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The New Yorker: Why Did Chief Justice John Roberts Decide to Speak Out Against Trump?


John Cassidy has an interesting column in The New Yorker on Chief Justice John Roberts rare and pointed recent remark. The comment below might be a clue:

In addition to standing up for individual judges, a move that will be warmly greeted in courthouses throughout the country, the larger purpose of Roberts’s intervention may well have been to defend the independence of his own court, which is increasingly threatened by Trump’s efforts to politicize everything and anything. With his pressuring tactics and relentless attacks, the President has already threatened the independence of the lower courts, the F.B.I., and the Justice Department. 

Then later Cassidy wrote:

since the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, and the solidification of a five-to-four conservative majority among the nine Justices, he has made it clear that he sees the Court as his political ally. He did so again in his comments on Tuesday, saying, “Every case in the Ninth Circuit we get beaten and then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court, like the travel ban, and we won.” Referring to the latest ruling, on his asylum policy, he stated flatly, “We will win that case in the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Hopefully, Cassidy was right when he finished with this:

Read between the lines of Roberts’s statement, and he appears to be saying, “Not so fast, Mr. President. We are not your poodle.” After Trump’s riposte on Twitter, it is extremely unlikely that Roberts will make any further comments. But he has put down a marker.

Please read the entire column, it is worth doing.

Yet again we see Trump effectively ignoring, or more probably seeking to subvert the Constitution, which as President he swore to uphold.

An additional point is whether the CJ was prompted to make his remarks given the appointment of Whitaker as Acting AG and Whitaker’s reported remarks concerning Marbury v Madison which defined the principle of seperate branches of government and effectively established the concept of judicial review. An element of the legal system it is clear that Trump abhors as it’s a constraint on his desire to bend everyone and everything to his will.

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