Trump Attack on Judges

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As President Trump’s travel ban continues to be challenged and put on hold by courts, Trump has responded by attacking the judiciary. Attorney Mark Harrison of Osborn Maledon will talk about Trump’s attacks on the judiciary and what impact they might have.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTACKS ON THE JUDICIARY? AND LOCAL CHARITIES COMPETE FOR CASH AND RESOURCES IN A FAST-PITCH CONTEST. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON," I'M TED SIMONS. FBI-DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY CONFIRMED TODAY THAT THE BUREAU IS INVESTIGATING POSSIBLE COLLUSION BETWEEN RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS AND AIDES AND ASSOCIATES OF PRESIDENT TRUMP. COMEY CONFIRMED THE INVESTIGATION DURING A HEARING TODAY AT THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE. THE HEARING ALSO INCLUDED THE FBI DIRECTOR AND THE HEAD OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY BOTH UNEQUIVICALLY DISMISSING PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CLAIM THAT HE HAD BEEN THE TARGET OF EAVESDROPPING ORDERED BY FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. AND CONFIRMATION HEARINGS BEGAN TODAY FOR U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE NEIL GORSUCH. ARIZONA SENATOR JEFF FLAKE DELIVERED OPENING REMARKS SUPPORTING THE NOMINEE AND AFTER THE HEARING SPOKE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING SOMEONE LIKE GORSUCH, WHO HAILS FROM THE WEST, ON THE HIGH COURT.

JEFF FLAKE: WHEN YOU HAVE STATES LIKE ARIZONA WHERE 85% OF THE LAND IS OWNED BY THE PUBLIC, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS ABOUT HALF THE LAND IN ASSIST OR STATE LAND OR TRIBAL LAND, THEN DECISIONS MADE BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND REGULATORS HAVE AN OUTSIDE IMPACT ON THE STATE ON OUR ABILITY TO EARN A LIVING ON RURAL AREAS. JUDGES FROM THE WEST HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THAT. CERTAINLY JUDGE GORSUCH DOES. IT HELPS TO HAVE GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY, NOT JUST JUDGES FROM NEW YORK OR NEW JERSEY.

TED SIMONS: THE SENATE HEARING COULD GO ON AS LONG AS FOUR DAYS. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS DESCRIBED THE LEGAL SYSTEM AS, QUOTE, "SO BROKEN," WITH JUDGES MAKING, QUOTE, "DISGRACEFUL DECISIONS" THAT PUT THE COUNTRY IN PERIL. WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE PRESIDENT REPEATEDLY ATTACKING THE JUDICIARY? JOINING US NOW IS ATTORNEY MARK HARRISON OF OSBORN MALEDON. GOOD TO SEE YOU.

MARK HARRISON: THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

TED SIMONS: WHEN YOU HEAR THE ATTACKS ON THE JUDICIARY, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

MARK HARRISON: MY THOUGHTS ARE THAT THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T KNOW THE ROLE OF JUDGES OR HOW IMPORTANT JUDICIARY IS TO DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS.

TED SIMONS: DOES HE HAVE A GENERAL IDEA OR DOES HE THINK WHAT HE SAYS GOES AND EVERYONE HAS TO FALL IN LINE?

MARK HARRISON: IT APPEARS THAT WAY. WHAT HE IS DOING IS UNPRECEDENTED. HISTORICALLY, PRESIDENTS HAVE CRITICIZED THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS. THEY HAVE NEVER PERSONALIZED AND DELEGITIMIZED THE COURTS AS MR. TRUMP IS DOING. THE LEGAL SYSTEM AS, QUOTE, "SO BROKEN, DOES HE THINK THIS WILL SWAY JUDGES? I DON'T WANT YOU TO SPEAK FOR HIM, BUT DO YOU THINK HE THINKS THAT?

MARK HARRISON: IF HE DOES, HE'S MISTAKEN. THE JUDICIARY STANDS BETWEEN AN UNCHECKED EXECUTIVE OR LEGISLATURE AND CONSTITUTION FOR ALL OF US, OVERREACH FROM THE GOVERNMENT OR OTHERS.

TED SIMONS: DOES HE THINK YOU CAN BARGAIN WITH JUDGES?

