Despite Rebuke From The Chief Justice, Trump Says Judges Are Harming National Security

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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President Donald Trump defended his criticism of a federal judge who barred enforcement of his new asylum rules Wednesday, after Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement rebuking the president’s broadsides.

In a pair of afternoon tweets from his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida, Trump said that a series of rulings that stalled his immigration agenda have jeopardized the security of the nation.

Trump’s latest censure arose Tuesday when U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar stayed the administration’s new asylum rules, which in effect forbade illegal aliens from receiving asylum. Former President Barack Obama appointed Tigar to the bench.

“This was an Obama judge,” Trump told reporters. “And I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore.” (RELATED: In This Case, It’s Sonia Sotomayor And Neil Gorsuch Against The Rest)

The chief justice issued a rare public statement in response defending the courts, which was all the more remarkable in that sitting justices seldom comment on the news of the day.

“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.”

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chief Justice John Roberts after addressing the U.S. Congress. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chief Justice John Roberts after addressing the U.S. Congress. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

There are few precedents in the modern era for Wednesday’s exchange between the president and the chief justice. The nearest historical corollary may be former President Franklin Roosevelt’s feud with the Supreme Court of the 1930s, whose arch-conservative majority struck down many of his New Deal measures.

Roosevelt actively campaigned to expand the size of the court, in a bid to place progressive loyalists on the bench and save his economic program. He eventually backed down from this generally disfavored scheme, now known as “court-packing.”

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