Hawaii Judge Richard Clifton pushed back against Donald Trump last Thursday, saying the President’s temper-tantrum over the travel ban block is “corrosive to the justice system.”
Clifton, who serves on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Honolulu, was one of three federal judges who upheld a ruling that blocked the first rendition of the travel ban from taking effect. The ban prevented citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, regardless of whether they held valid tourist visas or green cards. Physicians, professors, and working professionals from countries like Somalia and Iraq had to choose between visiting family overseas and risking being denied re-entry to America.
Lawsuits were quickly filed against the ban by several states, including Hawaii. After the 9th Circuit Court upheld the block, Donald Trump vowed over Twitter to fight the result.
“SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” he roared, using a comma splice and large letters to get his point across.
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
“It’s easy to blame the referee when you don’t like the result,” said Clifton in a speech to the conference of Western Attorneys General.
“It is corrosive to the system when a disappointing result, or result disappointing to you, is responded to by blaming the referee,” he continued. The judge did not explicitly mention Trump or the President’s very public outrage
The New York Times notes in a story covering Clifton’s comments that the judge had been appointed to the 9th Circuit Court by former president George W. Bush.
Donald Trump has a history of lashing out the judiciary when it makes decisions decidedly not in his favor. He called the Seattle-based judge who initially blocked the first travel ban a “so-called judge.” Earlier in the year, when litigation was pending against Trump University, the so-called school’s namesake derided the judge overseeing the lawsuit as “biased” due to his Mexican heritage.
The President assigned a Justice Department team to help him come up with a new and passable executive order to keep the citizens of six Muslim-majority countries out of United States after the 9th Circuit Court upheld the block on the first travel ban. While concessions were granted to green card holders and persons with valid U.S. visas, a temporary restraining order was quickly slapped onto the second travel ban by another federal court in Hawaii.
One of the judges who ruled on the temporary restraining order commented that Trump himself seemed to done himself in.
“Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude, as does the court for purposes of the instant motion for TRO, that the stated secular purpose of the executive order is, at the very least, ‘secondary to a religious objective’ of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims,” wrote Judge Derrick Wilson.
Trump responded with his typical bluster.
“We’re going to fight this terrible ruling. We’re going to take it as far as we need to, right up to the Supreme Court,” he said, speaking to a crowd of supporters in Nashville, TN, on the eve of the temporary restraining order’s implementation.