President Trump went to Twitter to comment on US District Court Judge James Robart, after he issued an order blocking the executive order, immigration ban.
To be clear, The Duran correctly notes…
A judge is no more above criticism than anyone else. Trump’s criticism of Robart was far milder than the criticisms that are routinely made of him – including by the Guardian – even though he is the constitutionally elected President of the United States, and there is nothing untoward about it.
In 2000 when the Supreme Court in a highly controversial and possibly wrong judgment handed the Presidency to George W. Bush many of the same people who are now criticising Trump for criticising Judge Robart criticised the Supreme Court, often in the most vehement terms, which went far beyond Donald Trump’s brief criticism of Judge Robart.
There is nothing unusual in Presidential Orders being challenged in court, and sometimes being blocked by court decisions. There is nothing unusual in judges being criticised. Talk of a constitutional crisis in the US is wildly overblown and is actually groundless. The system is working as it is meant to be, and there is no cause for apocalyptic language about attacks on judicial independence, or about the constitution being undermined or overthrown, or about the setting up of a dictatorship.
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
Politicians will naturally draw party lines, and begin to either support or disparage Trump’s tweet.
“Trump outrage” would not be complete without the millionaire, gated community, snowflake hollywood expressing their anger over something they know nothing about.
Amanda Seyfried told “so called” President Trump to grow up…foregeting Trump is the legally, recognized POTUS, and 4o years Amanda’s elder. Show some respect.
Please Mister “so called” President- please for the sake of humanity please grow up. Please.
— Amanda Seyfried (@AmandaSeyfried) February 4, 2017
Star Trek’s George Takei thinks Trump has not read the constitution. Has Takei read the constitution?
Trump: That so-called WA judge? Fire him.
Staff: Sir, judges can’t be fired.
Trump: Says who?
Staff: The Constitution.
Trump: Never read it.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 4, 2017
Director/writer Judd Apatow made a yet another, very original Apprentice reference.
Right now Trump is having a meeting trying to figure out how he can fire all of these judges and Federal attorneys. Would GOP even stop him? https://t.co/aitzQZVFKc
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) February 4, 2017
Ben Stiller can’t believe what is happening. Yes, we cannot believe a judge is being criticized. How dare this happen.
Hard to believe this is from the President of the United States of America. “so-called judge”. What is happening? https://t.co/aINHMHupoy
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) February 4, 2017
Josh Gad calls POTUS Trump a lunatic. How many buildings, hotels, employees and jobs had Gad built or created?
This is what a lunatic looks like. Just in case you don’t have a dictionary nearby to define the term. https://t.co/eItvbQSbHb
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 4, 2017
Top Chef host Tom Colicchio says Trump’s unfit to govern. “Unfit to govern” because he criticized a judge?
The opinion of this so called President essentially takes away all confidence the he is able to govern our nation. https://t.co/qZKid3gomw
— Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio) February 5, 2017
Actor Jeffery Wright wants the GOP to take action and remove Trump, because all judges are beyond criticism and a coup in the US is exactly what we need right now.
If @GOP loves America you’d invoke the 25th amend before the so-called President’s found under the Resolute desk mumbling tweets to himself.
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) February 4, 2017
Chicago P.D. star Sophia Bush mocked Trump’s past legal cases, saying that if you settle a lawsuit then that makes you unworthy of having an opinion.
Maybe a guy who just had to settle a fraud suit for $25 million isn’t a great judge of how the law works?
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) February 4, 2017
According to a statement by the White House on Sunday, the US won’t ask the Supreme Court for an immediate immigration ruling, and will instead follow the Appeals Court Schedule.
Trump reacted to all the fallout from Judge Robart’s decision…
“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2017
I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2017
Who is Judge James Robart? Zerohedge has some background…
While the legal sequence of events focusing on Trump’s controversial immigration order is now focusing on the next rulings out of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which may well culminate at the Supreme Court, the man who launched this weekend’s legal firestorm is James Robart, the federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, who temporarily blocked President Trump’s immigration order.
While opinions about the Judge, and his ruling, have differed largely along party lines and ideology – and nowhere more so, than in Trump’s Twitter timeline, who called Robart a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” opinion “essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country” – here are some facts and publicly stated opinions about Trump’s judicial nemesis, US District Judge James Robart, 69.
- Born in 1947 in Seattle, Robart graduated in 1969 from Whitman College and in 1973 from Georgetown Law School, where he was administrative editor of the Georgetown Law Journal
- He was in private practice in Seattle with the firm Lane Powell Moss & Miller from 1973 to 2004, serving as managing partner in 2003 and 2004.
- Nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003.
- Confirmed 99-0 by Senate in 2004.
- “He is relatively apolitical,” said Douglas Adkins, a private equity investor and former investment banker who has known Robart since childhood. “He’s not a conservative or a liberal. He’s a man interested in the law and fairness” although he is also said to be known for “conservative legal views.”
- At Robart’s 2004 confirmation hearing, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said: “He brings a wealth of trial experience to the Federal bench after trying in excess of 50 cases to verdict or judgment as sole or lead counsel, and he has been active in the representation of the disadvantaged through his work with Evergreen Legal Services and the independent representation of Southeast Asian refugees“
- “Mr. Robart’s impressive credentials are reflected in his unanimous American Bar Association rating of Well Qualified,” Hatch said of Robart at the hearing. “I am confident that he will be a fine addition to the bench and urge my colleagues to join me in supporting his confirmation.”
- Hatch also noted that Robart had done pro bono legal work and had represented refugees during his career: “He has been active in the representation of the disadvantaged through his work with Evergreen Legal Services and the independent representation of Southeast Asian refugees.”
- During his confirmation hearing, Robart spoke about using the courts to help disenfranchised people: “I was introduced to people who in many times felt that the legal system was stacked against them or was unfair. And one of the things, I think, that my time there helped accomplish was to show them that the legal system was set up for their benefit and that it could be, if properly used, an opportunity for them to seek redress if they had been wronged.”
- During his confirmation hearing, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington praised Robart for his “generous sense of community service through his work with at-risk and special needs youth.”
- In 2011, Robart put a temporary hold on a state rule change that would have cut government funding for disabled children and families in Washington.
- “When faced with a conflict between the financial and budgetary concerns … and the preventable human suffering,” Robart wrote in that opinion, “the balance of hardships tips in the favor of preventing human suffering.”
- Robart sparked controversy last year for a remark he made involving a case alleging use of excessive force by police. Last year, Robart said ‘black lives matter’ during a federal court hearing, saying he would not allow the Seattle police union to hold the city ‘hostage’ by linking demands for higher wages to constitutional policing: “Police shootings resulting in deaths involved 41% black people, despite being only 20% of the population living in those cities. Forty-one percent of the casualties, 20% people of the population — black lives matter.”
Also of note: when the Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson was preparing his case against the Trump order, he called in the general counsels at major Washington employers Amazon.com, and Expedia for their support. The companies eventually filed sworn statements in court saying the ban hurt their businesses. It is not clear if Robart is close with Seattle’s corporate lobby.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.