Opinion: If Trump respects the judiciary, he must retract his indefensible ‘so-called judge’ remark

President Trump called federal Judge James Robart, of Seattle, a "so-called judge" in a tweet on Saturday.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

To the editor: As an attorney who practices in the federal courts, I strongly value our country’s federal judicial system, with independent judges who rule on cases and controversies that come before them. (“Top Republican congressional leaders denounce Donald Trump’s attacks on judge,” June 7)

If a party, including the president, disagrees with a district court judge’s ruling, that party can seek review in an appellate court. If the party remains unsatisfied, it can ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. This is the process on which individuals, corporations and government officials rely for the fair administration of justice.

In our system of government, we should not abide the country’s most powerful executive official demeaning and disparaging the judiciary through personal attacks on a federal judge. Because judges are ethically constrained from responding directly to such conduct, the legal community must speak up and call for President Trump to retract his comments and to refrain from personal attacks on judges in all matters.


Laura Brill, Los Angeles


To the editor: In regard to Trump referring to a federal judge as a “so-called” judge, I think a review of his actions as president is appropriate.

Trump may have won the electoral vote, but he did not get even a plurality of the popular vote.

He has not gone through the normal process for getting laws changed, a process he seems to fear even though his party has the majority of both houses in Congress. Instead he has taken short cuts via hasty executive orders, showing a dictatorial posture without consideration of the consequences.

He shows utter contempt for anyone who disagrees with him and ignores any civilized process of trying to seek a consensus. He courts foreign leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is not a friend of the United States.

This is the behavior of a dictator, not a duly elected officer of the U.S. government. As far as I can see, this makes Trump a “so-called” president.


Cynthia Schroeder Gray, Santa Barbara


To the editor: Letter writers Peter Del Greco and Janet Bogigian completely miss the point about judges, the separation of powers and Trump’s criticism.

The separation of powers means that judges are not supposed to legislate from the bench. In light of Title 8 of the United States Code, that’s exactly what U.S. District Judge James L. Robart did in shelving Trump’s order on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Trump was merely acting as the executive on statutory authority provided by Congress under its sole authority to legislate. That’s the separation of power that exists under the three branches of government.

Kip Dellinger, Santa Monica

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