The F Word: TRUMP vs the Judiciary: Doing the GOP Thing
Journalists, Democrats, immigrants, women, African Americans; to the long list of people our new president doesn’t seem to like, Donald Trump recently doubled down on judges. His undisciplined assaults have liberals shocked and dismayed, but there may be method in his madness. Judges and courts sit at the top of the GOP hit list.
“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril,” Donald Trump tweeted after the suspension of his immigration ban was upheld on appeal, describing as a “so-called judge” the federal judge who’d suspended the ban in the first place.
After that, POTUS went one step further, targeting not just the person but the process. “If something happens blame him and court system” he tweeted.
“The president is not a dictator,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee said on Fox News the following Sunday.” “Judges can now assume that if they disagree with him, they will face his wrath — and perhaps that of his millions of Twitter followers,” chimed in the New York Times editors.
The Donald brings to hate his own particular prowess. As candidate, remember, he asserted that the judge presiding over a fraud lawsuit brought by former students of Trump University, had a conflict of interest because his family was of Mexican heritage – his actual word was “Spanish.”
It’s taking things up a notch to go after the courts with the power of the presidency, but discrediting courts is nothing new. Disparaging judges and their decisions on potentially profit-costing things like consumer protections, climate preservation and civil rights has long been GOP policy. Activist judges, Republicans blame for every lost profit or power they’ve suffered. The RNC platform says all sorts of awful things about gay marriage and so on, and urges Congress “to use the check of impeachment for judges.”
President Trump’s leading with his chin, and getting plenty of establishment flack for it, but he’s hardly a rogue-court basher. To the contrary, he’s softening up a target the Republicans have long wanted to whack, and just in time for Supreme Court confirmation hearings.