Another left-wing judge blocks Trump over DACA
On Tuesday night, San Francisco Judge William Alsup blocked the Trump administration from ending the DACA program. Judge Alsup made the ruling after several states and organizations sued the Department of Homeland Security over its plan to end DACA. Judge Alsup made the ruling after he said lawyers in favour of DACA would have a good chance of succeeding in court by demonstrating that the ending of DACA would harm the young immigrants who would be caught up in the decision. The question I have found myself asking is who are these judges who have been blocking Trump from the get go? Are they just impartial judges who believe that a law is being potentially broken by the Trump admin or is there a political dynamic to this. Researching the judges involved in the several attempted blocks of Trump’s legislative proposals it is easy to see there is a political dynamic to this.
Judge William Haskell Alsup qualified with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Mississippi State University in 1967, then as a juris doctor from Harvard Law School in 1971 and then as a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government in 1971. He went on to become a law clerk for Justice William O Douglas. William O Douglas was known to have held “progressive” views. He became close socially and ideologically with progressives at the time such as Philip and Robert La Follette, Jr., and later with President Kennedy. Alsup then entered private practice in San Francisco from 1972-1978. After taking a job in the US State Department in 1978, Alsup returned to private practice in 1980 where he remained until 1998. On March 24th, 1999, William Alsup was nominated by Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California vacated by Thelton Henderson. Alsup was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 30, 1999, and received his commission on August 17, 1999.
Some of these facts about William Alsup’s nomination as a judge and the influencing figures in his life make it apparent that his politics is what is guiding his decision to block Trump’s attempted ending of DACA. He is a man who clearly has been influenced by people who hold progressive schools of thought and finds himself sitting as a judge because of Bill Clinton and the Democratic establishment. I might not be a legal professional but it is clear to see there is some bias that has prompted Judge William Alsup to take this decision. This doesn’t appear to be an impartial ruling given William Alsup’s political affiliation to the Democrats.
Judge Alsup is not the only judge to have blocked one of Trump’s legislative proposals who hold a clear political bias towards the president. On March 15, 2017, District Judge for Hawaii Derrick Kahala Watson granted a temporary restraining order blocking Donald Trump’s revised travel ban. The history and background of Derrick Watson is also interesting and just a slight bit of digging reveals the bias involved with Judge Watson also. Derrick Watson also entered into private practice in the San Francisco area as did William Alsup and was also appointed to the federal bench by none other than Barack Obama in 2012 and was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate back in 2013.
Just looking at these two judges involved in trying to block the implementation of policy by the Trump administration bias and political positioning is easy to be found. San Francisco has a reputation for being one of the birthplaces of progressive politics. The hippie movement which centred around Haight/Ashbury is known for being the hub of the counterculture movement which gave birth to progressive politics. Both of these men have San Francisco connections. One could conceivably make the argument that progressive viewpoints are shaping their opposition of Donald Trump’s policies, not a legal standpoint. They may argue with this but it is our right as free thinkers to assume.
But more strikingly, both of these men are Democratic appointees. Both judges were appointed by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, known enemies and ideological opponents of Donald Trump. These orders blocking Trump’s legislative ambitions are not coming from impartial judges, they are coming from people with partisan affiliations. Because of that fact, people should question whether these court rulings are solely to do with the enforcement of the law or if their is a political component influencing these judges decision making. If that is the case, that should be concerning to all of us.
Picture from independent.co.uk