AG Barr lashed out at the more and more common practice of using nationwide injunctions to stop Congressional or Presidential initiatives.
Both sides use them and AG Barr allows for that, but the practice has become obscene under President Trump as the Democrats fight tooth and nail to stop his agenda.
There were 20 national injunctions during 8 years of the Obama administration, while President Trump has already faced 40 in fewer than 3 years since he took office.
“When a federal court issues an order against enforcement of a government policy, the ruling traditionally applies only to the plaintiff in that case,” writes AG Barr.
“Over the past several decades, however, some lower court federal judges have increasingly resorted to a procedural device—the “nationwide injunction”—to prevent the government from enforcing a policy against anyone in the country.”
“Nationwide injunctions create an unfair, one-way system in which the democratically accountable government must fend off case after case to put its policy into effect, while those challenging the policy need only find a single sympathetic judge.” Bill Barr continued.
“Shrewd lawyers have learned to ‘shop’ for a sympathetic judge willing to issue such an injunction,” he added.
“These days, virtually every significant congressional or presidential initiative is enjoined — often within hours — threatening our democratic system and undermining the rule of law.”
AG Barr gave an example citing the DACA rulings: “Far from solving the problem, the DACA injunction proved catastrophic,” he said.
“The program’s recipients remain in legal limbo after nearly two years of bitter political division over immigration, including a government shutdown.”
“A humanitarian crisis – including a surge of unaccompanied children – swells at the southern border, while legislative efforts remain frozen pending Supreme Court resolution of the DACA case,” AG Barr said.
Then he warned the Democrats: “One can easily imagine the signature policies of a future Democratic administration — say, on climate change, immigration or health care — being stymied by courts for years on end,” he said.
“It is indeed well past time for our judiciary to re-examine a practice that embitters the political life of the nation, flouts constitutional principles, and stultifies sound judicial administration, all at the cost of public confidence in our institutions.”