A federal judge in Maryland, known for social justice activism from the bench, ruled against President Donald J. Trump’s recent executive order that would give state and local governments the ability to reject refugee resettlements.
“U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte in Maryland issued a preliminary injunction requested by three national refugee resettlement agencies that sued to challenge the executive order,” according to KVIA. “In his 31-page ruling, Messitte said the agencies are likely to succeed in showing that the executive order is unlawful because it gives state and local governments veto power over the resettlement of refugees.”
The three agencies that sued the federal government are the Church World Service, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. All have contracts with the federal government to resettle refugees in the United States.
On one side, the Trump administration wants to give state and local governments a say in whether refugees are resettled in their communities. Trump’s executive order was meant to allow localities to take into consideration whether they had enough jobs and other resources to take in refugees before they are resettled.
On the other side, Messitte and the resettlement agencies, which profit off of refugees, want states and localities to have as little decision-making power as possible, and want refugee resettlement to be guided by the heavy hand of the federal government under the 1980 Refugee Act.
Messitte, appointed by president Bill Clinton in 1993, has been in the news for leftist activism before.
In a 2014 case involving a former National Football League (NFL) player who sued the Washington Redskins, the judge banned the use of the word “Redskins” from his courtroom, instead forcing parties to the lawsuit to refer to the team as “the Washington Team.”
“Pro Football’s team is popularly known as the Washington ‘Redskins,’ but the Court will refrain from using the team name unless reference is made to a direct quote where the name appears,” he wrote in a 21-page ruling.
That decision was at the height of the controversy surrounding the Redskins’ team name. In 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team’s trademark, saying that the name was disparaging. “Redskin” is perceived by some as a Native American slur, and the social justice crowd was throwing a fit. But a poll from the same year showed that 71% of Americans did not think that the Redskins should change their team name.
Today, despite activist judges and social justice pests, the team’s name remains.
The Trump administration will admit 18,000 refugees this year, a decrease from the 30,000 who were resettled in 2019.