MARK HARRISON: HE APPEARS TO THINK YOU CAN NEGOTIATE WITH THE COURTS WHICH REFLECTS A MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE ROLE OF COURTS. COURTS ARE INDEPENDENT, MOST JUDGES TRY TO BE IMPARTIAL. MY SENSE IS THAT IT WILL BACKFIRE BECAUSE THE MORE HE TRASHES THE COURTS, THE MORE JUDGES WILL FEEL IT'S INCUMBENT UPON THEM TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE FROM OVERREACH BY GOVERNMENT.

TED SIMONS: DISSENTING OPINION, THE JUDGE THAT AGREED WITH TRUMP SAID THESE TYPE OF ATTACKS ARE OUT OF BOUNDS OF CIVIC AND PERSUASIVE DISCOURSE. THIS AGAIN FROM A GUY THAT AGREED. COULD THIS BACKFIRE? COULD JUDGES -- IT SHOULDN'T BACKFIRE, BUT COULD IT?

MARK HARRISON: THE JUDGE YOU QUOTED FROM THE NINTH CIRCUIT DISSENT MAKES IT CLEAR -- HE'S USED TO GETTING HIS WAY. MY SENSE IS THAT HE THINKS HE CAN INTIMIDATE JUDGES INTO DOING WHAT HE WANTS THEM TO DO. THAT'S NOT THE WAY COURTS WORK. I THINK HE'S FINDING THAT OUT. THE QUESTION IS IF ANYONE WILL EDUCATE HIM TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU DEAL WITH THE COURTS RESPONSIBLY. SOMETIMES THEY RENDER DECISIONS YOU LIKE OR DON'T LIKE, BUT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, YOU APPEAL TO THE NEXT STEP.

TED SIMONS: THERE IS A PROCESS.

MARK HARRISON: THERE IS.

TED SIMONS: IT'S OBVIOUS, I THINK, THAT HE THINKS HE CAN DO THIS. THAT HE CAN INTIMIDATE JUDGES. CAN YOU INTIMIDATE JUDGES?

MARK HARRISON: WELL, THEORETICALLY IT'S POSSIBLE. PARTICULARLY IN A SYSTEM WHERE JUDGES ARE ELECTED THERE IS EVIDENCE JUDGES ARE INFLUENCED BY POPULAR OPINION. FEDERAL JUDGES HAVE LIFE TENURE UNDER ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONSTITUTION. THEY ARE NOT INTIMIDATED TO WORRY ABOUT THEIR JOBS BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DOES. AS JUDGE BIBE INDICATES, MY GUESS IS THAT BY TRYING TO INTIMIDATE JUDGES, IT WILL INCREASE THEIR SENSE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING INDEPENDENT.

TED SIMONS: COMPARE THIS TO OBAMA WHO HAD SOME HARSH THINGS TO SAY REGARDING THE CITIZENS UNITED OPINION OF THE COURT, RICHARD NIXON WHO WAS FAMOUSLY UPSET WITH THE COURT, LINDEN JOHNSON, ALMOST EVERY PRESIDENT HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE COURTS. COMPARE THEIR CONCERNS WITH WHAT YOU HEAR FROM THE CURRENT PRESIDENT?

MARK HARRISON: AS I SAY, THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED. THIS GOES BACK TO TRUMP'S HERO, STONE WALL JACKSON WHO HAD A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH THE COURT. NIXON AND OBAMA HAD PROBLEMS WITH DECISIONS OF THE COURT BUT NEVER USED THAT AS AN EXCUSE TO ANTAGONIZE THE COURTS. THEY UNDERSTOOD THE PROCESS. HE OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS AND UNLESS AND UNTIL HE DOES WE HAVE THIS TYPE OF NONSENSE. WHAT HE DOES UNDERMINES A BASIC COMPONENT OF DEMOCRACY. THERE ARE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT. THE COURT HAS THE LAST SAY WHEN IT COMES TO CONSTITUTIONALITY.

TED SIMONS: CONSTITUTIONALITY MATTERS, THAT'S SOMETHING YOU GET IN HIGH SCHOOL CIVICS. IF HE DOESN'T, SOMEONE IN THE ADMINISTRATION HAS TO UNDERSTAND. IT SEEMS LIKE GAMESMANSHIP TO ME.

