Politics: Trump ‘violates all recognized democratic norms,’ federal judge says in biting speech on judicial independence - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Trump ‘violates all recognized democratic norms,’ federal judge says in biting speech on judicial independence

13:30  08 november  2019
13:30  08 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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democratic norms ,’ federal judge says in biting speech on judicial independence . In an unusually critical speech that lamented the public’s flagging confidence in the independence of of Columbia said Trump ’s rhetoric “ violates all recognized democratic norms ” during a speech at the

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In an unusually critical speech that lamented the public’s flagging confidence in the independence of the judicial branch, a federal judge slammed President Trump for “feeding right into this destructive narrative” with repeated attacks and personal insults toward judges he dislikes.

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U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman of the District of Columbia said Trump’s rhetoric “violates all recognized democratic norms” during a speech at the annual Judge Thomas A. Flannery Lecture in Washington on Wednesday.

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“ Judicial independence is a fragile and crucial achievement of American constitutionalism,” he added, “and it depends on the public seeing the judiciary as something more than politicians in robes.” Yet Mr. Trump , who as president has the power to nominate members of the federal judiciary , appears bent

Donald Trump ’s highly personal, racially tinged attacks on a federal judge overseeing a pair of lawsuits against him have set off a wave of alarm among legal experts, who worry that the ­Republican presidential candidate’s vendetta signals a remarkable disregard for judicial independence .

“We are in unchartered territory,” said Friedman, 75, an appointee of President Bill Clinton. “We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms. He seems to view the courts and the justice system as obstacles to be attacked and undermined, not as a co-equal branch to be respected even when he disagrees with its decisions.”

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment early Friday on Friedman’s speech.

Other judges have raised similar concerns about Trump’s rhetoric and the increasingly partisan interpretation of judicial rulings, but as a senior judge and secretary of the American Law Institute, Friedman’s criticism carries weight.

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Now a federal judge will let them make the argument in court. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, in Washington, D.C., said the lawmakers have standing to sue Trump . They allege he violates the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, as his hotels and other establishments around the

But now Trump is president, the public can seem apathetic or amnesiac and the norms governing justice department independence are being tested. Some analysts warn that national security has also been endangered, as Trump has undermined public trust in the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Trump has bitterly denounced judges who have halted some of his administration’s most hotly debated policies, from his threats to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities to his attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects many young undocumented immigrants from deportation. He has also attacked judges over rulings that negatively affect him personally.

In 2017, Trump tweeted how a judge’s decision not to imprison Bowe Bergdahl, an Army sergeant who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 after walking away from his battalion in Afghanistan, was a “total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.” On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump had suggested Bergdahl was a “dirty rotten traitor” who should be sentenced to death.

Trump also attacked U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, when the federal jurist from the Southern District of California was assigned to preside over a fraud case involving Trump University, a real estate seminar program. Trump suggested Curiel, an appointee of President Barack Obama, could not remain impartial in the case because of his Mexican heritage, despite the fact that the federal judge was born in Indiana and the case had nothing to do with immigration or foreign affairs. Trump ultimately settled the suit, which alleged the seminars used false advertising to ensnare attendees, for $25 million.

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Donald Trump defended his comments about a federal judge Tuesday while facing the prospect of a revolt by GOP lawmakers who say his racially charged rhetoric will cost them elections up and down the ballot.

“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump,” the then-candidate said in May 2016, describing Curiel and accusing him of bias because of his ethnicity. Later, Curiel was assigned to rule on Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and ruled in the president’s favor.

Friedman evoked Curiel to criticize Trump for encouraging others to lob “personal ad hominem attacks” at judges.

“This was beyond a dog whistle,” he said of Trump’s comments on Curiel’s ethnicity. “This was a shout.”

Trump has also referred to decisions he dislikes as the “tyranny of the judiciary” and a “gift to the criminal and cartel element in our country,” Friedman noted. He listed the ways Trump has denigrated judges: “so-called judge,” “disgraceful” and “political,” “a complete and total disaster."

The federal judge also recalled a political promise Trump made to voters that he said threatens the independence of the judicial branch: “If it’s my judges,” Friedman recounted Trump saying during his campaign in June 2016, “you know how they’re going to decide.”

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With several potential appeals judges awaiting confirmation, Trump 's nominees could soon make up “This is an exciting milestone for the president,” Judicial Crisis Network policy director Carrie “President Trump has delivered on his promise to American voters,” Davis said , pointing to Trump ’s

He had questioned judicial independence , threatened the freedom of the press, called for violating Muslims’ equal protection under the law, promised the He had also undermined critical democratic norms including peaceful debate and transitions of power, commitment to truth, freedom from foreign

Friedman rebuked Trump for his political attacks against judges. He noted that Trump is not the first president to accuse the judiciary of overreaching, playing politics and “legislating from the bench.” Thomas Jefferson tried to make federal judges’ seats elected positions. Theodore Roosevelt tried to add six friendly justices to the Supreme Court — “a bad idea then and a bad idea now,” Friedman said. And Dwight D. Eisenhower later referred to appointing Earl Warren as chief justice of the United States as one of his biggest mistakes. But none of those former presidents used rhetoric as inflammatory as Trump’s, which has been “markedly different,” the federal judge said.

“This is not normal,” he said. “And I mean that both in the colloquial sense and in the sense that this kind of personal attack on courts and individual judges violates all recognized democratic norms.”

Friedman said he does not object to criticism of judges, but suggested that incivility and political scorn had escalated to unacceptable levels in recent years. He also criticized journalists and other politicians, who he said increasingly identify judges by the president who appointed them.

“The reality is that when the Trump Administration has lost cases in the courts, it is not because of Clinton or Obama judges,” Friedman said, “but because of judges who are trying to follow the law and the Constitution.”

Friedman took one final stab at Trump in his closing remarks, criticizing the president’s tendency to bend the truth.

“Unlike the other two branches of government, the courts are charged with making decisions grounded in facts,” he said, “never on alternative facts.”

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday put on hold a Trump administration rule requiring immigrants prove they will have health insurance or can pay for medical care before they can get visas. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the rule from going into effect Sunday. It's not clear when he will rule on the merits of the case. Seven U.S. citizens and a nonprofit organization filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday contending the rule would block nearly two-thirds of all prospective legal immigrants.

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