President Donald Trump fired back Wednesday at Chief Justice John Roberts, who had bashed him for claiming the federal judiciary’s most liberal court circuit was subject to political bias from an ‘Obama judge’ who invalidated his newest asylum policy.
‘We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,’ Roberts said in a statement distributed by the Supreme Court. ‘What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.’
Trump was on the golf course in Palm Beach, Florida at the time. He tweeted his response after the back nine.
‘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,’ Trump tweeted.
‘It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary”,’ he added, before interrupting his thought for a second tweet that did not immediately come.
Chief Justice John Roberts pushed back against President Donald Trump’s description of a judge who ruled against his new asylum policy as an ‘Obama judge’
Trump complained Tuesday about federal judge Jon Tigar in san Francisco, part of the left-leaning Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals – which the president claims is so liberal that conservative litigants there face ‘an automatic loss no matter what you do’
The U.S. Supreme Court is pictured in a November 8 portrait that included for the first time Justice Brett Kavanaugh (4th right); Roberts (center, with Trump) is the highest ranking U.S. jurist
Roberts’ pushback against Trump marked the first time the Republican-appointed leader of the federal judiciary has offered even a hint of criticism of the president, even though Trump has previously blasted federal judges who ruled against him.
Roberts said Wednesday, one day before Thanksgiving Day, that an ‘independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.’
The president’s latest remarks came as the Supreme Court is enmeshed in controversy over his appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, a Barack Obama appointee whose courtroom is in San Francisco, struck down the administration’s new asylum policy this week
Several justices have spoken out about judicial independence and the danger of having the court viewed as a political institution that is divided between five conservative Republicans and four liberal Democrats.
Trump had spoken Tuesday when a reporter asked for his reaction to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco that put the administration’s asylum policy on hold.
The president complained that his opponents file their lawsuits in courts that are part of the liberal-leaning Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
‘Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit, we get beaten. And then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court, like the travel ban, and we won,’ Trump said.
The president went on to say about the asylum ruling: ‘This was an Obama judge.’
The initial travel ban ruling in 2017 was issued by U.S. District Judge James Robart, an appointee of President George W. Bush.
Roberts also was appointed by Bush.
The president returned to bashing West Coast judges several times during his pre-holiday press gaggle on Tuesday, saying ‘every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit’ goes against him
Chief Justice Roberts (left) greeted Trump on Capitol Hill for his State of the Union address in January 2018; he also administered the president’s oath of office a year earlier
The White House had no immediate response to a request for comment on Roberts’ criticism on Wednesday.
Last year the president used the term a ‘so-called judge’ after the first federal ruling against his travel ban.
During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized Roberts himself for the chief justice’s decisive vote in 2012 to preserve the Obama health care overhaul.
Trump also referred to a judge 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.-Mexican border.
On Tuesday he suggested the entire Ninth Circuit is a liberal playground where Republican policies can’t get a fair shake.
‘Everybody that wants to sue the United States, they file their case in – almost – they file their case in the Ninth Circuit,’ he told reporters.
‘And it means an automatic loss no matter what you do, no matter how good your case is.’