Where’s your sense of humor?

Ah the joys of having an unregenerate racist as Attorney General.

Jeff Sessions on Sunday declined to apologize for his controversial remarks about Hawaii this week, which the attorney general dismissed as “an island in the Pacific” while criticising a judge’s decision to block Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority nations.

“Nobody has a sense of humour any more,” Jeff Sessions said in an interview with ABC’s This Week, two days after he told CNN: “I wasn’t criticising the judge or the island.”

Speaking to CNN, Sessions added: “I think it’s a fabulous place and had a granddaughter born there. But I got to tell you, it’s a point worth making that a single sitting judge out of 600, 700 district judges can issue an order stopping a presidential executive order that I believe is fully constitutional, designed to protect the United States of America from terrorist attacks.”

He believes it’s fully constitutional – oh well then. The guy with the long ardent history of trying to undermine voting rights for non-white people believes Trump’s racist EO is fully constitutional; what more do we need?

Trump’s travel ban order was his second attempt to impose drastic limits on travellers and refugees from six Muslim-majority countries. In March Derrick Kahala Watson, the only Hawaiian-born federal judge now serving on a bench, issued a nationwide stay against it.

Watson found grounds for a violation of the constitutional prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion. His ruling, like those by other judges that stayed Trump’s first attempted travel ban in January, prompted furious complaint from the administration about supposed judicial overreach.

“This order is lawful,” Sessions said on Sunday, “it’s within [the president’s] authority constitutionally and [his] explicit statutory authority. We’re going to defend that order all the way up and so you do have a situation in which one judge out of 700 in America has stopped this order.”

Plus he’s a judge on an island in the Pacific, if you get my drift. I’d better spell it out for you, just in case you don’t. People from islands in the Pacific are brown. They’re not white, you see. They shouldn’t be able to tell white people not to exclude brown people from these great United States. Also, please have a sense of humor about it.

The controversy over Sessions’ description of Hawaii erupted on Tuesday. In an interview with conservative radio host Mark Levin, the attorney general said: “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”

Attorneys and legal experts reacted with alarm that the country’s top prosecutor would question the authority of the judiciary, as the third independent branch of government to the president and Congress. Trump has repeatedly questioned the motives of judges who have ruled against, raising fears that he might undermine the legitimacy of courts.

Demoralizing, isn’t it. But never mind – just look on the funny side.

Hawaiians, including the state’s two US senators, both Democrats, reacted angrily to Sessions’ remarks. Senator Mazie Hirono said the remark was “dangerous, ignorant and prejudiced” and an attack “against the very tenets of our constitution and democracy”.

Well not all the tenets of our constitution. There’s the 3/5ths clause for instance. Sessions’s comments are in the spirit of that.

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