Published 9:03 PM EDT Oct 15, 2018
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday warned against a campaign of "judicial encroachment," saying that the federal judiciary is "allowing unprecedented reviews of governmental operations."
"Federal district court judges are not empowered to fashion immigration policy, combat climate change, solve the opioid crisis, or run police departments," Sessions said in a speech to the Heritage Foundation. "A federal judge is not a substitute for majoritarian resolution of difficult issues."
Sessions referred to judicial intervention in President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban and the administration's attempts at dissolving the immigration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allowed young migrants brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country.
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"It is emphatically not the duty of the courts to manage the government or to pass judgment on every policy action the executive branch takes," Sessions said.
It is the second time in as many months that Sessions has railed against the federal judiciary. Last month, Sessions directed federal prosecutors across the country to challenge judges who attempt to block administration policy by issuing so-called national injunctions.
Such actions have temporarily suspended President Trump's controversial travel ban from predominately Muslim countries, which was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.
"With increasing frequency, district courts are ignoring their role as forums of limited jurisdiction," Sessions said. "Indeed, courts are even ignoring explicit congressional directives that strip them of jurisdiction to decide certain questions."
Last week, Sessions' Justice Department filed its formal opposition to a pending agreement in Chicago to reform its policing operations that would be enforced by a federal judge.
The sweeping plan, among other things, would require officers to document each time they draw their weapons. The provision has sparked opposition from the police officers union which contend such a requirement could put officers at risk.
The Trump administration has been adamantly opposed to federal court oversight of policing operations, a policy aggressively pursued by the Obama administration.