Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts makes rare statement to scold Trump

Roberts, who was nominated to the Supreme Court in 2005 by George W. Bush, took the remarkable step of directly addressing Trump's recent public groanings.
November 21, 2018, 7:38pm
Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts makes rare statement to scold Trump

The highest-ranking judge in the United States Supreme Court issued a stern rebuke of the president’s most recent attack of the judicial system Wednesday.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 by George W. Bush, took the remarkable step of issuing a statement condemning Trump after the president attempted to discredit a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit against his administration’s immigration policy.


“You go the Ninth Circuit and it’s a disgrace,” Trump told reporters during a gaggle outside the White House on Tuesday. “This was an Obama judge.”

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in the statement. “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.”

The incident began Monday night, when a Ninth Circuit judge from the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order against a new Trump administration policy barring migrants from seeking asylum if they enter the country illegally.

It's not the first time the Ninth Circuit has ruled against Trump. It also struck down a version of the Trump administration’s “travel ban” last December restricting travel to the U.S. from certain countries. The Trump administration appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which partially upheld the ban.

It also wasn’t the first time that Trump lashed out against the Ninth Circuit — or the judicial system as a whole.

In January, after a Ninth Circuit judge ruled against his administration’s efforts to end DACA and protections for Dreamers, the president railed against the decision on Twitter.

“It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts,” Trump tweeted.


He also tweeted about the Ninth Circuit in April 2017, after the court ruled against both a version of his travel ban and a policy that would have cut funding from “sanctuary cities,” states that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration policy.

“Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the “ban” case and now the “sanctuary” case is brought in the Ninth Circuit, which has a terrible record of being overturned,” Trump tweeted. “They used to call this "judge shopping!" Messy system.”

Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump, center, arrives as Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State, left, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, right, applaud during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via Bloomberg.