Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts offered a rebuke on Wednesday to President Trump’s description of a judge who ruled against Trump’s new migrant asylum policy as an “Obama judge.”
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a Wednesday statement provided to Fox News. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”
Roberts added: “That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar, who was nominated by President Obama in 2012 to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, issued a temporary restraining order late Monday against Trump’s plan to refuse asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally if they do not arrive at a port of entry.
“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tiger wrote.
Robert’s comments come a day after Trump targeted the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and called the court a “disgrace” after a federal judge there issued a nationwide injunction against Trump’s newly announced restrictions on asylum claims.
Trump vowed to reporters that he would seek immediate action and said he was “going to put in a major complaint” about the appellate court, based in San Francisco. The president did not elaborate on what the complaint would be.
The president also broadly criticized the practice of federal judges bringing unilateral halts to executive branch policy, which has so far happened more than two dozen times under the Trump administration. Trump specifically cited the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against his ban on travel from several Muslim-majority nations, which was ultimately ruled a constitutional exercise of presidential authority this year by the Supreme Court.
“You go to Ninth Circuit and it’s a disgrace, and I’m going to put in a major complaint. Because you cannot win, if you’re us, a case in the Ninth Circuit,” Trump said. “Every case gets filed in the Ninth Circuit. … We get beaten, and then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court — like the travel ban and we won. We’re gonna have to look at that.”
He added: “That’s not law. That’s not what this country stands for.”
Fox News’ Bill Mears and Gregg Re contributed to this report.