One of the many, many groups that have expressed alarm at Donald Trump’s attempts to unravel the rule of law, in his white nationalism-based efforts to remove asylum-seekers and other migrants from the nation regardless of their U.S. or international rights, is the government’s own immigration judges. They have pushed back against the Justice Department’s new “quota” orders, requiring each judge to complete roughly 35 cases per workweek; they have objected to Team Trump’s efforts to speed deportations by hiring more immigration judges—but without the necessary support staff.
Trump Attorney General Bill Barr is apparently responding to this untoward challenge of Supreme Leader’s authority by … attempting to decertify their union.
“We serve as a check and a balance on management prerogatives and that’s why they are doing this to us,” National Association of Immigration Judges vice president Judge Amiena Khan told The New York Times. While the official Justice Department line is that judges act as managers and therefore have no right to have a union, it’s not really in question that Trump’s team is launching the effort as, as usual, a vindictive move to punish a group of Trump critics for speaking out.
Punishing Trump’s enemies seems, in fact, to now be one of the top goals of each top government official. It is not a very good way to run a democracy, but nobody in the White House and few in Republican Party itself are even pretending to give a damn about that at this point.