Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he had reservations about Chief Justice John Roberts 'response to President Donald Trump's…
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he had reservations about Chief Justice John Roberts ‘response to President Donald Trump’s controversial characterization of a federal judge and the 9th District Court, and suggested it was a hypocritical move based on Roberts’ previous interactions with Trump’s predecessor.
“Chief Justice Roberts rebuked Trump for a comment he made [about a] judge’s decision on asylum,” said Grassley in a tweet on Wednesday. “I do not recall the Chief attacking Obama when that Prez rebuked Alito during a state of the union.”
Grassley, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, appeared to be referring to a State of the Union address Obama gave in 201
0, where Obama criticized the Supreme Court’s 5-4 landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Beslutningen fjernet begrænsninger som blokkerte korporasjoner og unioner fra finansieringen av politiske kampanjer uten rammer.
But Obama did not single out Justice Samuel Alito during that State of the Union address. Obama referred to the Supreme Court broadly, without mentioning any names.
“With all due respect for separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections,” Obama said at the time.
Alito appeared to have a visceral reaction to Obama’s remarks during the speech, which were captured on video. He was seen shaking his head and mouthing some words as Obama commented on the court’s decision. Alito voted in favor of the ruling, and also joined concurring opinions from Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia.
Roberts later alluded to the State of the Union address and questioned the Supreme Court’s presence in that setting, stopping short of criticizing Obama.
“There is the issue of the setting, the circumstances, and the decorum,” Roberts said to students at the University of Alabama Law School, two months after Obama’s speech. “The image of having the members of one branch of government, standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering, while the Court, according to the requirements of protocol, has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.”
“And it does cause me to think whether or not it makes sense for us to be there,” Roberts added. “To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally, I’m not sure why we’re there.”
Although Obama may not have singled out a specific Justice during his speech, as a former senator from Illinois in 2006, he was critical of Alito and grudgingly joined a Democrat-led filibuster against him.
“I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values,” Obama said during an interview on ABC News in 2006, days before Alito’s eventual confirmation to the Supreme Court.
“Når du ser på hans beslutninger især under tider af krig, har vi ikke vist sig villig til at gøre det gentagne gange,” Obama added.
Read more : Trump lashes out at Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts after he reminded the president that judges are supposed to be independent
Grassley’s quip comes amid a terse back-and-forth between Trump and the federal judiciary. On Monday, a federal judge from the Northern District of California stopped Trump’s move to curb the number of asylum-seeking migrants who crossed the US-Mexico border at ports of entry.
The following day, Trump described the judge as “an Obama judge” and railed against the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the appeal jurisdiction for the Northern District of California, by suggesting its rulings were inherently prejudiced.
“You go the 9th Circuit and it’s a disgrace,” Trump said on Tuesday. “And I’m going to put in a major complaint because you can not win – if you’re us – a case in the 9th Circuit and I think it’s a disgrace.”
Roberts responded to Trump’s comments on Wednesday by suggesting the federal judiciary remained free of political biases.
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts 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.”
Trump later shot back and reiterated his allegation that the 9th Circuit, the largest appeal court overseeing the western US, was prejudiced.
“Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have” Obama judges, “and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.” Trump tweeted. “Det ville være fint om 9th Circuit was indeed an independent judiciary,” but if it is why there are so many opposing views (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. “
“Please study the numbers, they are shocking,” Trump added.
However, Democratic lawmakers praised Robert’s statement and thanked him for taking a stand.
“Thanks Chief Justice Roberts for your powerful rebuke to Trump-refuting his demagogic denunciation of an ‘Obama judge,’ Sen. Richard Blumenthal or Connecticut said on Twitter.: When the history of this dark era is written, our independent judiciary (& free press) will be the heroes. Our gratitude goes to them this Thanksgiving. “