The irrationality of some Federal District judges is being made palpable by their rulings against the latest Executive Order involving a temporary moratorium on folks from six terrorist- and terrorism-supporting countries. Here’s one example, from US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii:
The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.
Yet he chose not to explain his own logic, nor did he deign explain the limiting principle he holds underlying this claim. Indeed, he explicitly refused to explain himself:
The Court declines to relegate its Establishment Clause analysis to a purely mathematical exercise.
Thus: the illogic of the judge’s contention is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward entire groups of people by only targeting some of them is fundamentally flawed.
How small a minority of the group can be targeted without the judge deeming the entire group targeted? Is targeting only terrorists in a group a necessary targeting of the entire group? Is targeting a single individual—rightly or wrongly; that’s what trials are for, after all—necessarily a targeting of the entire group to which he belongs?
And which group in which he has membership—Islam? Sunni Muslim? His fellow citizens of a nation? The group comprised of fellow members of his gender? All groups?
Where is the limiting threshold? Watson chose not to say.
[P]lainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose.
Here is the judge dragging into the case things that are not in the case at all. The matters before the judge are the Executive Order and its constitutional legitimacy and nothing else. Campaign rhetoric, marketing commentary, are not relevant. What is relevant–all that is relevant–are the plain text of the EO, existing immigration law, and the Constitution. Full stop.
This judge has ruled solely on personal ideological grounds and not at all on the legality of the matter. Ideology, political matters–policy–are for the political branches of Government, not for the judicial–as Article III makes plain.