Press: Black robes matter

Press: Black robes matter
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It may be the first time that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE and the ACLU ever agreed on anything. On Nov. 9, 2016, the ACLU issued a statement with a direct message to the president-elect. When it comes to many of his proposed policies — deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, reauthorizing torture or a ban on Muslims entering the country — the ACLU said simply: “See you in court.”

Ironically enough, when Trump lost his appeal on a ban on nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries entering the U.S. before the 9th District Court of Appeals last week, he tweeted the same message: “See you in court.”

Those four words speak volumes. They demonstrate that both sides recognize the critical role of the courts in the Trump administration’s ability to carry out its agenda. They also show that opponents of Trump’s policies realize that their only hope for stopping him lies not in the hands of a cowardly Congress, but in the heads of judges sworn to uphold the Constitution.

Trump’s disdain for the judiciary is nothing new. It first surfaced in May 2016 when he attacked U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the Southern District of California for being “Mexican” and therefore unable to reach a fair verdict in a case against Trump University. Curiel was actually born in the United States.

The latest judge to feel his wrath was Seattle’s James Robart, a Republican appointed to the federal court by former President George W. Bush. When Robart ruled that Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries was likely unconstitutional, Trump called his ruling “ridiculous,” dismissed him as a “so-called judge” and falsely claimed that his decision meant “anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into the U.S.”

The legal wrangling didn’t end there, and neither did Trump’s attacks on judges. When a three-judge panel of the 9th District Court upheld the hold placed on the Muslim ban by Judge Robart, Trump accused them of issuing a “political decision” and suggested that “even a bad student in high school” could have done a better job, comments that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, found “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”

But over the weekend, Trump’s senior advisor Stephen Miller out-Trumped Trump. Questioning the role of the judiciary on Sunday talk shows, Miller made the jaw-dropping assertion “that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”

Really? The president’s powers “will not be questioned?” What country are we living in? Vladimir Putin’s Russia? It makes you wonder whether Donald Trump and his team have read the Constitution or taken Civics 101. Does he even know there are three equal branches of government? Does he understand that not even the president has unlimited or unchecked power?

In its consideration of the Muslim ban, the 9th Circuit heard that argument by the administration and shot it down: “There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

Thanks to the genius of our Founding Fathers, our protection from the overreaching and illegal actions of President Donald Trump is built into the Constitution. And the Trump administration will soon learn: Black robes matter.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”