Attorney General Jeff Sessions has criticized a judge whose ruling in March resulted in the suspension of President Donald Trump's travel ban.
The Hawaiian judge blocked the proposal to impose a 90-day stop on people coming to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries, The Hill reported.
"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.
Senators from Hawaii reacted angrily to Sessions' remarks.
"This #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years And we won't succumb to your dog whistle politics," tweeted Sen. Mazie Hirono.
Sen. Brian Schatz urged Sessions to "have some respect."
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton joined in. "Someone please tell Sessions that Hawaii is a state," she tweeted.
Sessions also attacked the role some judges are playing.
"I think our president, having seen some of these really weird interpretations of the executive orders that he's put out, I think he's more understanding now that we need judges who follow the law, not make law," he said, according to CNN.
He then called on judges to act like Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, and former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The attorney general noted in the interview that he is hopeful the Trump administration will be victorious.
"We've got cases moving in the very, very liberal 9th Circuit, who -- they've been hostile to the order," he added.
"We won a case recently in Virginia that was a nicely written order that just demolished, I thought, all the arguments that some of the other people have been making," Sessions said.
Opposition to the measure is growing among businesses. More than 150 technology companies stated their opposition to the ban in an amicus brief filed in a San Francisco court April 19.
The signatories included Facebook, Google, Uber and Tesla, USA Today reported.
The companies argued that the ban would impose barriers on competitiveness by increasing business costs, hamper companies from hiring international employees and encourage companies to set up operations outside of the U.S. to avoid potential restrictions.
"People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination and just plain guts," stated the brief.
In response to the ban, Emirates Airlines has announced it will cut flights to the U.S. by 20 percent.
Sources: The Hill, CNN, USA Today / Photo credit: US Department of Homeland Security/Wikimedia Commons