Trump, Roberts lock horns in scrap over judges

Edited by Shivani Ramakrishnan (Sourced from AP News)

Chennai, November 22, 2018










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US President Donald Trump and Chief Justice John Roberts were briefly involved in a feud as the duo embarked on an ‘extraordinary’ public dispute over the independence of America’s judiciary on Wednesday.

In a strongly worded statement contradicting Trump and defending judicial independence, Roberts rebuked Trump for denouncing a judge who had rejected his migrant ayslum policy as an ‘Obama judge’ and declared that ‘there was no such thing’. Trump meanwhile took to Twitter to defend his own comment.

This was the first time that Roberts had criticised Trump, given that the latter had blasted federal judges who had ruled against him several times in the past. The feud was highly unusual since a chief justice’s challenge to a president’s comments is downright unprecedented in modern times.

The pre-Thanksgiving quarrel began on Tuesday when a reporter asked Trump for his reaction reaction to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco that put his asylum policy on hold. Trump hit back at Tigar and claimed that the San Francisco based federal appeals court was against him. “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. This was an Obama judge. And I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore”, said Trump.

While Roberts has always refused to comment on Trump’s attacks on judges, he spoke up for the independece of the federal judiciary on Wednesday following a query from the Associated Press. Rejecting the notion that judges are loyal to the presidents they are appointed by, Robert said, “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. The independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”