Tags: ninth circuit court | immigration order | trump

Should Judges Be Criticized?

Should Judges Be Criticized?

President Donald Trump at the White House February 13, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By Tuesday, 14 February 2017 03:59 PM Current | Bio | Archive

President Trump’s public statement about a federal district court judge has caused considerable criticism, particularly in the left-wing media. Trump referred to the judge as "that so called judge."

This is not the first time a federal judge has attracted criticism. Obama, during a nationally televised State of the Union Address with members of Congress and Supreme Court justices sitting in the hall, berated the Supreme Court. There was barely a peep from the left media about what Obama did.

The publicity about the Ninth Circuit decision, and Trump’s comment about the district judge, has raised questions regarding the place of the courts in the government.

Legitimacy of America’s government institutions is important, perhaps vital, to the society. People must believe the institutions have a legal right to be operating and are properly authorized to be doing the nation’s business. If the institutions are discredited, society could break-down.

Because members of the Congress and the president are elected and constantly in the political arena, it is understandable how such institutions could have considerable negative feelings among American citizens. The circumstances are different for the federal justices. They are not elected; they wear robes, and the Supreme Court meets in a building patterned after a temple. The courts have the trappings of a higher order of decision-making. The hope is that the image projected is not one of decisions based on politics.

Of all the institutions, it is important the courts remain respected and viewed as legitimate. The justices are the last stop in the government process. The courts will settle the dispute or settle the issue. Presumably issues could have ravaged the citizenry and caused much conflict in the legislative and the executive branch. The courts are a safety valve to decide issues without having a pitched battle or a political coup. Clearly legislatures may pass a new law or a new amendment to the constitution, but these actions could take years, and in the meantime, the court decisions are the law.

Still, for many, many decades and even centuries, it has been widely understood that one way to get a different court decision is to have different judges decide the case. Nevertheless, to keep the lid on the society, Americans must respect the courts’ decisions; it is all we have.

Those who follow the judicial process closely are aware that courts should operate in a manner to encourage respect. It is one thing for justices to shade a close decision toward their political preference, but quite another to make flagrant deviation from legal practice and the printed law. The ninth federal appellate court that handled the "executive order" immigration case has a troubling past. The record shows that the Supreme Court has overruled the ninth circuit appealed decisions more than 80 percent of the time. This is a terrible signal to citizens about justice in America. There is something sick in that circuit.

The Ninth Circuit immigration decision that blocks presidential action shows little basis in law. There is a clear statute giving the president the authority to control immigration, and the case most likely lacked standing and should never have been taken up by the ninth district. The Ninth Circuit once again proved it is a political organization rather than a neutral court.

Perhaps political officials should not speak out against such a court, but the reality is the courts should also take care not to make stupid decisions, obviously based on politics, that causes people to speak poorly of them.

John Havick has a Ph.D. in political science. He was a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology for many years, authored several books and a number of articles, including the widely cited "The Impact of the Internet on a Television-Based Society." His work has appeared in The New York Times, and his recent book, "The Ghosts of NASCAR: The Harlan Boys and the First Daytona 500," is available at ghostsofnascar.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The Ninth Circuit immigration decision that blocks presidential action shows little basis in law.
ninth circuit court, immigration order, trump
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 03:59 PM
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