Now, for some background. A U.S. Magistrate Judge is appointed for a term of eight years, but is appointed by a vote of U.S. District Court Judges in a particular district. The primary function of a Magistrate Judge is to conduct the initial appearance of an arrestee, conduct misdemeanor trials, and sign search and arrest warrants. Magistrate Judges are supposed to be chosen based on legal competence, rather than political connections, as they are responsible for doing much of the grunt work in the Federal court system. Moving minor criminal cases in a timely manner is important or the system grinds to a halt. One of the things they are supposed to avoid is political grandstanding. Magistrate Austin has been in his position since 1999. Generally Magistrates operate on an up or out system, frequently the Magistrate position is a training ground for District Court Judges where there is a busy docket for District Judges, basically showing the executive that besides being politically acceptable, the person is competent in running a courtroom in both civil and criminal cases. It might certainly show that Magistrate Austin is competent, as higher ups have kept re-appointing him.
However, he might be ambitious, but in the same way that Sally Yates was ambitious, he wanted to get noticed by the Cultural Marxists.
Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin, More Decorum And No Pussy Hat, But A Kritarch None The Less
In this case, Austin took an apparent strange course of questioning when an illegal alien was arrested and presented for his initial appearance. Generally, in such cases as re-entry after deportation, there is little to present at the initial appearance; the requirement for the government is to provide evidence of probable cause for the arrest. For probable cause in such an arrest, the essential elements of re-entry are alienage, prior deportation, and presence in the United States. The government, the Federal prosecutor, an Assistant United States Attorney, would present this as either a grand jury indictment, or if the arrest was made without a warrant, the probable cause needs to be presented to the Magistrate Judge at the initial appearance. Most of this information is presented as documents showing the three elements with an officer of the United States presenting those documents and testimony as to the accuracy of those documents. There is little or no need for cross examination from the defense, or, more strangely, from the Magistrate. But for some reason, Magistrate Austin had some sort of agenda.
Federal agents privately alerted two magistrate judges in late January that they would be targeting the Austin area for a major operation and that the sting was retribution for a new policy by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that dramatically limited her cooperation with them, according to one of the judges.
The revelation — made Monday in open court by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin — conflicts with what Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told local leaders after the sweep, when ICE characterized the operation as routine and said the Austin area was not being targeted. It also provides evidence after weeks of speculation that Hernandez’s policy triggered ICE’s ire.
[U.S. Judge: ICE Said Austin Raid Was Because Of ‘Sanctuary’ Policy, by By Tony Plohetski, American-Statesman, March 20, 2017]
Now, it is a courtesy, and a courtesy only, that Magistrates are advised of large law enforcement operations in their district when many suspects are expected to be arrested, and consequently need to have their initial appearance. It is an advisement that is not required, but for the smooth operation of the courts, sometimes necessary. Obviously, it is of no concern of any Magistrate Judge why the executive branch is conducting a law enforcement operation, because it is, as many people's mothers say, none of their business. The executive branch arrests people, not the courts. It is an executive function and why a particular operation is conducted or where is a within the sole authority of the executive branch.
However, it appears that Magistrate Austin is upset that there is a new President in the nation and he will consequently have to do a little more work. So, for some reason Magistrate Austin sought to get into the reason why the executive branch was conducting a law enforcement operation. In this case it appears Austin was warned that a large operation was ongoing, that some in ICE thought it might be related to interference with administrative immigration enforcement by a local sheriff sympathetic to illegal aliens.
“We had a briefing … that we could expect a big operation, agents coming in from out of town, that it was going to be a specific operation, and at least it was related to us in that meeting that it was the result of the sheriff’s new policy that this was going to happen,” Austin said.
Agent Laron Bryant, who has worked in the Austin ICE office since last summer, said he did not know about the meeting between Hernandez and ICE, and said the judge’s concerns were new information for him.
Now, any statements to Magistrate Austin outside of court, such as a heads up that work was coming his way, are not admissible in court and to use them in court is a serious ethical breach, especially for a Magistrate who is charged with seeing that the courts are run smoothly.
But Magistrate Austin sought to embarrass ICE, either a Deportation Officer from Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) or a Special Agent from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the reporter did not bother to properly identify the employee testifying or was just too ignorant of the issue, which is more likely given the clear intent of the article to embarrass or intimidate ICE managers with the purpose of bringing public pressure to end immigration enforcement. You can contact him here. Most likely Plohetski has the same agenda as Magistrate Austin.
And that quickly becomes apparent when Plohetski complains about how ICE conducted the operation.
The way the ICE agents conducted the operation — officers pulled over people suspected of being in the country illegally or went to their homes and businesses to arrest them — was a substantial change from how the agency has operated in Travis County. In the past, most arrests were prompted by immigration checks on Travis County jail inmates.
Then mentions "concerns" held by other unnamed county officials, as if the arrest of illegal aliens on Federal charges was any of their business, especially since those "officials" were clearly lobbying on behalf of illegal aliens.
Two county officials had told the American-Statesman last month that they met with ICE regional field officer Dan Bible, who insisted that the agency was not targeting Austin.
“He denied that there is a target on Travis County’s back,” County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said in a Feb. 28 interview.
Frankly, Judge Eckhardt, immigration arrests are none of your business, especially since county officials are up in arms about giving any assistance to the arrest of illegals. Well, the 10th Amendment works both ways, if you say the county shouldn't be dragged into enforcing Federal law, then officially, you have no input into when Federal agents enforce Federal law.
Clearly, "Judge" Eckhardt is none to up on her Constitution, perhaps because she might be a bit mental. She appeared in court in a pussy hat.
Pussy Hatted Judge Sarah Eckhardt Thinks She Runs Immigration Enforcement
If I was an ICE official, I would not be meeting with this crazy person who brings disgrace and embarrassment to any court of law by wearing a hat in court, much less a pussy hat, a clear political statement, something judges are supposed to avoid.
Judges Eckhardt and Austin are virtue signalling the world that they are The Resistance. That is not something that judges are supposed to do, at least in the American Constitutional system. We are, of course, well passed that system. We now live in what is an emerging judicial dictatorship, a kritarchy. It only remains what President Trump will do, ignore, arrest, or imprison these kritarchs waging war on the Constitution. We certainly know Paul Ryan won't bring impeachment charges.
One of the things President Trump can do, but appears unwilling to do, is follow this advice to target States, counties, and municipalities for enforcement when they refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement.