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In rare rebuke, US Chief Justice John Roberts slaps down Donald Trump for ‘Obama judge’ remark

November 21, 2018

4735610_112118-wabc-trumproberts-imgSupreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts directly challenged President Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks against a federal appeals court following a ruling against his administration.

Trump said Tuesday he planned to file a complaint against the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and labeled the federal judge who ruled the administration was an “Obama judge.”

In a rare public statement Wednesday, Roberts stressed the importance of an independent judiciary while stating no federal judge was beholden to any president. Roberts was tapped by President George W. Bush to head up the country’s highest court in 2005.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts told the Associated Press. “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.”

The Trump administration installed earlier this month a ban on asylum claims made by immigrants who illegally crossed the country’s shared southern border with Mexico.

But U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar, who President Barack Obama appointed in 2012, ruled the president did not have the authority to overstep laws put in place by Congress.

“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tigar said in his 37-page ruling that temporarily restrained the administration’s ban.

Trump bashed Tigar while saying his administration would “take a look” at the Ninth Circuit over unfairness.

“This was an Obama judge, and I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore,” Trump said. “Everybody that wants to sue the U.S.—almost—they file their case in the Ninth Circuit, and it means an automatic loss. No matter what you do, no matter how good your case is. And the Ninth Circuit is really something we have to take a look at because it’s not fair.”

Trump added, “People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case. It’s a disgrace, in my opinion, what happens with the Ninth Circuit. We will win that case in the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The Ninth Circuit previously ruled Trump did not have the authority to institute a travel ban on people coming from seven Muslim-majority countries, but after the administration revised the ban the Supreme Court ruled in its favor in a 5-4 decision in June.


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