Since taking office, US President Donald Trump’s proposed policies have often fallen afoul of the law. From his Muslim countries travel ban to the most recent, preventing illegal immigrants from claiming asylum – Trump’s proposed policies have been struck down in US courts which has drawn the ire of the US President.
In the latest attack, Trump called the Federal Judge who ruled that his administration’s attempt at preventing illegal entrants from claiming asylum in US was illegal, an “Obama judge.” The ruling was pronounced by Judge Jon S. Tigar of the US District Court for California, who was nominated to the court in 2012 by former President Barack Obama. In his ruling, the judge said, “Whatever the scope of the president's authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden," The New York Times quoted Tigar's order as saying.
But the US President’s lambasting of the Federal Judge has not gone down well with one of the senior most jurists in the country – US Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. In a rare rebuke to the leader of the country, Roberts has said, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."
Chief Justice Roberts - who was appointed to lead the US Supreme Court in 2005 by then President George W Bush - was responding to a question by an Associated Press reporter's request for reaction to Trump's remark a day earlier. It is rare for judges to weigh on political happenings but it seemed that Justice Roberts wanted to reply to Trump’s attack on the country’s judiciary.
But within three hours, the President fired back with: "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. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an 'independent judiciary,' but if it is ... are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security - these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!"
What makes this instance even more remarkable is the fact that John Roberts is not the first US Supreme Court Judge that his voiced his dissent of Donald Trump’s views. Chief Justice Roberts' Supreme Court colleague Ruth Bader Ginsburg has being strongly critical of Trump as well. In 2016, she had called then candidate Trump a “faker.”
But this instance also shows that Donald Trump is willing to tar anyone – including respected judges in political colours for his own gain – a dangerous trend for the country.