US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, of the Eastern District of New York, blatantly and zealously does not like President Donald Trump, as many folks do not. However, the judge is hearing a case concerning whether to block Trump’s withdrawal of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) unconstitutionally applied DACA protections, and that overt bias may well feed into his ruling on what should be an open and shut question: the DACA protections were illegally applied, and apart from that, they were applied by DHS Memorandum, and so even were Obama’s DACA legal, the protections can be removed by Memorandum or by a President’s Executive Order.
Amazingly, Garaufis is considering the weight to be given to Trump’s campaign rhetoric as though that could be relevant, and the text of the law be damned.
Judge Garaufis appeared to struggle with how much to weigh Mr Trump’s prior comments in determining whether to temporarily block the unwinding of DACA, saying he couldn’t ignore them.
“I’m not sure what the answer is,” Judge Garaufis said.
If the good judge doesn’t understand the question, he should recuse himself. If he doesn’t understand so basic a question, he has no business being on the bench at all.
It gets worse.
In a speech to the Heritage Foundation last year, Mr [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions cited a comment from Judge Garaufis at a hearing in the same case in which he said the government “can’t come into court to espouse a position that is heartless.” Mr Sessions said comments like this are “highly offensive and disrespectful” of the legislative and executive branches.
Getting visibly angry, Judge Garaufis said of Mr Sessions, “He seems to think the courts cannot have an opinion.”
Yewbetcha. Courts cannot have political opinions. Not a syllable of one. It’s appalling that a Federal judge does not understand this, or pretends not to.