Fifty-three of 54 judges appointed by Democratic presidents who ruled on immigration recently have ruled against the Trump administration, indicating the president “wasn’t wrong” when he charged there is clear bias in the judiciary, an analysis says.
Trump last week criticized an “Obama judge” for blocking his asylum rules to address the “caravan” crisis at the border, prompting a reaction from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The justice insisted there are no “Obama judges” or “Trump judges,” only judges.
“President Trump wasn’t wrong last week when he pointed to an obvious ideological gap between judges nominated by a Democratic president versus those nominated by a Republican – but legal experts said his mistake was in coupling it with such naked criticism of the judiciary,” wrote S.A. Miller and Stephen Dinan in an analysis for the Washington Times.
It was over the last two years that of 54 judges who were nominated by Democrats, 53 ruled against the Trump administration on immigration cases, they noted.
Among Republican-appointed judges, 15 backed the administration, 13 did not.
The Times said its earlier analysis of rulings in Obamacare-related cases “found a split just as striking.”
“More than 90 percent of Democratic-appointed judges backed the Affordable Care Act, while nearly 80 percent of GOP-nominated judges found legal fault with the 2010 law and the way the previous administration carried it out.”
William G. Ross, a professor of law and ethics at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, told the Times that “even though most Americans recognize that judges have political views, there is a basic assumption among many or most Americans that judges ultimately will place the rule of law ahead of politics.”
The Times said there is a “clear break in judicial outcomes based on which president did the appointing” and Roberts has been a part of that.
“In the travel ban case, by the time the courts got to ruling on Mr. Trump’s third, current version, the divisions were clear. Of the 27 judges who issued or joined rulings at the district, circuit or Supreme Court levels, 19 were Democrat appointees. Every one of them ruled against the ban.
“All of the eight Republican nominees, meanwhile, backed the president’s powers to issue the ban – including Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion for the court, which was indeed split 5-4 along presidential appointment lines,” the analysis said.
The analysis showed there also is a clear divide on cases involving immigrant teen girls in the U.S. illegally demanding the government facilitate their abortions.
“Every Democrat-appointed judge has ruled in favor of the immigrant teens, while every GOP appointee has sided with the Trump administration,” the analysis said.
“No serious observer doubts that there are ideological differences among judges that influence decision-making on some hot-button cases, and that those differences often correlate with party,” said George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin.
But Somin said Trump’s comments “might have caused less controversy if they were not part of a long string of inappropriate attacks on the judiciary.”
“Previous presidents have occasionally made dubious statements about the court’s [such as President] Obama’s notorious attack on Citizens United during the State of the Union, but Trump is unusual for doing so with such frequency,” he said.
Reported the Times: “That 2010 attack by Mr. Obama was striking. During his 2010 State of the Union address, he blasted the Supreme Court justices to their faces over a ruling just days earlier on campaign finance. In response, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., appointed to the court by Mr. Bush – and a nominee Mr. Obama tried to filibuster as a senator – could be seen mouthing the words ‘Not true.'”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley noted on Twitter last week that Roberts remained silent when that attack happened.
Last week WND reported the highly partisan Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, praised Roberts for standing up “for an independent judiciary.”
But the senator contradicted himself by noting his disagreement with Roberts’ “partisan,” and “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
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.
While comments like Roberts’ from the Supreme Court are rare, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg several times has made derogatory comments about Trump, which also failed to draw a response from Roberts.