In a world where President Donald Trump doesn’t get his way, he feels that it is his responsibility to change the system so that it benefits him. In response to a federal judge blocking his executive order that would withhold funds from so-called ‘sanctuary cities’, Trump said in an interview that he is considering breaking up the 9th Circuit Court. During the interview, Trump claimed that many people want to break up the 9th Circuit Court because of its implied liberal leaning.
Trump went on to say that liberals essentially went to the 9th Circuit Court so they could specifically appeal the decision regarding the executive order to a judge that would be more likely to strike down the order. This is a dangerous assumption, because it takes a very important issue for granted, and that is the idea that these judges in the 9th Circuit Court are being manipulated by liberals instead of responding to the unjust nature of Trump’s executive order. The question must be asked regarding what would happen if Trump were to break up the 9th Circuit Court only to have another court strike down his executive orders. Would he then feel the need to dismantle the entire federal court system just to prevent any roadblocks on his way to a full dictatorship?
Trump said in the interview that the language for the ban in the executive order is so simple that even an intelligent young student would be able to understand it, which is, of course, hyperbole and beside the point. The conceptualization of the language isn’t the issue, even though it might be for Trump himself. The issue is with the content of that language, and the judge in question ruled that it was unconstitutional. According to Trump, the court has done nothing more than overstepped its authority, and he claims that his liberal counterparts always go to the 9th Circuit Court because they feel they will get favorable rulings. Trump refuses to see the reasoning behind that, which is that the 9th Circuit Court includes judges who won’t let Trump get away with just anything he wants to do. It follows reason that other judges within other courts will do the same even if the 9th Circuit Court is dissolved.
This is the same court that blocked the executive order Trump signed earlier this year that would have limited the immigration of Muslims from several Middle Eastern nations, including a full ban on all Syrian refugees. The court has gone head-to-head with Trump in many instances, but that was the issue that got the most national attention. This recently blocked executive order regarding funding for sanctuary cities is just the latest in a series of blocked orders that are clearly starting to irritate Trump. He feels he should have the authority to do whatever he wishes without any input from Congress or the federal judicial system, and that isn’t going to be the case.
There are Republicans who would support Trump in any effort to break up the 9th Circuit Court. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona has been vocal about breaking up the court, citing concerns that it is too liberal. That is the typical battlecry of conservatives who don’t get their way. In this particular instance, the federal judge in question struck down the executive order, citing an overreach of authority from the White House into an area that was not related to law enforcement.
Of the 25 judges that serve on the 9th Circuit, eighteen of them were appointed by Democratic presidents. The court covers Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, California, Alaska, Idaho, and Arizona. It also serves the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.