Judge Sullivan rides again

On Tuesday Judge Emmet Sullivan made a big splash with his wild talk in court about General Flynn. Michael Ledeen explores the meaning of Judge Sullivan’s wild talk in “The real story of the Flynn hearing.” Michael offers a perfectly plausible explanation, but there is no charitable explanation for Judge Sullivan’s loose talk from the bench about Flynn’s possible treason and selling out his country and all the rest. Apology is not enough.

On Wednesday Judge Sullivan joined the judicial division of the #Resistance. He struck down most of the policies former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had issued to prevent the abuse the law applicable to asylum claims. Sessions had clarified the proper application of the immigration law’s asylum provision in Matter of A-B and in the related Policy Memorandum. No longer were alleged victims of abusive husbands or alleged victims of Central American gangbangers to be given a free pass to seek asylum.

Judge Sullivan essentially sets aside Matter of A-B and the Policy Memorandum. Applying the “credible fear” element of the asylum provision, Judge Sullivan holds their construction of the asylum provision to be almost entirely unlawful.

And that’s not all. Judge Sullivan ordered the government to return plaintiffs who were deported under Sessions’s policies. C’mon up, Grace, Carmen, Gina, Maria, Mina, Nora and Mona (plaintiffs who are all proceeding under pseudonyms). Query: Couldn’t the lawyers make up last names too?

Judge Sullivan held that “there is no legal basis for an effective categorical ban on domestic violence and gang-related claims.” He entered a permanent injunction of the kind with which we have become all too familiar in the Age of Trump. There is more, but this is the nub.

I am no expert and I may be mistaken, but I think Sessions is right and Sullivan is wrong. We are being gamed by the usual suspects.

Judge Sullivan’s 107-page memorandum opinion is embedded in Ryan Barber’s National Law Journal article “Judge Emmet Sullivan Just Wrecked Trump’s New Asylum Restrictions.” Barber quotes the Justice Department statement on Judge Sullivan’s opinion: “Under the laws passed by Congress, asylum is only for those who have a legitimate fear of persecution on the basis of their race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.”

According to Barber, the Justice Department also said it was reviewing options. Free advice to the department: Don’t agonize over it too long. You don’t have that many options.

The Justice Department also avowed that it would “continue to restore the rule of law in our immigration system.” I have some free advice on that point too, but restoration of the rule of law in our immigration system appears increasingly to be mission impossible.

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