A rational president, who had just bludgeoned Brett Kavanaugh onto the supreme court, would not jeopardize the long-awaited conservative majority by picking a fight with Chief Justice John Roberts. But rationality has never been Donald Trump’s strong suit when it comes to dealing with the judiciary.
According to an estimate by the Washington Post, the Trump administration has been overruled in more than 40 federal court decisions. While correlation does not imply causation, it does suggest that Trump’s constant bleats and tweets about biased judges represent an odd strategy to tilt the scales of justice.
Many phrases might describe Roberts’ 13 years as chief justice since he was appointed by George W Bush, but “hot-headed” is not among them. It presumably took dozens of provocations before he yielded to the temptation to instruct the president that with an independent judiciary, “we do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges”.
Trump’s concept of justice pivots around a simple question: “Is it good for me or bad for me?”
Nothing better illustrates Trump’s solipsistic approach to crime and punishment than the recent revelation by the New York Times that last spring he talked about ordering the justice department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey.
As he pursued such thuggish fantasies, it is possible Trump was influenced by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who had imprisoned hundreds of his political foes in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh. (That, of course, was the more benevolent version of Prince Mohammed, before he became closely associated with a bone saw.)
Source: If Trump is cornered, the judges he disdains may finally bring him down | Walter Shapiro | Opinion | The Guardian
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