Legal warfare has become a part of politics

From left: Judge Richard R. Clifton, shown in 2002, Judge William Canby, shown in 2015, and Judge Michelle T. Friedland, shown in 2014, serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Associated Press)

Politics has always been dirty and there have always been strategies employed to highlight other politicians’ weaknesses in order to beat them at the ballot box. A disturbing new trend of legal warfare has become obvious since Trump became president. While strategies to discredit elected politicians have always been used I think that this may be the first time that political rivals have attempted to challenge a President’s authority and to remove him from office using legal warfare.

It started with federal judges blocking Trumps’s travel ban (effectively tying his hands behind his back) and now it has progressed to personal legal attacks on him to force him out of office because of his business interests.

Three federal judges appointed by three presidents will be hearing arguments Tuesday over whether a court ruling Friday afternoon halting President Trump’s travel ban should remain in effect.

The judges, from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, will hear arguments from both sides via phone at 3 p.m. Pacific time. They are Judge Richard Clifton, an appointee of George W. Bush, Judge William Canby Jr., an appointee of Jimmy Carter, and Judge Michelle Friedland, an appointee of Barack Obama.

Clifton is seen as a moderate conservative, while the other judges are seen as moderate liberals. The appeals court, based in San Francisco, is regarded as one of the most liberal in the country.

…Over the weekend, Canby and Friedland denied an emergency request from the Trump administration to reverse a stay issued on Friday by federal Judge James Robart of Seattle to halt Trump’s travel ban. The Seattle order came in response to an ongoing lawsuit against the Trump administration by Washington and Minnesota states.

Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland say they will sue President Donald Trump, alleging that he has violated anticorruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since moving into the White House.

The lawsuit, the first of its kind brought by government entities, centres on the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president.

Trump said in January that he was shifting his business assets into a trust managed by his sons to eliminate potential conflicts of interests.

But D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, D, and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, D, say Trump has broken many promises to keep separate his public duties and private business interests, including receiving regular updates about his company’s financial health.

…”The emoluments clauses command that . . . the president put the country first and not his own personal interest first.”

Racine said he felt obligated to file suit against Trump in part because the Republican-controlled Congress has not taken the president’s apparent conflicts seriously.

“We’re getting in here to be the check and balance that it appears Congress is unwilling to be,” he said.

“We’re bringing suit because the president has not taken adequate steps to separate himself from his business interests.”

This is a clear example of a person outside the government using the courts as a weapon. Racine was not elected to run the country, Congress and Trump were.

 – Washington Post

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