Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees have been a little slow to be confirmed, which puts the new administration at a disadvantage in its early days. While Trump is making sweeping and legally questionable changes during his first week and a half in office, there is literally no one to defend him in court on the more egregious offenses, like his Muslim ban. Now, the acting Attorney General, who works for Trump but was originally an Obama appointee said no way. The Justice Department would not be defending Trump’s Muslim ban.
The acting Attorney General is Sally Q. Yates. She’s not a Trump appointee and her days in office are likely numbered, but she’s not giving up. She sent a letter to the Justice Department, ordering them to stand down on any legal challenges to Trump’s Muslim ban.
“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Ms. Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”
Source: New York Times
Naturally, this won’t last long. Jeff Sessions is expected to be confirmed as Attorney General and there’s little doubt that he will fight tooth and nail to defend Trump’s right to be a fascist. But, this does raise one hurdle that the administration will find itself trying to overcome over the next four years; Obama’s courts.
During President Obama’s eight years in office, arguably his biggest impact has been on the federal courts.
“President Obama has had a stunning impact on the federal bench,” said Kevin Judd, president of the National Bar Association, a network of some 66,000 black lawyers, judges, educators and law students. “Most of his nominees have been either women, African Americans or persons of color.”
Judd cited a study co-written by Robert A. Carp, a political science professor at the University of Houston which noted that the Commander in Chief elevated hundreds of African-Americans and other lawyers of color to the nation’s federal courts. The more than 300 Obama-nominated judges are considered to be the most diverse group in U.S. history in terms of terms of gender, ethnicity, and nationality.
Source: NBC News
Of course, you can’t predict a judge’s opinions based on gender or skin color, but it’s hard to imagine that any court, even a conservative one, will uphold Trump’s clearly unconstitutional Muslim ban. The ACLU is already taking the administration to court. They’re already winning. Trump won’t even have help until Sessions is confirmed, and even then, he has an uphill battle with the courts. As for his recent ban, well, the administration is going to find it harder and harder to enforce.
Featured image via Pool/Getty Images.