‘I can’t do anything’: Judge puts a wrench in Dems’ hopes to restrict federal law enforcement in Portland

The Democrat attorney general of Oregon just got devastating news.

Politico reports that a federal judge “gave a highly skeptical reception” to a new lawsuit out of the Beaver State hoping to “rein in” federal law enforcement in Portland.

The suit, filed on behalf of the state of Oregon by Democrat Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, comes after nearly two months of nightly protests in Portland and elsewhere across the nation that have in many cases targeted federal property.

President Donald Trump has promised to maintain “law and order” in the midst of the chaos, and part of that includes sending federal agents to keep violence at bay. Now, Dems are fighting back — but the judge in the case doesn’t seem to be buying what they’re selling.

“Police-state tactics”

At the heart of the state’s complaint are allegations that unidentified, camouflage-wearing agents have summarily detained peaceful protesters for no reason and spirited them off the streets of Portland in unmarked vehicles to unknown locations. According to Politico, the state says actions of the federal law enforcement agents have had a “chilling effect” on the guaranteed right of protesters to peaceably assemble.

The suit seeks a temporary restraining order that would limit the actions that federal officers can take.

“We are asking the court to declare it unconstitutional to use police-state tactics,” Rosenblum said, according to Politico.

“I can’t do anything”

But U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman, a nominee of former President George W. Bush, doesn’t appear to have bought that argument.

At the very least, the state is demanding that the federal agents be required to fully identify themselves and state the reason that an individual was being arrested prior to them being taken into custody, but the judge suggested such restraints would be ineffective and essentially meaningless.

“I can’t do anything about how terrifying it is to be arrested by the police,” Judge Mosman said, according to Politico. “It is terrifying to be lawfully arrested… If they say, ‘We’re with the Marshals Service. You’re being arrested for breaking windows,’ nobody is chilled anymore? How does that work?”

The judge also noted that the use of unmarked vehicles is common for all levels of law enforcement and noted that the state had only provided two examples of alleged overreach by federal agents — neither of which were particularly convincing. “If we want to talk about a chilling effect, one can easily imagine this having a serious chilling effect on the way in which a law enforcement officer attempts to discharge his core duties,” the judge said.

Judge Mosman has yet to issue a ruling in the case seeking a restraining order against the federal agents, which is one of four suits filed in opposition to the federal response to the lawlessness in Portland since late May, according to Politico. Only time will tell if Dems win out on this one, but so far, things aren’t looking good for them.

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