As children we all learned that our nation is led by a a government that is balanced by three branches. The Legislative Branch makes laws. The Executive Branch enforces laws. The Judicial Branch interprets laws.
I will be the first to admit it hasn’t always worked well. In 1798 Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Act that prohibited anyone from criticizing the government. In 1857 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of slavery in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. In 1942 President Roosevelt ordered the internment of Japanese Americans.
But these exceptions are rare. And respect for all branches undergirds our very democracy. But respect does not undergird our President.
Last June, while he was defending Trump University against a lawsuit, he charged that the judge couldn’t preside fairly because he’s Mexican (though born in Indiana).
I wrote about President Trump’s executive order on immigration last week. Lawsuits began almost immediately. Judge James Robart, a Republican appointee of President George W. Bush, halted the executive order; President Trump called him a “so called judge”.
After (we assume) hearing the oral arguments he said this:
You could be a lawyer, or you don’t have to be a lawyer. If you were a good student in high school or a bad student in high school, you can understand this, and it’s really incredible to me that we have a court case that’s going on so long. I was a good student. I understand things. I comprehend very well, OK? Better than, I think, almost anybody. And I want to tell you, I listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful. It was disgraceful because what I just read to you is what we have. And it just can’t be written any plainer or better and for us to be going through this.
And so, to sum up, when he disagrees with a court ruling, he claims the judge couldn’t be fair, or the judge isn’t legitimate, or that he’s smarter than the judges.
Stay tuned, I’ll be writing more.