Why Trump is attacking the West Coast’s court system.
On Tuesday night a federal district court judge in California blocked the Trump administration from shutting down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, which protects undocumented immigrants who arrived as children from deportation.
On Twitter, Trump said that while he disagrees with the verdict, he’ll respect the judge’s decision, appreciates the independence of the judiciary, and will wait for the appeals process to take its course.
Hahahaha, no, of course he didn’t, this is what he tweeted instead:
It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
William Alsup, the judge who issued the ruling defending DACA, serves on the US District Court for the Northern District of California. But Trump’s insult is less about the District Court on which Alsup serves, and more about the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the appellate court to which the case proceeds now. (The district court is a trial court within the Ninth Circuit; the appellate court is one step higher on the ladder and oversees all individual districts.)
The tweet is more than idle vituperation on the president’s part or a continuation of his diatribes about judges who rule against him. It reflects a widespread loathing of the Ninth Circuit, specifically, that has grown in conservative circles for years. The circuit’s appellate court, which covers California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii, Alaska, and Montana, has long been stereotyped as a liberal outlier, prone to left-wing rulings that are frequently reversed by the Supreme Court on appeal.