Talk about change we can believe in! Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. (C, 78%) as attorney general would be nothing short of a game changer for the rule of law, sovereignty, and our security.
There is no part of the federal government that is more vital to our system of government, yet more damaged by the Obama years, than the Department of Justice. Whether it’s immigration law, domestic crime, jailbreak, crushing the states with lawsuits, or religious liberty concerns, the Justice Department stands at the nexus of the most important issues of our time. If there was ever an agency that must be cleaned out from top to bottom, it’s the DOJ. And no man is better suited for that job than Senator Jeff Sessions. He will promote equal justice under the statutes passed by Congress. Moreover, he can serve as a watchdog to ensure that other areas of the federal government are following the letter of the laws passed by Congress.
While some systemic reforms will have to come from Congress, there are some immediate steps that Sessions can take on day one to implement triage on the rule of law.
1. Clamp down on voter fraud
There is nothing more critical to the rule of law and our democracy than having free and fair elections. Federal judges, acting on lawsuits promoted by Obama’s DOJ, have been misinterpreting statutes in order to prevent states from cleaning their rolls of dead, fraudulent, and non-citizen voters. We are seeing those consequences play out now in the North Carolina governor’s election. While some of the statutes need updating from Congress, Sessions can act on day one to clean up the mess, according to J. Christian Adams, President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation:
Sessions can begin to enforce federal election laws the Obama administration deliberately stopped enforcing. Motor Voter requires voter rolls to be free of foreigners, the dead and ineligible voters. Obama’s Civil Rights Division lawyers stopped enforcing that law because they disagree with the law. Sessions already understands the problems in the Civil Rights Division so I am overjoyed by his nomination.
2. Terminate all of Obama’s lawsuits and appeals
On the first day of his tenure, Sessions should call in all unit heads and have them suspend every onerous lawsuit against states who enforce immigration law, election integrity, or implement laws pushing back against the transgender agenda, such as North Carolina’s HB2. He should also suspend the racially-charged lawsuits against local police departments. Sessions must reverse the growing trend of federal involvement in local law enforcement that does not relate to federal law.
3. Allow states to enforce immigration law and punish sanctuary cities
As AG, Sessions can interpret the immigration statutes as properly written to allow states to help enforce immigration law. At the same time, they could cut off law enforcement grants (Byrne JAG, COPS, and SCAAP funds) to localities that designate themselves as sanctuary cities and refuse to cooperate with the Secure Communities program, which helps ICE identify illegal aliens housed in local jails and state prisons.
4. Defang the U.S. Sentencing Commission
While some on the Right disagree over the scope and jurisdiction of some federal criminal statutes, it is clear that this determination must be left in the hands of Congress. Sentencing for federal crimes should be determined by federal judges, as dictated by guidance pursuant to congressional statutes. Yet, in recent years, the unelected U.S. Sentencing Commission, housed within the Department of Justice, has essentially operated autonomously to commute the sentences of 46,000 criminals. As attorney general in charge of the personnel within the department, Sessions can prevent the Sentencing Commission from executing its massive jailbreak agenda beyond its statutory mandate.
5. Replace immigration judges
Why do we have so much amnesty even though the congressional statutes call for illegal aliens to be deported? The immigration judges within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EIOR) have granted de facto amnesty by overturning deportations and letting criminal aliens roam free. The administrate judges within the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which serves as the appellate body of EOIR, have the ability to overturn a deportation order from a lower administrative judge and can review all enforcement actions taken by ICE and the border patrol. As Ian Smith of the Immigration Reform Law Institute warned, many of these administrative judges were former lawyers for illegal immigrants or organizations funded by George Soros. Given that they all work for the DOJ, Jeff Sessions can clean out the agency of Soros-affiliated immigration judges so that the foxes are not guarding the hen house and countermanding the intent of immigration statutes.
6. Immediately seek deportation for all illegal re-entrants
Deportations have become encumbered in a myriad of civil proceedings. There is definitely a long-term need to tighten up some enforcement statutes. But one low-hanging piece of fruit is for the DOJ to immediately seek expedited deportation for those who have re-entered illegally for a second time. Illegal re-entry is automatically a criminal prosecution, not a civil case. Moreover, many of the re-entrants are criminal aliens and should be immediately deported anyway.
7. Properly interpret the Constitution to protect states from liberal judges
There are three separate branches of the federal government. The judiciary does not have a monopoly on interpreting the Constitution. Even John Marshall’s controversial concept of judicial review only meant that the Supreme Court also has the right to interpret the Constitution for its own purposes in the cases and controversies that come before it as a co-equal branch of government. But the notion that the other two branches can’t push back on precedent and make a good faith attempt to interpret the Constitution for their own functions, is an ignorant misnomer among the political elites. As I noted in my piece on judicial reform, Congress has many tools it can use to fight back against the judiciary. But the executive branch also has the right to use its own interpretation when exercising its proper scope of power. That prerogative rests with the attorney general, under the orders of the president.
Therefore, in cases where lower courts force states to infringe upon religious liberty rights of private business owners or force schools to place boys in female dressing rooms, Sessions can make it clear that his version of the Constitution mandates no such right on the states. Although he can’t overturn a particular case, he can make it clear that the executive branch will not send out the Marshals to enforce a flagrantly unconstitutional order of the court. This is exactly why the Founders vested the judiciary with no enforcement mechanism — because they are not the sole and final arbiter of the Constitution. It is then up to Congress to either push back, affirm support, or ignore such a determination by the attorney general.
Whether one agrees with Jeff Sessions on policy or not is irrelevant to his appointment as attorney general. The job of a president, most profoundly manifest through his attorney general, is to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” as stated in Art. II Sec. 3 of the Constitution. If liberals are upset about our statutes or our Constitution as adopted there are legitimate ways of changing them. As it stands now, they must be regarded as the supreme law of the land. Liberals will whine and moan about the politics of Jeff Sessions, but if they truly understood his commitment to the law, they’d seek to change the laws themselves — not the personnel faithfully executing them.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.