No holiday respite for Trump’s criticism of nation’s courts – Trump: Judges ‘know nothing about it [border security] and are making our Country unsafe’

In this Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, file photo President Donald Trump speaks to the media before leaving the White House in Washington, to travel to Florida. The Trumps are spending the Thanksgiving Day week at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

By MARK SHERMAN,  Associated Press  WASHINGTON (AP) 11/22 — President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts are engaging in an extraordinary public dispute over the independence of America’s judiciary, with Roberts bluntly rebuking the president for denouncing a judge who rejected Trump’s migrant asylum policy as an “Obama judge.”

Trump, still seething over that Monday ruling, began his Thanksgiving Day by asserting that the courts should defer to his administration and law enforcement on border security because judges “know nothing about it and are making our Country unsafe.”

And taking aim at a co-equal branch of government, Trump said “Roberts can say what he wants” but the largest of the federal appellate courts, based in San Francisco and with a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents, “is a complete & total disaster.” That’s where an appeal of the asylum ruling would normally go.

Roberts had issued a strongly worded statement Wednesday defending judicial independence and contradicting Trump over his claim that judges are partisans allied with the party of the president who nominated them. Never silent for long, Trump responded with a “Sorry Justice Roberts” tweet.

In this Sept. 27, 2017 file photo, Chief Justice John Roberts speaks during the Bicentennial of Mississippi’s Judiciary and Legal Profession Banquet in Jackson, Miss. Roberts is pushing back against President Donald Trump’s description of a judge who ruled against the administration’s new asylum policy as an “Obama judge.” It’s the first time that the leader of the federal judiciary has offered even a hint of criticism of Trump, who has previously blasted federal judges who ruled against him. Roberts says Wednesday that the U.S. doesn’t have ”Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” He is commenting in a statement released by the Supreme Court after a query by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

 

The dustup is the first time that Roberts, the Republican-appointed leader of the federal judiciary, has offered even a hint of criticism of Trump, who has several times gone after federal judges who have ruled against him.

It is highly unusual for a president to single out judges for personal criticism, and a chief justice’s challenge to a president’s comments is unprecedented in modern times.

It seemed a fight that Trump would relish but one that Roberts has taken pains to avoid. But with Roberts’ court feeling the heat over the president’s appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Roberts and several of his colleagues have gone out of their way to rebut perceptions of the court as a political institution divided between five conservative Republicans and four liberal Democrats.

Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have themselves spurred charges that the courts are becoming more politicized. Roberts, as the justice widely seen as closest to the court’s middle, could determine the outcome of high-profile cases that split the court.

The new drama began with remarks Trump made Tuesday when he went after Jon S. Tigar, the San Francisco-based judge who had ruled Monday against Trump’s migrant asylum order. The president claimed, not for the first time, that the federal appeals court based in San Francisco, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, was biased against him. His Thursday tweet said that the 9th Circuit “is out of control” and “has a horrible reputation.”

In this Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, file photo President Donald Trump speaks to the media before leaving the White House in Washington to travel to Florida. The Trumps are spending the Thanksgiving Day week at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

 

Roberts had refused to comment on Trump’s earlier attacks on judges, including the chief justice himself. But on Wednesday, after a query by The Associated Press, he spoke up for the independence of the federal judiciary and rejected the notion that judges are loyal to the presidents who appoint them.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

He concluded: “The independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

Trump responded from his resort home in Florida, questioning the independence of federal judges appointed by his predecessor and confirmed by the Senate. He especially criticized judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country,” the president tweeted.

Trump has never been reticent about criticizing the judiciary. Last year, the president scorned the “so-called judge” who made the first federal ruling against his travel ban. During the presidential campaign, he criticized Roberts for the chief justice’s decisive vote in 2012 to preserve President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Trump also referred to an Indiana-born judge of Mexican descent, who was presiding over a fraud lawsuit against Trump University, as a Mexican who would be unable to rule fairly because of Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president’s remarks on Tuesday came when a reporter asked for his reaction to a ruling by Tigar that put the administration’s asylum policy on hold. Under that new policy, Trump declared no one could apply for asylum except at an official border entry point. That tends to back migrants up for weeks if not months. A number of migrants remain in Tijuana after traveling in a caravan to reach the U.S.

Trump complained that his opponents file lawsuits in courts that are part of the liberal-leaning 9th Circuit. It’s not unusual for those challenging a president’s policies to sue in courts they consider likely to back their claims. Conservative groups tended to bring challenges to Obama-era policies in Texas, part of the conservative-leaning 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

“Every case that gets filed in the 9th Circuit, we get beaten,” Trump said. “And then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court, like the travel ban, and we won.”

The president went on to say about the asylum ruling: “This was an Obama judge. And I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore. ”

The initial travel ban ruling in 2017 was issued by U.S. District Judge James Robart, an appointee of President George W. Bush in Washington state. Roberts, too, was appointed by Bush.

It was unclear what Trump meant when he said things would change. The 9th Circuit is by far the largest of the federal appellate courts, covering Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Some Republicans in 9th Circuit states have proposed splitting the circuit in two, but legislation has not advanced.

The court has long had a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents, with the current breakdown at 16-7. But Trump has the opportunity to narrow that edge significantly because there are six vacancies, and he already has nominated candidates for five of them.

 

https://www.apnews.com/c556c90bb7c44862b0cf58f06111b098

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Court Rulings, Courts & Trials, Illegal Immigration, Judges, National Security, Politics, Public Safety, U.S. Government, U.S. Supreme Court

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 + eighteen =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.