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How American Can a State Be If It’s Never Even Tried To Secede Once?

[ 118 ] April 20, 2017 |

sessions trump

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, everyone:

As President Donald Trump’s second travel ban works its way through the courts, Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed the Hawaii judge who ruled against it as a “judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.”

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” Sessions told radio host Mark Levin on Wednesday, as reported by CNN.

It’s just awesome when the Attorney General of the United States is interviewed by a crank wingnut talk show host and isn’t obviously the more hinged one.

This is equally silly:

In his conversation with Levin, Sessions signaled that the administration is confident the ban is constitutional. He also argued that judges should not “psychoanalyze” the president while reviewing it.

“The judges don’t get to psychoanalyze the president to see if the order he issues is lawful,” Sessions said.

Shorter Jeff Sessions: “if you preemptively declare that all evidence of discriminatory intent is invalid, then discriminatory executive orders must be found constitutional.”


Comments (118)

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  1. tsam says:

    “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,”

    Well geez–when ya put it that way…

    Sometimes I wish I was a Republican. That way I wouldn’t have to think about stuff.

  2. MaxUtility says:

    Well, you know who else came from an ‘island in the Pacific’? Very suspicious…

  3. Warren Terra says:

    I am bothered by the paucity of memory seen in the response to this error. I have seen literally no-one else* quoting the words of the noted American politician and theorist Dan Quayle:

    Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here.

    * though, I haven’t actually looked

  4. Bitter Scribe says:

    Yeah, why did we even bother going to war when Japan bombed that little insignificant island out in the Pacific?

  5. djw says:

    I’ve noticed more than a few people who manage to hold the following views simultaneously, without apparent cognitive dissonance:

    1. Trump is qualitatively and also orders of magnitudes worse than your bog-standard conventional Republican.

    2. Appointing Sessions is one of the very worst things Trump has done so far.

    • PunditusMaximus says:


    • Jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

      What would cause cognitive dissonance. Both statements could be (and are) true without contradicting each other.

      • Lost Left Coaster says:

        I think that the point is that Sessions was an influential Republican Senator before taking on the role of Attorney General and thus isn’t just some wingnut that Trump pulled from the dark corners of the Internet like, say, Bannon. In other words, the Republicans have been both this evil and stupid for quite a while now. Suggesting that Trump is just the latest extension of the Republican horror show.

      • notahack says:

        Jeff Sessions was:

        a) literally 2% of the Republican Senate Caucus, all by himself
        b.i) got 98% of the Republican Senate Caucus’ votes for Attorney General
        b.ii) The other 2% was himself, voting present.

        I somehow doubt that Trump can really be all that worse than the worst Republican by appointing Jeff Sessions was the worst thing that he did.

        • DanaHoule says:

          Not joking when I say this, but I bet there were Repub senators who figured a new Senator from AL was unlikely to personally be as much of a dick as I suspect Jeff Sessions is, and probably not much worse an AG than anyone Mike Pence would pick, so why not confirm him? And if someone voted no & he wasn’t confirmed, would they want him mucking things up for them the rest of their shared time in the Senate?

          For similar reasons Ted Cruz would sail through for anything to which he was appointed.

    • AMK says:

      Trump and Sessions are stylistically worse than your bog-standard conventional Republican, which raises the question if President Rubio or Jeb would have appointed him. But certainly the policy differences are negligible.

    • Sly says:

      3. Every Republican member of the United States Senate voted to confirm Sessions as Attorney General.

    • randy khan says:

      Well, Sessions is worse than you bog-standard conventional Republican. Remember he was one of Trump’s first supporters. Also, most of them are more careful to conceal their thinking about people not like them.

      I see other people commenting that the other Republican Senators voted to confirm him. That’s just tribal loyalty.

    • Bloix says:

      That “so far” is doing a hell of a lot of work.

  6. NeonTrotsky says:

    Well I mean when only around a quarter of your population is white you don’t really get to count as a real state to Jeff Sessions

  7. encephalopath says:

    There is some East Coast provincialism at work in the way they think about Hawaii. The way Cokie Roberts referred to Obama’s vacationing there as exotic was the same thing as Sessions saying “some island in the Pacific.”

    If you want to go on a warm beach winter vacation from the Acela corridor you wouldn’t try to go to Hawaii; you would go to the Caribbean. Hawaii is an 18 hour travel day away. You might as well be flying to Australia. It’s a destination out of your sphere.

    For the same reason, as a West Coast resident, I’ve never been to the Caribbean. It’s too much of a pain in the ass. Why travel there when I can take a direct flight to Honolulu.

    • Woodrowfan says:

      There is some East Coast provincialism at work in the way they think about Hawaii.

      Not to be too smart ass, but Sessions is from Alabama, not exactly the East Coast. (Yes, I get it, he’s a Senator so he lives in DC, but his attitude is all deep-fried lily-white cracker…

      • jmauro says:

        Considering it’s either a 5 hour drive to Atlanta or a 4-5 connection into a hub airport to get to Hawaii from Atlanta, being from Alabama just makes Hawaii even further away in travel time.

