The highly partisan Sen. Chuck Schumer, leader of the minority Democrats in the U.S. Senate, claimed Friday that he likes the fact that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stood up “for an independent judiciary” in an argument with President Trump.
Except when Roberts’ decisions are “partisan,” such as his “highly political” rulings in Citizens United and other cases.
I don’t agree very often with Chief Justice Roberts, especially his partisan decisions which seem highly political on Citizens United, Janus, and Shelby.
But I am thankful today that he—almost alone among Republicans—stood up to President Trump and for an independent judiciary.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 23, 2018
He drew stunned responses when he said on Twitter: “I don’t agree very often with Chief Justice Roberts, especially his partisan decisions which seem highly political on Citizens United, Janus, and Shelby. But I am thankful today that he – almost alone among Republicans – stood up to President Trump and for an independent judiciary.”
The president had been critical of an “Obama judge” who blocked his efforts to secure U.S. borders. The judge in question was appointed by Obama and determined that the U.S. must allow asylum applications from people who enter the country illegally
Roberts responded that there are no “Obama judges,” just an independent judiciary, prompting the president to consider the highly partisan 9th Circuit.
On Twitter, Yossi Gestetner responded to Schumer, “So Schumer rips the Judiciary as being partisan in the same tweet that he praises Roberts for responding to Trump for criticizing the judiciary as being partisan … Stunning!”
Denise added: “I am confused. If his decisions are partisan, then how can we have an independent judiciary?”
A commentary at Twitchy said: “After President Trump blasted an ‘Obama judge’ on the Ninth Circuit Court earlier this week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement saying there are no ‘Obama judges’ or ‘Bush judges,’ just an independent judiciary. Super-partisan Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer liked what he heard but didn’t have a whole lot of self-awareness in” his tweet.
Derek Hunter asked: “I wonder if Chuck realizes how he’s contradicting himself and proving Trump’s point in this statement? I doubt it.”
Another comment summarized Schumer’s arguments: “Trump is totally right about the courts, except when Republican appointees criticize him; then the judiciary is Independent and Good.”
Said Twitchy, “It was nice of Schumer to praise Roberts’ defense of an independent, nonpartisan judiciary while also including a list of cases Schumer considers partisan decisions!”
Trump’s response to Roberts’ criticism was that there are indeed “Obama judges.”
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. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary,” but if it is why……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
…..are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security – these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
“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. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an ‘independent judiciary,’ but if it is why…… are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security – these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!” the president said.
The president’s comments were prompted by Roberts’ statement to the Associated Press, which ran counter to the precedent of Supreme Court justices not commenting on news reports.
Roberts claimed in reaction to Trump’s criticism of a ruling by an “Obama judge”: “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.”
The chief justice’s critics argue that if that were the case, there would have been no reason for Senate Democrats to war against Trump’s most recent appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In that fight, Democrats put forward several individuals who alleged they were victims of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh when he was a teenager. Several accusers later backed down.
Establishment media characterized Robert’s comments as a “rare rebuke” of the president.
“It’s the first time the Republican-appointed leader of the federal judiciary has offered even a hint of criticism of Trump, who has previously blasted federal judges who ruled against him,” AP said.
Trump’s remark comes after numerous rulings by Democrat-appointed judges against his efforts to secure American borders, an issue on which he campaigned in 2016.
Federal Judge Jon Tigar, an Obama appointee, in San Francisco this week put a temporary hold on Trump’s policy to not process the claims of migrants who enter the U.S. illegally.
“You go the 9th Circuit and it’s a disgrace,” Trump said. “And I’m going to put in a major complaint because you cannot win – if you’re us – a case in the 9th Circuit and I think it’s a disgrace. This was an Obama judge. And I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore.”
Roberts previously has said the judiciary’s role is to “interpret the Constitution and laws of the United States and ensure that the political branches act within them.”
Trump has nominated dozens of judges to the federal bench, including many at the appellate level, fulfilling a campaign promise.
He previously criticized a “so-called” judge who blocked his ban on entry from terror-supporting countries. The ruling was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
And during the campaign, he said Judge Gonzalo Curiel, because of his Mexican heritage, could be biased against him in a dispute involving his Trump University.
Critics of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage contend it usurped the role of legislatures represented by the people.
And it was Roberts himself who redefined Obamacare fees as “taxes” in his argument that the law’s so-called mandate was constitutional.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also several times has made derogatory comments about Trump.
Roberts was silent during those times when Trump was the target of criticism.