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Chief Justice John Roberts Scolds President Trump for ‘Obama Judge’ Remark


It’s Wednesday in the United States of America and the Chief Justice of highest court in the land has criticized the president.

Chief Justice John Roberts criticized President Donald Trump for the first time by taking issue with the president’s labeling of a judge as an “Obama judge.”

Trump criticized Barack Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar for ruling against his migrant asylum policy. Tigar effectively blocked Trump this week from banning asylum seekers who didn’t enter at an official port of entry.

“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tigar said. “[Congress] clearly commanded […] that any alien who arrives in the United States, irrespective of that alien’s status, may apply for asylum — ‘whether or not at a designated port of arrival.'”

Trump reacted by saying that “The 9th Circuit is something we have to take a look at because it is not fair,” writing off Tigar as an “Obama judge.”

Chief Justice Roberts rebuked the president on Wednesday in a statement:

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.  That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.

In other words, Roberts appears to see the head of the executive branch’s politicization of the ruling as a serious threat to the independence of the judiciary, and was therefore moved to respond.

[Image via Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.