Chief Justice John Roberts just proved he's willing to stand up to Trump

Chief Justice John Roberts just proved he's willing to stand up to Trump

Despite claims to be in favor of 'law and order,' the Trump administration has been essentially trying to change American asylum law by fiat. But on Friday, the Supreme Court blocked the administration's attempt to jumpstart its cruel policies, which were previously blocked by a federal judge in California.


To block President Donald Trump's policy, Chief Justice John Robert abandoned his fellow conservatives and joined with the court's four liberals, proving that he is willing to oppose the president, at least on some key issues of executive power.

The case involved the administration's attempt to revamp American asylum policy to automatically deny the claims of asylum-seekers who cross the border between authorized ports of entry. Many asylum-seekers have done just that because the Trump administration has forced them to wait for weeks or months at official entry points.

But U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in California blocked the policy in November, finding that it contradicted the point of the asylum law. The legislation is designed to protect people who have been victimized by their own governments, and placing further barriers and boundaries on them even when their lives may be in danger is a heartless policy. More to the point, from the judge's perspective, it's not what Congress intended.

"The administration’s quarrel here is really with the longstanding and fundamental policy decision Congress made four decades ago and consistently and explicitly reaffirmed over the years, even as it enacted other significant restrictions on asylum eligibility and procedures," the ACLU explained.

Trump attacked Tigar after the ruling, calling him an "Obama judge." In a rare public rebuke, Roberts fired back.

There are no "Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said in response to a question from AP. He added that the "independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."

And on Friday, Roberts showed that he's not only willing to stand up to Trump in occasional, oblique statements. He joined with the court's liberals to strike down the administration's request to lift Judge Tigar's injunction, which would have let Trump resume his callous asylum policy.

Roberts showed that he will oppose Trump's power grabs with the force of the Supreme Court — when he thinks that law is against the president.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.