Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Why You Don't Wrestle With a Pig

Roberts did not start it, but he did respond to Trump's complaint about an "Obama judge" who ruled Trump didn't have the authority he thinks he has (i.e., Trump is not a King):

Roberts said Wednesday the U.S. doesn’t have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” He commented in a statement released by the Supreme Court after a query by The Associated Press.

Roberts said on the day before Thanksgiving that an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
Roberts was trying to speak for the independence of the judiciary.  But he has now entered the fray, which is why Chief Justices don't comment like this (and shouldn't be prompted to by Presidents).  Now, if this case gets to the Supreme Court, how does Roberts prove his independence?  By ruling against Trump?  Or for him?  Does he become a "Trump judge" if the Court does the latter?  Trump will surely say so.  Is he a "Bush Judge" if the Court rules against the DOJ's legal theory (very likely, since the claim the people in Tijuana, Mexico represent a threat to the U.S. is a finding of fact in court; appellate courts must take findings of fact as given to them; they rule only on matters of law.  If the lower court found the facts supporting the President's assertion weren't shown, the Supremes can't find them somewhere).  Trump will complain publicly about that, too.  Either way, Trump gets the last word, which in his book means he wins.

If the Court rules against Trump, or refuses the case on appeal, is that independence, or giving Trump a black eye for sounding off?  Aye, there's the rub.....

And we all lose, because either way, Roberts has mud on him, and the stain is on the judiciary (for once, not a stain of their making).  And Trump once again, like a baby with a shotgun, does damage all out of proportion with his understanding.  Very serious damage, because Roberts is not wrong to defend the independence of the judiciary; but he will be wrong if he helps Trump drag the judiciary into the political realm any further than it has already gone.

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