Feb. 10, 2017 – The State Bar of Wisconsin's 52-member Board of Governors urged respect for the independent judiciary today in a unified statement that addresses recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump.
At a board meeting in Madison, State Bar President Francis Deisinger – echoing statements by other state bar associations and ABA President Linda Klein – asked the board to take a unified stance regarding respect for the independent judiciary. The board voted to adopt the following statement:
“The President has recently made several statements directed at U.S. District Judge James Robart following the judge’s decision suspending an executive order. In one, he referred to Judge Robart as a ‘so-called judge.’ In another, he stated that he could not ‘believe that a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens, blame him and the court system.’ No matter whether the President legitimately disagrees with Judge Robart’s decision, these statements are ill-considered.
“The American republic relies on the rule of law. Without it, the compact between citizens that forms our democracy and binds us together cannot work. In our constitutional system, the rule of law is ultimately protected by our independent judiciary. Federal judges are nominated by the U.S. President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. They receive lifetime appointments precisely so they will not be subject to influence by either the executive or the legislature, but instead can objectively measure the cases brought before them in light of our laws and constitutions.
“We respect the right of any person, the President included, to disagree with a judge’s ruling. But questioning the legitimacy of a federal judge because of that disagreement risks erosion of respect for all judges, for court orders, and ultimately for the rule of law. As ABA President Linda Klein has stated, there are no ‘so-called judges' in America.”