A Thumb-Up For The Chief Justice

In the past week, since the November 6th mid-term elections, we have seen the very worst of Donald Trump.  He has acted alternately like a madman and a two-year-old, determined, it would seem to do as much damage to the nation, the government, and the Constitution as he possibly can before the 116th Congress is seated on January 3rd.  It has been, frankly, de-moralizing and we have had a forewarning of the tyranny Trump might yet inflict upon this nation.  But just in the past couple of days, a few people have slowly begun waking up … people in power are beginning to push back against Trump, to say, “No, sir, you cannot do that”.

One such person is Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who has finally had enough.  I have had concerns that Roberts was letting the Supreme Court be turned into a partisan arm of the government, that he was turning out to be yet another of Trump’s boot-lickers.  But, yesterday he seems to have found his cojones and spoke out after Trump denigrated yet another federal judge.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar of San Francisco issued a nationwide restraining order barring enforcement of the policy Trump announced Nov. 8.  Trump’s policy would have allowed only people who cross at legal checkpoints to request asylum, a transformation of long-established asylum procedures, codified both at the international level and by Congress.

“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” ruled Judge Tigar. The ruling is in effect until December 19th, at which point it will be argued before the courts.

And predictably, Trump threw one of his tiresome tirades …

“That’s not law. Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit we get beaten. It’s a disgrace. This was an Obama judge. Everybody that wants to sue the United States, they file their case in the Ninth Circuit, and it means an automatic loss no matter what you do, no matter how good your case is. I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore. The Ninth Circuit is really something we have to take a look at because it’s not fair. People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case.”

It was the part where he called Judge Tigar an “Obama judge” that raised the hackles of Justice Roberts …

Chief Justice John Roberts“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.”

I have not always been pleased with Justice Robert’s decisions, especially in the last two years, but I give him a thumbs up on this, for it is important for all to remember that the courts do not answer to either Congress or the president but are indeed intended to be a fully independent branch.  Trump appears not to understand that, and in truth, now that Brett Kavanaugh holds a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court, I am seriously concerned about the independence of the judiciary.

But then, of course, the fool on the hill had to hit back …

“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 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!”

There seems to be, among some of Trump’s loyalists, a prevailing notion that if he is the president, he can say and do anything he wants.  Funny, but when Obama was president, these same people took the opposite view, that if Obama did virtually anything, he was overstepping his bounds.  At least as of today, 22 November 2018, Trump is only a president, not a dictator, and no, he cannot do whatever he pleases.  He does not have the right to change the law to suit his whims, he does not have the right to do as he has already done and send troops on a costly fool’s mission to the southern border to “defend the nation” against old men, women and children!  Donald Trump is not, at least at this time, above the law and his position gives him only limited privileges.  It’s time that he and his loyalists realize and accept that, for the rest of us are sick and tired of his mouth.