President Donald Trump is again focusing his Twitter sights on the judiciary, this time denouncing a ruling that halted implementation of an executive order targeting “sanctuary” cities.
On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement — the latest blow from the federal judiciary to Trump’s immigration agenda.
“First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Judge William Orrick, who handed down the decision Tuesday, is based in San Francisco and is not on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit is the appellate court that would hear an appeal to the case and has already sparred with the administration.
But Trump, who previously clashed with the Ninth Circuit Court when it blocked his administration’s first attempt at a travel ban affecting several majority-Muslim countries, wasn’t finished Wednesday.
“Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the ‘ban’ case and now the ‘sanctuary’ case is brought in … The Ninth Circuit, which has a terrible record of being overturned (close to 80%). They used to call this ‘judge shopping!’ Messy system,” he wrote in a pair of tweets.
Trump was referring to the rate of cases that the Supreme Court has overturned by the Ninth Circuit — but that figure only pertains to the small fraction of cases that the high court chooses to review.
The President’s tweets echoed the scathing tone of a White House statement issued late Tuesday night, saying the ruling “undermines faith in our legal system and raises serious questions about circuit shopping” and called it “egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”
Although his criticism on Wednesday was focused on a court, Trump has repeatedly attacked sitting federal judges and decisions he does not like, unprecedented criticism for a sitting president toward the judiciary in modern times.
During the campaign, he called Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a sitting federal judge in California who was overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University, a “hater” and a “Mexican,” saying his heritage meant he could not impartially oversee the case because of Trump’s tough immigration policies. (The case was eventually settled and Curiel has been assigned to hear the case of a man who claims he was improperly deported.)
And shortly after he took office, Trump lashed out on several occasions at US District Judge James Robart, who sits in Seattle and put a nationwide hold on Trump’s first travel ban.
“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!” the President wrote in one tweet.
Then, in March, Trump blasted another federal judge’s ruling that blocked a revised version of the travel ban, suggesting it was a politically motivated decision that made the US look “weak.”