Republican U.S. President Donald Trump reacted to Judge James Robart’s temporary block of the President’s recent executive order to instantly ban nationwide all people who are citizens of seven named countries in the Middle East that are predominantly Muslim from entering the U.S. by calling Judge Robart a “so-called judge.”
U.S. Vice President Pence later explained that President Trump was not challenging Judge Robart’s legitimacy, but only his ruling. Well, that’s not what “so-called judge” means. My question to VP Pence is this, “Are you going to constantly try to change what President Trump says?
Judge James L. Robart is a U.S. federal judge of the Western District of the State of Washington who was born in Seattle. I was born and reared in Seattle, too. Judge Robart was appointed as a federal judge by Republican President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2004.
To become a federal judge, one must go through a rigorous program. Just graduating from law school is quite an achievement. James Robart graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1973. Mr. Robart was in private practice in Seattle with the law firm Lane Powell Moss and Miller from 1973 to 2004.
I think it is disrespectful to call any judge a “so-called judge.” You wouldn’t get away with that in any U.S. judge’s court. But it is especially discourteous for a U.S. president to do that since he should be, to some extent, a model of our democratic system. So, Trump doing that is a failure to respect this nation’s system of government with its checks and balances due to having three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judiciary. See my post, “Do President Donald Trump and Steve Bannon Believe in Our Democracy?”
If James L. Robart is a “so-called judge,” I think you could say Donald J. Trump is much more a “so-called president.” He is the first U.S. president who has never served as a member of the U.S. Congress, a state governor, or a general in our armed forces.
This feud between a U.S. President and a federal judge will probably ascend very quickly to the U.S. Supreme Court for settlement. But then, that court still has only eight judges, so that their vote could result in a tie of 4 to 4. Plus, Congress could hold up President Trump’s nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill that ninth seat still vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. And Trump calling Judge Robart a “so-called judge” may cause Congress to further scrutinize Judge Gorsuch’s approval, thus further delaying that process and perhaps the Trump ban on travelers as well.