That “So-Called” Judge. . . .Posted: February 4, 2017
As most readers probably already know, our president is referring in this tweet to Federal District Court Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who had the audacity to rule in favor of the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota on a lawsuit they brought seeking to overturn the president’s travel ban.
Judges are not above criticism. But when the president of the United States publicly belittles them, he undermines respect for the judiciary. Through tweets like the one above, Mr. Trump does much more than show his personal contempt for the rule of law; he reveals that he is a clear and present danger to the rule of law and to an independent judiciary. His tweets and other verbal assaults that single out particular individuals embolden his followers to show the same contempt for the law and for judges, AND the tweets put the identified judges at risk of their personal safety. There is little doubt that the president intends his tweets to “chill” other judges from rendering impartial opinions unfavorable to his position on any issue. That is how autocrats behave, not presidents of the United States of America.