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Home / US / Chief Justice Paul L. Friedman criticizes Trump for attacking the independence of the judiciary

Chief Justice Paul L. Friedman criticizes Trump for attacking the independence of the judiciary



"We are on unfamiliar territory," said Friedman, 75, a representative of President Bill Clinton. "We are witnessing a chairman of the board who criticizes virtually every court decision that does not go in his direction and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms, and he sees the courts and the judicial system as obstacles that are attacked and undermined and not as an equal industry that needs to be respected, even if it disagrees with its decisions. "

The White House made a request for not immediately commenting on Friedman's speech on early Friday.

Other judges raised similar concerns over Trump's rhetoric and increasingly partisan interpretation of court rulings, but as chief judge and secretary of the American Law Institute, Friedman's critique has merit.

Trump has bitterly denounced judges who have stopped some of his government's most controversial actions, from his threats, Bundesmitt from his protection until his attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects many young undocumented immigrants from deportation. He has also attacked judges on decisions that negatively affect him personally.

Trump also attacked US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel when the federal district attorney from the Southern District of California was ordered to conduct a fraud case involving Trump University, a real estate seminar program. Trump suggested that Curiel, a representative of President Barack Obama, could not remain impartial in the case because of his Mexican heritage, even though the federal judge was born in Indiana and the case had nothing to do with immigration or foreign affairs. Trump closed the lawsuit claiming that the seminars had misled the participants with false advertising for $ 25 million.

"I have a judge who hates Donald Trump," the then-candidate in May 2016 described Curiel and accused him of bias because of his ethnicity. Later, Curiel was commissioned to decide on Trump's plans to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, and decided in favor of the president.

Friedman called Curiel to criticize Trump for encouraging others to "throw personal ad hominem attacks" on judges.

"This was beyond a dog whistle," he said of Trump's comments on Curiel's ethnicity. "That was a scream."

Trump referred to decisions he dislikes, including "the tyranny of justice" and "gift to the criminal and antitrust element in our country," Friedman said. He showed how Trump denigrated the judges: "so-called judge", "shameful" and "political", "a complete and total disaster".

The federal judge also remembered a political promise that Trump had given to voters threatening the independence of the judiciary: "If it's my judges," Friedman Trump said during his June 2016 election campaign, "you know how they decide become."

Friedman blamed Trump for his political attacks on judges He noted that Trump is not the first president to accuse the judiciary of having gone too far, playing politics and "legislating from the bank". Thomas Jefferson tried to elect the seats of federal judges. Theodore Roosevelt tried to add six friendly judges to the Supreme court – "a bad idea back then and a bad idea today," Friedman said. And Dwight D. Eisenhower later described the appointment of Earl Warren as US Supreme Judge as one of his biggest mistakes. The rhetoric of these former presidents was as riotous as Trump's, which was "significantly different," the federal judge said.

"That's not normal," he said. "And I mean, both in the colloquial sense and in the sense that such a personal attack on courts and single judge violates all recognized democratic norms." and political contempt has increased to an unacceptable level in recent years. He also criticized journalists and other politicians, of whom he said they increasingly identify judges by the president who appointed them.

Friedman said, "But because of the judges trying to follow the law and the Constitution."

Friedman met Trump one last time in his concluding remarks, criticizing the president's tendency to distort the truth.

"By contrast, in the other two branches of government, the courts are charged with making decisions on the basis of facts," he said, "never on the basis of alternative facts."


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