American Bar Association President Bob Carlson said Wednesday that President Trump’s attacks against the 9th Circuit Court damage the judicial independence that is critical to American democracy.
“Disagreeing with a court’s decision is everyone’s right, but when government officials question a court’s motives, mock its legitimacy or threaten retaliation due to an unfavorable ruling, they intend to erode the court’s standing and hinder the courts from performing their constitutional duties,” Carlson said in a statement on Wednesday.
“As we celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, let us all count our blessings as Americans – free speech; free press; an independent, impartial judiciary; and the ability of every person in our country to stand up and speak out in favor of the rule of law.”
The comments from Carlson came after Trump derided U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar as an “Obama judge” after he ruled against the White House’s policy prohibiting immigrants who entered the country illegally from requesting asylum.
The attack led to a stern rebuke from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement on Wednesday. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”
But Trump doubled down on his assertion, claiming that the 9th Circuit court is not an “independent judiciary” and that it is “totally out of control.”
He’s also said that the San Francisco-based federal court has judges that have “a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.”
The 9th Circuit has overturned several of the administration’s initiatives. Among other things, the court ruled against two versions of the president’s travel ban proposal.