Dems slam Trump for attacking judges

Dems slam Trump for attacking judges
© Greg Nash

House Democrats slammed President Trump on Tuesday, saying his public attacks on judges are undermining the federal judiciary.

“I am disturbed that the president either does not appreciate the role that an independent judiciary plays in our constitutional system ... and seeks to undermine it," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on judicial transparency and ethics.

Earlier this month, Trump called Judge James Robart, who blocked enforcement of the president's immigration order, a "so-called judge" on Twitter. He then went after the judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who heard the administration's request to resume its travel ban.

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“I don’t want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased,” Trump reportedly said in a speech before the court issued its ruling denying the administration's request. “Courts seem to be so political, and it would be so great for our justice system if they could read a statement and do what’s right.”

He then claimed that the judges failed to grasp the concepts of his ban, saying, "A bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this."

Nadler called the remarks "inappropriate and reckless."

"Already, there have been reports that judges involved in legal challenges to the executive order have been threatened and require increased security protection," he said.

“Moreover, President Trump’s broadsides against the federal courts threaten to undermine public confidence in the institution of the judiciary itself. An independent judiciary is fundamental to the checks and balances that are embodied in the separation of powers, and is essential to maintaining liberty and the rule of law."

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), a member of the panel, asked his colleagues to join him in condemning Trump's remarks.

"Even his Supreme Court nominee characterized his comments as disheartening and demoralizing," he said. "Respect for the federal judiciary should be nonpartisan."