The Slatest

Trump Doubles Down on Fight Against Chief Justice by Continuing Tirade Against Judges

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the military via teleconference from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018.
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the military via teleconference from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018.
MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

The commander in chief had an uplifting message to start the Thanksgiving holiday. In a series of tweets Thursday morning, Trump warned of the “bedlam, chaos, injury, and death” that would result if judges continue to put limits on his power. The president made the stark warning as he apparently felt he had more to say to respond to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ extraordinary rebuke of the president in which he defended judicial independence.

“Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster,” Trump wrote on Twitter. He characterized the San Francisco–based court of appeals as “out of control,” adding it has “a horrible reputation” and is “overturned more than any Circuit in the Country.” The commander in chief went on to warn that “there will be only bedlam, chaos, injury and death” unless law enforcement can “DO THEIR JOB.”

The rare back-and-forth with the country’s chief justice began when Trump denounced a judge who rejected his asylum policy as an “Obama judge.” That led Roberts to issue a rare statement saying that “we do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” The Republican-appointed Roberts gave a Thanksgiving message of his own, saying that “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.” That led to a quick response from Trump: “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.”

Trump was apparently still seething about this Thursday morning.