Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a rare rebuke Wednesday after President Donald Trump told reporters that he wanted to file a complaint against the “Obama judge” who ruled against his migrant asylum policy.
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said Wednesday in a statement released by the court. “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.”
Update 4:10 p.m. EST Nov. 21: Trump rejected Roberts’ rebuke Wednesday in a series of tweets, insisting that there are “Obama judges” who have “a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.”
Original report: The statement from Roberts marked his first public comment critical of Trump, according to The Associated Press. It came after the president told reporters that he wanted to file a complaint against the 9th Circuit judge who temporarily blocked his plan on Monday to deny asylum to people who cross the southern border illegally.
“This was an Obama judge,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “And I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore.”
The president added that the court was a “disgrace,” according to Politico.
“Every case gets filed in the 9th Circuit because they know that’s not law. They know that’s not what this country stands for,” Trump said, according to the news site. “People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and then file their case.”
Trump has criticized the judicial branch several times over the course of his presidency. A few months before the 2016 presidential election, Trump accused the judge who presided over a fraud lawsuit against Trump University of being inherently biased because he had Mexican heritage and Trump was talking up his plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Last year, he used the term “so-called judge” after the first federal ruling against his travel ban.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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