Oh, dear God.
So remember all those times we warned that Donald Trump seemed like he might eventually move to try and break up the 9th Circuit? For instance, here’s what we said late last month:
As documented extensively in these pages and exhaustively everywhere else, Donald Trump’s verbal attacks on the federal judges who dared to block his Executive Order(s) represent an existential threat to our system of governance. And in case the danger wasn’t “clear and present” enough, Trump drove the point home earlier this month when, in a Nashville rally that coincided with a Hawaii court’s move to step in just hours before a revised version of the White House’s Muslim Ban was set to take effect, the President of the United States hinted that he may just try and dissolve the 9th Circuit.
Well, following the publication of that post, got some reader mail that suggested we were being needlessly paranoid.
Although that mail was characteristically short on analysis (most hate mail is), the gist of it was that surely to God we knew that no matter how bombastic his tweets, Trump wouldn’t ultimately move to do anything like that. We gently referred those readers to this clip:
Well fast forward a month and guess what? This (via an exclusive Wednesday interview with The Washington Examiner):
President Trump said Wednesday that he has “absolutely” considered proposals that would split up the 9th Circuit, where judges have blocked two of his executive actions.
“Absolutely, I have,” Trump said of considering 9th circuit breakup proposals during a far-ranging interview with the Washington Examiner at the White House on Wednesday. “There are many people that want to break up the 9th Circuit. It’s outrageous.”
“Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit. And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. Because they know that’s like, semi-automatic,” Trump said.
His comments came one day after U.S. District Judge William Orrick temporarily blocked Trump’s efforts to withhold funds from any municipality that refuses to cooperate with immigration enforcement officers. Orrick, based in San Francisco, argued that Trump had overstepped his authority in January when he directed the Justice Department to put immigration-related conditions on grants for so-called “sanctuary cities” that may not be directly related to law enforcement.
Other judges on the court halted two different versions of an executive action aimed at tightening vetting requirements for immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, because both actions called for a temporary suspension of some immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.
“The language could not be any clearer. I mean, the language on the ban, it reads so easy that a reasonably good student in the first grade will fully understand it. And they don’t even mention the words in their rejection on the ban,” Trump said of his travel ban. “
Right. “The language reads so easy that a reasonably good student in the first grade will fully understand it.” Which is precisely why those orders were blocked. Because a first grader could see that they are constitutionally questionable.
In any event, if you needed to hear it from the horse’s mouth, there you go.
Allow us to close by simply reminding you of something else we said last month about the video clip shown above and the prospect of Trump dissolving the 9th Circuit:
What we watched last night was without a shadow of a doubt Trump’s crowning achievement in demagoguery. And you know what? There are a whole lot of people out there who don’t see anything wrong with Trump threatening to essentially do away with an entire regional circuit of the judicial system.