Chief Justice Defends Judicial Independence After Trump Attacks ‘Obama Judge’

Politics

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. defended the independence and integrity of the federal judiciary on Wednesday, issuing a statement rebuking President Trump’s criticism of a judge who had ruled against the administration’s asylum policy.

The chief justice seemed particularly offended by Mr. Trump’s assertion that Judge Jon S. Tigar, of the United States District Court in San Francisco, was “an Obama judge.”

Chief Justice Roberts said that was a profound misunderstanding of the judicial role.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Chief Justice Roberts issued his statement in response to a request for comment from The Associated Press about Mr. Trump’s remarks on Tuesday concerning the asylum ruling, which ordered the administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States.

Mr. Trump had also lashed out against the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, calling it a lawless disgrace and threatening unspecified retaliation.

“That’s not law,” he said of the court’s rulings. “Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit we get beaten.”

“It’s a disgrace,” Mr. Trump said.

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