On CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer today, US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawai‘i defended Hawai‘i and slammed US Attorney General Jeff Sessions  over what Schatz called “dismissive comments about Hawai‘i and US District Judge Derrick Watson.”
Earlier this week, Sessions made a comment on a conservative talk radio program, in which he commented about Hawaiʻi during discussion the judge who blocked President Trump’s revised travel ban. In his comment Sessions said:
“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.”
Senator Schatz responded today saying, “Jeff Sessions doesn’t get it. This is an insult to the people of the State of Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i is one of the best places in the world. We are proud of who we are and what we contribute to the country.”
Schatz said Sessions has refused to apologize, and ABC News today is reporting that he is standing by his controversial words.
Hawaiʻi Attorney General Doug Chin also criticized the comments saying, “President Trump previously called a federal judge in California a so-called judge. Now US Attorney General Sessions appears to dismiss a federal judge in Hawaiʻi as just a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific. Our Constitution created a separation of powers in the United States for a reason. Our federal courts, established under article III of the Constitution, are co-equal partners with Congress and the President. It is disappointing AG Sessions does not acknowledge that.”
US Senator Mazie K. Hirono also weighed in saying, “The suggestion that being from Hawaiʻi somehow disqualifies Judge Watson from performing his Constitutional duty is dangerous, ignorant, and prejudiced. I am frankly dumbfounded that our nation’s top lawyer would attack our independent judiciary. But we shouldn’t be surprised. This is just the latest in the Trump Administration’s attacks against the very tenants of our Constitution and democracy.”