Rebuking Trump’s criticism of ‘Obama judge,’ Chief Justice Roberts defends judiciary as ‘independent’
"What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them," Roberts said in an unusual statement Wednesday.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday issued an extraordinary statement in response to President Donald Trump's criticism of federal judges, one day after the president blamed an "Obama judge" for ruling against his administration's ban on asylum for those who cross the border illegally.
"We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said in a statement released the day before Thanksgiving. "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 statement concluded.
On Tuesday, Trump had told reporters outside the White House that he would file a "major complaint" against the federal judge who temporarily blocked his administration from denying asylum to migrants who illegally cross the southern border.
"This was an Obama judge. And I'll tell you what, it's not going to happen like this anymore," Trump said. "It means an automatic loss no matter what you do… People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case."
He added that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which also previously blocked his executive order banning immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, was a "disgrace."
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The Washington Post's Robert Barnes contributed to this report.