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Trump hammers 9th Circuit after Roberts’ defense

Chief Justice John Roberts Associated Press/Photo by Rogelio V. Solis (file)

Trump hammers 9th Circuit after Roberts’ defense

Chief Justice John Roberts and President Donald Trump sparred this week over perceived bias in the federal judiciary. The spat arose after U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, an appointee of President Barack Obama, issued a temporary stop Monday to a Trump executive order that would have granted asylum only to immigrants who legally enter the country. Speaking with reporters, Trump remarked that Tigar was an “Obama judge.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Roberts said the United States does 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.” He went on to say an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

The president fired back Wednesday with a tweet saying, “Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges.’” Trump took aim at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the asylum case likely will be heard next. Tigar and the 9th Circuit are both based in San Francisco, and the latter has a history of ruling against Trump’s immigration policies such as the ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries. The president’s criticism of the court continued Thanksgiving Day in a call with U.S. soldiers, in which he said, “We get a lot of bad decisions from the 9th Circuit, which has become a big thorn in our side. … It’s a terrible thing when judges take over your protective services, when they tell you how to protect your border.”

Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C.


Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.



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Justice Roberts' reference to an "extraordinary...independent judiciary" is an unfortunate overly-idealistic characterisation that does not square with reality.