Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Culture | By Henry Herrera

Hawaii lawmakers criticize Sessions' island judge remarks

Sessions' description of Hawaii, where the federal judge who issued the order, Derrick K. Watson, has his chambers, drew a rebuke from both of the USA senators who represent the state.

"I wasn't diminishing the judge or the island of Hawaii, that attractive place, give me a break", Sessions said later in response to Velshi, who asked about criticism of Sessions' remark. One of them has now stopped the President of the United States, who's briefed daily from the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, on the dangers and threats we face. "It is not just dog whistle politics, it is outright insensitive and anti-American to say that somehow Hawaii is not part of the United States". Hawaii's Democratic lawmakers are criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he expressed amazement on a radio show that a "judge sitting on an island in the Pacific" could stop the president's travel ban. "Jeff Sessions' comments are ignorant & unsafe".

Sen. Brian Schatz offered a geography lesson and urged Sessions to "have some respect for his home". "Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific - a handsome one where the Attorney General's granddaughter was born", a spokesman told the network.

She also reminded Sessions that he had voted to confirm the judge in question, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson, when he was a senator.

Of course, the action wasn't the opinion of just one judge.

Mr Sessions said he was "amazed" Hawaii had so much power, and expected the order to be overturned.

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Late this afternoon, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin expressed disappointment with Sessions.

The Justice Department on Thursday clarified Sessions' comments, adding that his criticism of Watson remains valid.

Ahh, so this isn't actually related to the 50th state's constitutional power to adjudicate on executive authority.

"We can not fault the president for being politically incorrect, but we do fault him for being constitutionally incorrect", Mr Chin said.

Douglas Chin, Hawaii's attorney general, said in a statement it was disappointing Sessions doesn't acknowledge that the federal courts are "co-equal partners with Congress and the president".

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