Did Chief Justice Roberts just urinate on my leg?
Chief Justice John Roberts recently wrote, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges."
The chief justice knows that this is not true, and I find it extremely insulting that he believes that I am stupid enough to believe it. As he relieved himself on my leg, he told me it was raining. Roberts's statement was a response to President Trump's criticism of "Obama judges" who ruled against the administration.
The president replied, "Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have 'Obama judges,' and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an 'independent judiciary'[.]"
Dov Fischer at the American Spectator claimed, "[I]t sounds ridiculous – even borderline delusional – to deny that today's federal judiciary is chock-full of Obama judges and Clinton judges on a mission to stop President Trump's agenda."
Justice Roberts is not delusional.
Justices do not have the name of the president who nominated them in their titles. In this respect only, Justice Roberts is correct. However, they generally reflect the philosophy of the president who nominated them. Robert Barnes of the Washington Post remarked, "[S]tudies show there are clear ideological differences between judges nominated by presidents of different parties." Do we actually need studies to illustrate this?
Yet the pool of potential judicial nominees is dominated by progressives, and even "conservative" nominees can turn out to be quite liberal. U.S. district judge Timothy Kelly – a Trump appointee – ruled against the administration in its attempt to revoke CNN reporter Jim Acosta's White House press credentials.
Judges are human beings. They reflect a wide range of personality types and philosophies. There are "wise Latinas," "wise Yentas," and even "wise old Crackers." Their core responsibility is to make decisions free of bias using the U.S. Constitution as a guideline. This is not always the case. Justice Thurgood Marshall is famous for saying, "You guys have been practicing discrimination for years. Now it's our turn."
Like any statement by the president, this one will be attacked by his opponents in government and the media. Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted, "Thanks Chief Justice Roberts for your powerful rebuke to Trump – refuting his demagogic denunciation of an 'Obama judge.'" Blumenthal claimed, "When the history of this dark era is written, our independent judiciary (& free press) will be the heroes. Our gratitude goes to them this Thanksgiving."
One of the most troubling aspects of the Judiciary's failings is what appears to be its sympathy for the criminal. Theodore Dalrymple commented, "The laxisme of the French criminal justice system is now notorious. Judges often make remarks indicating their sympathy for the criminals they are trying (based upon the usual generalizations about how society, not the criminal, is to blame." Although he was commenting on the French judiciary, the remark applies to judicial systems throughout the West.
There are countless examples of this "laxisme." During the sentencing hearing for a man convicted of molesting an 11-year-old girl Judge Durke G. Thompson told the girl and her family "it takes two to tango." The late Robert Bork commented, "Today the Court has lined up with the cultural elite and against the majority of the electorate. The same thing is true in many of the lower courts, federal and state."
The elite will not relinquish its control of the courts without a fight. President Trump's next Supreme Court nominee will undergo unprecedented scrutiny.
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing). He has a Master of Arts degree in international relations from St. Mary's University. He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.