: Why in the world should one unelected individual possess so much power? The judge became the sole determinant source regarding our nation’s immigration policy. Presidential Constitutional powers be damned. Elections? What do they matter?
Despite the fact that millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump, precisely because of his promise to enforce our immigration laws, the victory at the ballot box proved illusory. An activist judge appointed by President Obama, Trump’s antithesis, crushed the dreams of millions of Americans craving the securing of America’s sovereignty.
It’s not the first time a lower court dramatically shifted American immigration policy. In the nineties, the Clinton administration was pressured to settle an ACLU inspired lawsuit by agreeing that unaccompanied minors at the border could not be held by the feds beyond twenty days. We are now seeing adults escort the children, via the guidance of the cartel coyotes, so they, too, can be released into the American fabric.
The cost for housing, transporting, and settling these individuals is in the billions, not to mention the billions more they will cost taxpayers as they become wards of the state. States are already drawing up plans to include them in their health care programs. When even Trump-hating entertainer Cher feels the need to tweet about our inability to handle this influx, you know were in a dangerous place.
The time has come to change the system that grants such awesome, disproportionate power to a single activist judge. Any hearing that could reverse a president’s order or initiative should have to originate at the appellate level and be decided upon within 30 days. Thereafter, the Supreme Court should be required to grant expedited review where executive action is enjoined.
A decision by the Appellate Division to permanently uphold its previous temporary stay of Seeborg’s ruling would allow the president to do what he sought to do originally — keep asylum applicants in Mexico. That could give hope for the future, but imagine the billions that would have been saved, and the enormous chaos that could have been averted, had the power to reverse national policy not rested with a single jurist.
Concededly, appellate courts can often be political and fickle as well, as has often been the case with the Ninth Circuit. For instance, the court held that those denied their asylum applications have a right to seek appeal and to stay within the country until that exhaustive process is completed. The bottom line is that these otherwise ineligible people will be here for years, and probably forever, since they will likely never appear at their hearings and never will be found.
And based upon yesterday’s oral argument, it seems very possible the court may reinstate Seeborg’s holding. Such a possibility illustrates why the Supreme Court must become a more active player in this drama.
Would anyone have tolerated the court system stalling for two years to deal with George Wallace barring Black children from the school door? Of course not. So why are we waiting years for the Court to finally deal with the patently illegal actions of mayors defying federal law by imposing sanctuary cities? Any why does the Supreme Court twiddle its thumbs while a district judge allows Obama’s illegal DACA executive order to continue in effect, pending final disposition, while another court enjoins Trump from his own executive order reversing Obama’s illegal decree?
Americans understand that, in the end, decisions of the nation’s highest court must be respected, even where we may disagree with the finding. Some entity must be the final arbiter to provide a check on abuses in the legislative and executive branches. We will accept a directive of the nine member court that may upend major policy initiatives. Not so much, however, when such a reversal is implemented by a single activist judge imposing his or her will above the policies emanating from the electoral process.
Steve Levy, former New York state assemblyman, Suffolk County executive, and candidate for governor, is now a distinguished political pundit. Levy's commentary has been published in such media outlets as Washington Times, Washington Examiner, New York Post, Albany Times, Long Island Business News, and City & State Magazine. He hosted “The Steve Levy Radio Show" on Long Island News Radio, and is a frequent guest on high profile television and radio outlets. Few on the political scene possess Levy’s diverse background. He’s been both a legislator and executive, and served on both the state and local levels — as both a Democrat and Republican. Levy published Bias in the Media, an analysis of his own experience, after switching parties, with the media's leftward slant. Levy is currently Executive Director of the Center for Cost Effective Government, a fiscally conservative think tank. He is also President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. To learn more about his past work and upcoming appearances, visit www.stevelevy.info. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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