Meadows, Cotton introduce bill to prevent district judges from blocking federal policy changes

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse GOP wants Senate Republicans to do more on impeachment Michelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award Sondland testimony looms over impeachment hearings this week MORE (R-N.C.) and Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonHillicon Valley: Senators ask Trump to halt Huawei licenses | Warren criticizes Zuckerberg over secret dinner with Trump | Senior DHS cyber official to leave | Dems offer bill on Libra oversight Senators urge Trump to suspend Huawei license approvals Lawmakers spar over surveillance flight treaty with Russia MORE (R-Ark.) on Wednesday introduced legislation that would prevent district judges from placing nationwide injunctions on federal policy changes. 

The two Republicans, both close allies of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE, noted the bill follows a decision from a federal judge in California Monday that reinstated a ban on implementing a new policy that would curtail migrants’ ability to apply for asylum at the southern border. An appeals court on Wednesday narrowed that injunction to just Arizona and California, the two border states within its jurisdiction, allowing the administration to apply the rule in New Mexico and Texas.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Our laws need to be vigorously vetted through the courts, but it makes zero sense for the legality of a nationwide law to rest entirely on the opinion of one judge, or one district court,” said Meadows. “Current law inadvertently empowers detrimental judicial activism, and it needs to change. This is a common-sense reform that returns our system of checks and balances where it was intended to be.” 

“Policy decisions ought to be made by elected representatives accountable to the American people, not activist judges with lifetime appointments. In the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion of activist forum shopping and nationwide injunctions to thwart the administration’s priorities and grind government to a halt,” added Cotton.

Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill have railed against a series of court rulings that have blocked White House policies, largely related to immigration, saying “activist” judges appointed by Democrats are impeding the White House’s constitutional powers. 

“Another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us on a section of the Southern Wall that is already under construction. This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking. We are asking for an expedited appeal!” the president tweeted in May after a judge partially blocked construction of a border wall

Issues surrounding federal courts have long animated Republicans, and Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Congressional authority in a time of Trump executive overreach MORE (R-Ky.) have undertaken a campaign to confirm a record number of federal judges to remake the judicial branch in a conservative image.