Imagine if President Trump ordered troops to defend the southern border, but a federal judge suspended his orders so immigration activists could question his motives. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent presentation before the Heritage Foundation suggests this scenario is not far-fetched — he said federal judges are breaking through constitutional guardrails with increasing frequency to encroach on powers of the executive branch.
What Sessions called “judicial encroachment” goes beyond activist judges applying their bias, instead of the law, when deciding cases. We are seeing federal judges repeatedly issue nationwide injunctions halting government operations that the judges deem politically incorrect.
Sessions noted that, in the first 175 years of our republic, not a single federal judge issued a national injunction. Since 2017, however, 27 district courts have issued injunctions shutting down presidential directives. In response to lawsuits from critics of Trump, judges repeatedly have suspended executive policies enacted under Article II of the Constitution.
Sessions mentioned several examples, including lawsuits LGBT activists have filed to stop Trump from revising Obama-era policies regarding transgender people in the military. Gender dysphoria, a psychological condition that involves confusion about one’s sex, previously disqualified a person from military service.