The Toronto Lawyers Association (“TLA”) is deeply concerned over the recent remarks by the President of the United States regarding the recent decision, appeal and a possible further pending appeal regarding the travel ban rulings arising from his Executive Order. United States District Court Judge James Robart is a member of a court of justice with authority from the United States Constitution to rule on the constitutional validity of presidential executive orders. Justice Robart was nominated by President George W. Bush and was subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate on June 17, 2004. On February 3rd, 2017, Justice Robart issued a temporary restraining order on the President’s travel ban from seven predominately Muslim countries. In response to the ruling against the executive order, the President of the United States launched an ad hominen and disparaging attack via Twitter against Justice Robart, and implicitly against the judiciary in general.
The President’s Tweet on February 4, 2017 stated, “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
Referring to him as a “so-called judge” is significant, but just part of the problem; the entire statement used inappropriate as well as misleading language that is disrespectful, promotes fear and hatred, and most importantly threatens judicial independence.