MARK HARRISON: IT'S DANGEROUS GAMESMANSHIP. AS YOU POINT OUT, YOU WOULD EXPECT PEOPLE ON HIS STAFF TO SAY TO HIM, PRESIDENT TRUMP, THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DEAL WITH JUDICIAL DECISIONS. IT UNDERMINES A BASIC DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION. IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND MAKES THE AVERAGE MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC THINK YOU CAN DO THIS, AND YOU CAN'T.

TED SIMONS: DOES THE AVERAGE PERSON UNDERSTAND OR ARE THEY SAYING, HE'S RIGHT. HE SHOULD GO AFTER THE JUDGES. IF THEY ARE WRONG, WHY SHOULDN'T HE ATTACK THEM?

MARK HARRISON: I SUSPECT THAT'S PART OF HIS GAME. PART OF HIS GAME IS, HE'S DONE THIS WITH CONGRESS. HE'S DONE THIS WITH THE COURT. I THINK HE'S APPEALING TO HIS BASE WHICH HE HOPES DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE ESSENTIAL NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THE COURT AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE COURT AS A BASIC COMPONENT OF OUR DEMOCRACY. YOU SUGGESTED EARLIER, I THINK IT'S GOING TO BACKFIRE. MOST RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS UNDERSTAND WE HAVE TO HAVE AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY OR OUR SYSTEM WON'T WORK.

TED SIMONS: SOMEONE HAS TO KEEP TABS REGARDING WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE CONSTITUTION. GENERAL IMPACT ON THE RULE OF LAW FROM THIS KIND OF VERBAGE?

MARK HARRISON: I DON'T WANT TO REPEAT MYSELF, BUT YOU CAN'T HELP BUT THINK THE EFFECT OF THIS KIND OF DESTRUCTIVE TALK, TWEETS, CALLING JUDGES "SO CALLED" JUDGES. HE REFERRED TO CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS A DISASTER IN HIS DECISION WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. THESE TYPES OF STATEMENTS ARE DESTRUCTIVE AND UNDERMINE THE ROLE OF OUR SOCIETY.

TED SIMONS: YET, I CAN HEAR PEOPLE SAY WHY IS IT DESTRUCTIVE? WHY CAN'T HE STATE HIS OPINION. IF YOU AGREE GREAT, IF NOT, WHO CARES? WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH REPORTER, ALLIES, THOSE WE DIDN'T THINK WERE OUR ALLIES, RUSSIA AND OTHERS, HE'S CHANGING THE PARADIGM. EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED. WHY NOT RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE COURTS. WHY CAN'T THAT CHANGE?

MARK HARRISON: ONE THING THAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT JUDGES CAN'T RESPOND. JUDGES CAN'T DEFEND THEMSELVES. UNDER JUDICIAL CONDUCT, THEY ARE PRECLUDED FROM RESPONDING IN KIND. JUDGES ARE NOT POLITICIANS IN BLACK ROBES NO MATTER HOW MUCH DONALD TRUMP TRIES TO MAKE THEM. THE FACT THAT THEY CAN'T RESPOND TO THIS IS SIGNIFICANT FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND. ONCE THEY START RESPONDING THE WAY HE'S ATTACKING THEM…

TED SIMONS: THEY BECOME WHAT HE SAYS.

MARK HARRISON: EXACTLY.

TED SIMONS: ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC WITH THE ADMINISTRATION AND THE COURTS?

MARK HARRISON: I'M NOT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THIS ADMINISTRATION AT ALL BUT I DON'T WANT MY POLITICS TO GOVERN THE DISCUSSION. I'M NOT SURE HE'S GOVERNABLE. I'M NOT SURE HE'S SUBJECT TO EDUCATION WHEN IT COMES TO THIS SORT OF THING. AS YOU SAID, THIS IS SOMETHING HE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED IN SEVENTH GRADE CIVIC'S CLASS. I WISH HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN A CLASS IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW BUT HE HASN'T AND IT'S CONSTANTLY, UNDERMININH THE ROLE OF COURTS.

TED SIMONS: IT'S BEEN GOOD TO HAVE YOU.

MARK HARRISON: THANK YOU, TED.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," HEAR ABOUT A WAY FOR NON-PROFITS TO WIN UP TO $20,000 IN JUST THREE MINUTES.

Mark Harrison: Attorney at Osborn Maledon

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