Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Thursday that the Department of Justice was ending the “executive branch legal activism” of the previous administration, while also fighting the judicial activism of liberal judges.
“I think the department did become too political” under President Barack Obama, Sessions said. “Essentially, it was executive branch legal activism. They would take cases or regulations or statutes and expand or redefine the meaning of words in them to advance the agenda that they thought ought to be advanced — an agenda that often had zero chance of passing Congress, where the elected representatives sit.
“So you have an agenda, and you can’t get Congress to pass it, so you use unelected regulatory officials and lawyers to draft regulations and enforcement policies that carry out a political agenda that the people don’t favor.
“And I think that was a factor in this past [presidential] election, and it was an issue that was known to a lot of business and legal experts. They saw this as a dangerous trend.”
Sessions singled out President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — which expires March 5 — as a primary example of “executive branch legal activism.” And he excoriated the courts for preventing President Donald Trump for withdrawing Obama’s policy.
“[President Obama] said repeatedly that it was not legal, he couldn’t do it. Congress had took up an issue and it failed to pass. So they just did it anyway.
“But now when we tried … to withdraw the DACA policy … we’ve been sued and judges have stopped simple withdrawal of the policy.”
He noted that the “biggest surprise” of his tenure as Attorney General “has been the plethora of [cases] in which a single sitting federal judge — one federal judge out of 600 some-odd — for insubstantial reasons, issues an injunction that bars the executive branch of the government from protecting people, and from being able to fulfill the function for which the chief executive was elected to fulfill.”
The executive branch, Sessions said, could not act as a “coequal” branch of government if it had to “gain approval of every one of 600 federal judges to carry out the policies [the President] was elected to do.”
There were 20 injunctions against the executive branch nationwide, Sessions said, and he expected the administration to prevail in all of them, though he faulted the media for creating the opposite expectation.
“The mainstream media creates this impression that the administration is being stopped by wonderful judges in robes of neutrality,” he said, “when in fact these are [judicial] actions that go beyond the law in many instances and will not be sustained, will be overturned.” full story