U.S. District Judge Dan Polster raised questions about the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency during a speech to the Cleveland Anti-Defamation League on Friday, according to a local news organization.
While other well-known political leaders, such as Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), have insisted that Trump is not a legitimate president because of his alleged ties to Russia, Justice Polster cites another reason to call out Trump. The president’s recent tweet after a federal judge in Washington blocked the enforcement of his disastrous immigration ban was upsetting to many in the judiciary.
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
Polster told audience members that Trump’s questioning of Judge Robart’s legal opinion and motivation to protect and defend the constitution as he was sworn to do turns the question of Trump’s own legitimacy on its head.
‘I think to say it publicly, that’s his right. But it calls into question, and some might even say forfeits, his or her own legitimacy. So I’ll leave it at that. It’s an important question, but that’s how I feel…I don’t believe there’s a single federal judge who would be intimidated by anybody.We took an oath to support and defend the Constitution and it means a lot. And I think that oath means even more today.’
While Polster told the audience that it is not improper for someone to criticize a federal judge, it is in questioning his decision to put constitutionality over the wishes of the president that is problematic. If Trump cannot comprehend the need to ensure his actions are constitutional after he pledged to uphold the constitution during his inauguration, the oath of presidency loses its meaning and its validity. In that case, the entire presidency of Donald Trump loses its validity, or legitimacy, as well.
Polster’s words hold even more weight when considered next to those of Trump’s own Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who called Trump’s attacks on Judge Robart “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”
It seems Trump’s main interest these days is attacking the only two institutions with an interest in and ability to check the president’s power: the media and the judiciary.
Featured image via Getty/Win McNamee