Today, Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts took a surprising stance on President Trump’s recent comments about the 9th Circuit Appeals Court—he disagreed with them. Earlier this week, Trump, in classic sore loser form, called a judge who ruled against his ban on asylum seekers an “Obama judge.” Now, Roberts has pushed back on that statement, reminding us that judges are supposed to be impartial, the Associated Press reports. As they note, this is the first time that Roberts, who was appointed by George W. Bush, has said anything even mildly critical of Trump.
Roberts said Wednesday the U.S. doesn’t have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” He commented in a statement released by the Supreme Court after a query by The Associated Press.
Roberts said on the day before Thanksgiving that an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
Welcome to the resistance, Chief Justice Roberts!!!
This, obviously, isn’t the first time that Trump has disrespected the judiciary. Last year, he used the term “so-called judge” to refer to a justice who ruled against his travel ban. He’s also been extremely critical of the 9th circuit Court of Appeals, who have ruled against many of his executive orders.
“Every case that gets filed in the 9th 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 on Tuesday. He went on to call the judge that ruled in the asylum case a “Obama judge.”
In fact, the 2017 travel ban ruling was given by U.S. District Judge James Robart, who was appointed by George W. Bush.
Will Trump keep issuing executive orders that are then struck down? Will he take action against the judiciary? Who knows! Isn’t politics fun?!
Update, 6:30 pm: After Robert’s rebuff of Trump spread, Trump hit back on Twitter, with several tweets reiterating his original point.
He then quoted directly from a Fox News report on the 9th Circuit, suggesting that it be broken up.
Congress does have the power to divide up the 9th Circuit, which is the court that handles federal appeals cases from Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. It’s pretty big! But breaking it up would require a decision by both houses of Congress, one of which is now controlled by the Democrats. There’s no way for Trump to do that himself, and it’s highly unlikely that anyone else will, not matter how much he believes people are talking about it.