NAPOLITANO: Intellectual Honesty and Political Indifference

Over the past weekend, Trump administration officials offered harsh criticisms of the judicial interference with the enforcement of the president's immigration order. The Jan. 27 order suspended the immigration privileges of all refugees from Syria indefinitely and all immigrants from seven designated countries for 90 days.

After a federal district judge in Seattle enjoined the federal government from enforcing the executive order and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that injunction, President Donald Trump's folks pounced.

They argued that we have an imperial judiciary that thinks it has the final say on public policy — one that will freely second-guess the president in areas that are exclusively his under the Constitution.

Here is the back story.

The Constitution provides for essentially a shared responsibility in the creation of laws. Congress passes bills, and the president signs them into law. Sometimes bills become laws over the president's veto. Bills are often proposed by presidents and disposed of by Congress.

When challenges to the meaning or application of the laws are properly made, the judiciary decides what the laws mean and whether they are consistent with the Constitution. My point is that there are substantial roles for the legislative and executive branches in the process of lawmaking and that there is an exclusive role for the judiciary in interpreting the meaning of the law.
 
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