(CN) – President Trump wasted little time on Wednesday before he lashed back at Chief Justice John Roberts after the leader of the Supreme Court admonished the president over his criticism of “Obama judges.”
“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,” the president tweeted.
“It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary, but if it is why … are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned,” Trump continued.
“Please study the numbers, they are shocking.” the president added. “We need protection and security – these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!
Trump’s tweet came after Roberts released a statement criticizing the president earlier in the day, saying the U.S. doesn’t have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”
“What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them,” Roberts said in the statement, adding an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
It’s the first time the Republican-appointed leader of the federal judiciary has offered even a hint of criticism of Trump, who has previously blasted federal judges who ruled against him.
Last year, the president used the term a “so-called judge” after the first federal ruling against his travel ban. During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized Roberts himself for the chief justice’s decisive vote in 2012 to preserve the Obama health care overhaul.
Trump also referred to a judge who was presiding over a fraud lawsuit against Trump University as a Mexican who would be unable to rule fairly because of Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
The president’s latest remarks come as the Supreme Court is enmeshed in controversy over his appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Several justices have spoken out about judicial independence and the danger of having the court viewed as a political institution that is divided between five conservative Republicans and four liberal Democrats.
Trump had spoken Tuesday when a reporter asked for his reaction to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco that put the administration’s asylum policy on hold.
The president complained that his opponents file their lawsuits in courts that are part of the liberal-leaning 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Every case that gets filed in the 9th Circuit, we get beaten. And then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court, like the travel ban, and we won,” Trump said.
The president went on to say about the asylum ruling: “This was an Obama judge.”
But the initial travel ban ruling in 2017 was issued by U.S. District Judge James Robart, an appointee of President George W. Bush. Roberts also was appointed by Bush.