Hawaii fires back at Jeff Sessions after he called the state 'an island in the Pacific Ocean'


Douglas Chin

AP Photo/Marco Garcia

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin speaks at a news conference Thursday, March 9, 2107, in Honolulu.

Hawaii lawmakers are firing back at US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who slammed a Hawaii federal judge who blocked the latest version of President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Sessions referred to Federal Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii, as "a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific" during an appearance on The Mark Levin Show, CNN reported on Thursday.

Sessions said the travel ban was "clearly" in Trump's "statutory and Constitutional power."

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin responded to Sessions' comments on Thursday, accusing Sessions of dismissing a federal judge who equal power under the US Constitution.

"Our federal courts, established under article III of the Constitution, are co-equal partners with Congress and the President. It is disappointing AG Sessions does not acknowledge that," Chin's statement read.


Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, said on Twitter: "Hey Jeff Sessions, this island in the Pacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won't succumb to your dog whistle politics."

Hirono added: "Hawaii was built on the strength of diversity & immigrant experiences - including my own. Jeff Sessions' comments are ignorant and dangerous."

In another tweet, Hirono pointed out that Sessions had voted for the judge whose decision he was openly criticizing:

Senator Hirono also pointed out on Twitter that at Federal Judge Watson's original Senate confirmation hearing, Sessions voted "yea" to confirm the judge in a unanimous Senate vote.

Judge Watson last month blocked Trump's executive order prohibiting new visas for people from six majority-Muslim countries and putting a temporary hold on the refugee program. The Trump Administration appealed the ruling.