Trump, US chief justice clash over judiciary independence

Young journalists club

News ID: 31859
Publish Date: 19:45 - 22 November 2018
TEHRAN, November 22 - US President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts have clashed in an extraordinary public dispute over the independence of America’s judiciary.

Trump, US chief justice clash over judiciary independenceTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Trump claimed on Wednesday of "shocking" bias against his policies in parts of the judiciary branch of the government.

He singled out the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is based in the left-leaning state of California, tweeting that its rulings "are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!"

Roberts contradicted Trump in a strongly worded statement and defended judicial independence.

Responding to complaints by Trump that judges appointed by Democratic presidents act against the current White House, Roberts told the Associated Press: "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges."

It was the first time that Roberts, the Republican-appointed leader of America’s highest court, has offered even a hint of criticism of Trump, who has several times blasted federal judges who have ruled against him.

It has been highly unusual for a US president to single out judges for personal criticism. And US historians say a chief justice’s challenge to a president’s comments is unprecedented in modern times.

With the US Supreme Court feeling the heat over the president’s highly controversial appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in October, 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 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. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them,” Roberts said.

Trump hit back from his resort home in Palm Beach Florida. “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 criticized the judiciary on numerous. 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 himself for the chief justice’s decisive vote in 2012 to preserve President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

The row came one day after Trump criticized a federal judge who temporarily blocked the administration from its decision to deny the right to political asylum applications for people who enter the country illegally.

US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the Trump move, which comes as a large group of Central American migrants, frequently described by Trump as dangerous, is heading on foot for the US southern border.

Source: Press TV

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