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Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research.
If you look up the phrase “activist judge” in the liberal lexicon, one of the names that will no doubt appear at the top of the list is Richard Seeborg, a federal district court judge in San Francisco appointed by President Barack Obama.
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Earlier this month, Seeborg issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s sensible asylum policy. This isn’t Seeborg’s first act of judicial activism: he is also the judge who issued a similar injunction against reinstating a citizenship question on the U.S. Census based on the claim that to do so would violate the Constitution. That case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court..
When it comes to judge shopping, it is no wonder liberal advocacy groups keep going to his courtroom.
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The Trump administration is now fighting Seeborg: A few days after the injunction, the Justice Department appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and filed an emergency motion asking for a stay of Judge Seeborg’s order pending the appeal.
In Innovation Law Lab v. Nielsen, Seeborg held that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot enforce its “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP). The Protocols say that non-Mexican asylum seekers – with certain exceptions – arriving in the U.S. across our southern border will be returned to wait in Mexico until the validity of their asylum claim is determined.
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Seeborg asserts that he is not making his decision based on whether the Migration Protection Protocols “is a wise, intelligent, or humane policy,...
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