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93 N.Y.U. L. Rev. Online 1 (2018)
Courts under Pressure: Judicial Independence and Rule of Law in the Trump Era

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                COURTS UNDER PRESSURE:


                       IN   THE TRUMP ERA

                   JOHANNA KALBT & ALICIA BANNON*

     Since  President Trump   first took office, many  of his most  prominent
and  divisive policies have  landed  in, and been  blocked  by,  courts-from
the  travel ban,  to  the transgender   military  ban,  to efforts  to defund
sanctuary  cities. The  President  has  responded   by  attacking  the courts,
occasionally  even  taking  to Twitter  to personally  denounce   judges  who
issue opinions  that he  dislikes.' For example,   he responded   to a district
court's rejection of the first travel ban by suggesting that judges should  be
blamed   in the event  the United  States experiences  a  terrorist attack.2 He
also criticized the Ninth Circuit after its adverse decisions on the travel ban
and  on his executive  order withdrawing   funding from  so-called sanctuary
cities, citing the circuit's terrible record of being  overturned  (close to
80%  ).13

   f  Fellow in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York
University School of Law and Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of
   I  Deputy Director for Program Management in the Democracy Program at the Brennan
Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
   *  We would like to thank Pichaya Winichakul, Marcelo Triana, and the New York University
Law  Review for their assistance in developing this collection and to the authors for their
participation. