President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on the federal judge who issued a temporary injunction against the the travel ban as a “so-called judge,” with more no doubt to come, reminds me of a piece of American history.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt got into protracted struggle with the Supreme Court in the 1930s for declaring parts of the New Deal unconstitutional. In 1937, he tried to pack the Court with additional justices who would undo those results.
Roosevelt, one of our greatest presidents, was at the height of his popularity, with super-majorities in both houses of Congress. But he lost. He had to withdraw the plan as an attack on the independence of the U.S. judiciary.
Similarly, Trump should realize that questioning the legitimacy of the courts to strike down his executive order is also off-base. Trump may later prevail when the case reaches the Supreme Court, but he has no right to challenge the right of the courts to declare this order unconstitutional if legally required — anymore than Roosevelt did with the New Deal in his day.
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