03 February 2017

Another Judge Denies Himself Future Promotability

… by doing his bloody job. And it's not some namby-pamby liberal, either: The Hon. James Robart was appointed by George III.

The temporary restraining order (PDF) specifically states that the states of Washington and Minnesota have satisfied both possible rationales for issuing a temporary restraining order: The Winter test (likely to succeed on the merits, irreparable harm without order, balance of equities in favor of order, and order is in the public interest) and the Cottrell test (serious questions on the merits and the impact of the to-be-restained action is extreme, along with irreparable injury and public interest balancing in favor of the order). More to the point, Judge Robart concludes his relatively short order as follows:

Fundamental to the work of this court is a vigilant recognition that it is but one of three equal branches of our federal government. The work of the court is not to create policy or judge the wisdom of any particular policy promoted by the other two branches. That is the work of the legislative and executive branches and of the citizens of this country who ultimately exercise democratic control over those branches. The work of the Judiciary, and this court, is limited to ensuring that the actions taken by the other two branches comport with our country's laws, and more importantly, our Constitution. The narrow question the court is asked to consider today is whether it is appropriate to enter a [temporary restraining order] against certain actions taken by the Executive in the context of this specific lawsuit. Although the question is narrow, the court is mindful of the considerable impact its order may have on the parties before it, the executive branch of our government, and the country's citizens and residents. The court concludes that the circumstances brought before it today are such that it must intervene to fulfill its constitutional role in our tripart government. Accordingly, the court concludes that entry of the above-described [temporary restraining order] is necessary, and the States' motion (Dkt. ## 2, 19) is therefore GRANTED.

State of Washington v. Trump, No. [20]17cv141, Dkt. 52 (W.D. Wash. 03 Feb 2017) at 6–7.

Thank you, Judge Robart, for doing your job, and making a hard decision (either way). The way you did it virtually guarantees that you will never be elevated to a higher judicial office, either on the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court — just as the Hon. John E. Jones III did in Kitzmiller.