Much of the work of the Trump administration was undone by radical federal judges. And the administration conducted prolonged challenges, but no matter how blatantly illegal the order was, never stood up to it.
Even the census ruling, a blatant senseless absurdity which somehow found that the census couldn’t include a question that had been there in the past because Chief Justice Roberts was due at a progressive cocktail party was obediently complied with.
Montana however shows what it’s like to go Andrew Jackson on the system.
Just hours after a Montana judge blocked health officials from enforcing a state rule that would prevent transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate, the Republican-run state on Thursday said it would defy the order.
District Court Judge Michael Moses chided attorneys for the state during a hearing in Billings for circumventing his April order that temporarily blocked a 2021 Montana law that made it harder to change birth certificates.
Moses said there was no question that state officials violated his earlier order by creating the new rule. Moses said his order reinstates a 2017 Department of Public Health and Human Services rule that allowed people to update the gender on their birth certificate by filing an affidavit with the department.
However, the state said it would disregard the ruling.
“The Department thoroughly evaluated the judge’s vague April 2022 decision and crafted our final rule to be consistent with the decision. It’s unfortunate that the judge’s ruling today does not square with his vague April decision,” said Charlie Brereton, director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Brereton said the agency was keeping the rule it issued last week in place and an agency spokesperson said the department is waiting to see the judge’s written order before considering its next steps.
Such open defiance of judge’s order is very unusual from a government agency, said Carl Tobias, a former University of Montana Law School professor now at the University of Richmond. When officials disagree with a ruling, the typical response is to appeal to a higher court, he said.
“Appeal is what you contemplate — not that you can nullify a judge’s orders. Otherwise, people just wouldn’t obey the law,” Tobias said. “The system can’t work that way.”′
The “law” isn’t what a judge or a king says it is. It’s what elected officials representing the people say that it is. The role of judges is to implement those laws, not to make them.
It’s refreshing to see the cult of judicial supremacism, the one rejected by Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln being defied. We are a nation of the people by the people, not a “nation of laws”.
Rome, King George III’s regime and Nazi Germany were nations of laws. What made America unique was that its laws limited government authority and made government subject to the people rather than the other way around.
Montana’s legislature represents the people. Judge Moses does not. It’s un-American to argue otherwise.