    • Juicy_Joel says:

      Fun Fact: You can fly from JFK to Honolulu direct in a little over 11 hours.

      • cpinva says:

        I assume they stock that baby with lots of alcohol!

        • PunditusMaximus says:

          My understanding is that any direct flight to HI from anywhere east of the Mississippi is extremely well stocked with Mai Tais.

          At least the Chicago one was. If you keep a leftover wisdom tooth Percocet, it’s not a bad 9 hour flight.

          Or that’s what I’ve heard.

      • DanaHoule says:

        Yeah, little over eight from Chicago. It’s around four hours (and you’re crossing fewer time zones) to most places in the Caribbean, but flying to Hawaii isn’t like flying to Australia.

  8. Bitter Scribe says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that Sessions would be sniffish about Hawaii. The opposition to its statehood in the 1950s was led by Southern segregationists who were uneasy with its non-white and especially its multiracial population. Miscegenation, doncha know.

    • efgoldman says:

      The opposition to its statehood in the 1950s was led by Southern segregationists who were uneasy with its non-white and especially its multiracial population. Miscegenation, doncha know.

      Because thousands of those large. dusky Polynesians were going to travel thousands of miles to the Traitor States to seduce and deflower the wimmins what didn’t know any better.

  9. There are Hawaiian secessionists.
    Monarchists, even. That’s hardcore traditionalism.
    You’d think Sessions would respect that…

  10. nemdam says:

    Just noting that the Attorney General of the Unites States has both committed perjury and attacked the legitimacy of the judicial branch. Appointed by a man who ran on a platform of law and order. So much winning.

  11. liberalrob says:

    I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States

    I really am amazed that someone who has been involved with the Federal government since the 1980’s has no understanding of how the Federal judiciary works. Even moreso, how such a person could come to be in charge of the Department of Justice.

    The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration. In its early years, the DOJ vigorously prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members.

    Oh, I get it now.

  12. JMP says:

    A lot of conservatives seemed to have decided that Hawaii doesn’t count as a real state and isn’t really a part of America ever since November 4, 2008. I wonder why that is…

  13. stonetools says:

    Hawaii was the home of most of the members of the 442nd Infantry Regiment:

    The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is an infantry regiment of the United States Army, part of the Army Reserve. The regiment was a fighting unit composed almost entirely of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (mostly from Hawaii) who fought in World War II. Most of the families of mainland Japanese Americans were confined to internment camps in the United States interior. Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in Europe during World War II,[2] in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany.

    The 442nd Regiment was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare.[3] The 4,000 men who initially made up the unit in April 1943 had to be replaced nearly 2.5 times. In total, about 14,000 men served, earning 9,486 Purple Hearts. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (five earned in one month).[4]:201 Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor.[2] Its motto was “Go for Broke”.

    In light of that , his comment is a disgrace. However, it’s not surprising that the Confederate General does not recognize as a legit US state a nonwhite majority entity with equal rights for all.

    • cpinva says:

      I always knew the 442nd was an impressive unit, I did not know about the 21CMH’s. that’s like, quadruply impressive!

    • DanaHoule says:

      His citation:

      Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

  14. Mike Furlan says:

    States with a smaller population than Hawaii, the 40th in population:

    Maine 41 1,328,302
    New Hampshire 42 1,323,459
    Rhode Island 43 1,051,511
    Montana 44 1,015,165
    Delaware 45 925,749
    South Dakota 46 844,877
    Alaska 47 735,132
    North Dakota 48 723,393
    District of Columbia 49 646,449
    Vermont 50 626,630
    Wyoming 51 582,658

  15. timb says:

    I get I’m LGM’s only hate-listener to Levin’s radio show, but, even without listening, you guys and gals know how corrupt Sessions and Levin are. I bet that interview was quid pro quo for the silliest motion ever filed in Court.

    Mind you, the motion goes out of its way to mention wire-tapping of “a sitting US Senator.” I guarantee Sessions is afraid and looking to derail this Russia thing any way he can

    • efgoldman says:

      I guarantee Sessions is afraid and looking to derail this Russia thing any way he can

      Punchable Smarmy Chaffetz isn’t resigning in a vacuum, unless you count the one between his ears.

  16. VCarlson says:

    I would like to point out something else. It’s Judge Derrick Kahala Watson, “the fourth Native Hawaiian federal judge in US history,” per Wikipedia. So him being nonwhite could also be getting up Jeffy’s nose.

  17. DAS says:

    By Jeff Sessions’ “logic”, nobody should be convicted of first degree murder ever: “you can’t psyschoanalyze the defendant or really know whether he intended to kill the victim, hence, at most, you can only convict him of manslaughter”. Heck … by Sessions’ “reasoning”, you can never know whether mens rea exists, so pretty much all criminal convictions are not legally valid.

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