Even as the US justice system faces a crisis of credibility because of the Trump administration’s handling of federal cases, Donald Trump has taken the unusual step of attacking two supreme court justices on Twitter and in remarks to the press.
In a dissent last week, justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized the Trump administration’s frequent appeals to the supreme court to intervene in lower-court decisions, and the court’s willingness to side with such requests.
On Twitter, responding to a segment on Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle, Trump unleashed a tirade against Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has criticized the president in the past.
“This is a terrible thing to say,” Trump tweeted. “Trying to ‘shame’ some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a ‘faker’. Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters!
“While ‘elections have consequences’” – a reference to his two supreme court appointments since winning the White House, both reliable conservatives – “I only ask for fairness, especially when it comes to decisions made by the United States supreme court!”
At a press conference in India on Tuesday, Trump repeated his complaint.
“I just don’t know how they can not recuse themselves from anything having to do with Trump or Trump-related,” he said. “The right thing to do is that.
“What Justice Sotomayor said … was really highly inappropriate and everybody agrees to that. Virtually everybody. I’ve seen papers on it, people cannot believe that she said it.”
He said: “She’s trying to shame people with perhaps a different view into voting her way.”