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Hawaii Official to Sessions: Trump Can't Rule Like a King

FILE - Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin speaks outside federal court in Honolulu, March 29, 2017.

Hawaii's attorney general has a little civics lesson for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Even the president isn't infallible.

Sessions made headlines recently when he mocked a Hawaii judge's decision that struck down the revised travel ban to the U.S. for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries.

"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," Sessions said.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, who argued the suit against Trump's executive order, called Sessions' statement "unfortunate."

"There's nothing amazing about the separation of powers and that we have three branches of government," Chin told VOA's Deewa service in a television interview from Hawaii.

"One of the things that we learn growing up in social studies is that the president is not the king," Chin said. "It's not unusual at all for a federal court to strike down something that the executive branch has decided on constitutional grounds."

Sessions' office later issued a statement praising Hawaii's beauty, but containing what Chin cited as another misstatement: that Hawaii Judge Derrick Watson was the only jurist who ruled against Trump's effort.

A Washington judge struck down Trump's original order, a Virginia judge joined Watson in ruling against the revision, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the judges.