Nationwide Injunctions: When a Single Judge’s Ruling Affects the Entire Country

WASHINGTON - Of the government's three branches, the Judiciary is the only unelected one, and at times the most powerful.  The Obama administration faced 20 nationwide injunctions over eight years. President Trump and his administration have already been hit with nearly 40. The judges issuing such injunctions often halt Congress, as well, blocking enforcement of federal laws and policies.Attorney General William Barr wants to stop these injunctions. In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, he wrote, "Shrewd lawyers have learned to "shop" for a sympathetic judge willing to issue such an injunction. These days, virtually every significant congressional or presidential initiative is enjoined—often within hours—threatening our democratic system and undermining the rule of law." 'Being a Judge Does Not Mean You're a Dictator or Czar' Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) told  CBN News  it provides a judge near-total power.The House Minority Whip stated, "Being a judge does not mean you are a dictator or a czar. You're supposed to be there interpreting the laws that are written and upholding the Constitution.  And too often we see a judge that has their own agenda, and they try to carry out whatever they want to do as opposed to what the law says."Jeremy Dys is a lawyer fighting for religious freedom through First Liberty Institute.    That becomes a real danger if not properly checked, because who will check the checkers?," Dys asked. "If the judges themselves are the ones who are going to decide what the Constitution says and we limit that to just one individual, that deprives 330 million Americans of the process that we're familiar with under our Constitution."Dys warned these injunctions should frighten people of faith."This comes heavily into play on issues of religious liberty all over the country, where you might have one judge who would have a disagreement with how the Constitution is written or how the First Amendment has been interpreted," he explained. "But he could shut off those critical civil rights protections for the entire nation." How the Process is Supposed to Work The way it used to be Congress would pass a law, the president would sign it, and it would then take effect. Now if a judge steps in with a nationwide injunction to stop it, the president or lawmakers must slog their way through the entire Judiciary."The average case, I think, to the Supreme Court takes roughly six years to percolate up through the system," Dys noted. So one judge who differs with what a president decides or a Congress legislates can stymie the whole government.As Attorney General Barr states in his September 5th Wall Street Journal op-ed, "…nationwide injunctions threaten to turn every case into an emergency for the executive and judicial branches." Don't go to the Judiciary if You Want to be a Lawmaker As a top lawmaker, it certainly peeves Congressman Scalise." ...Read more

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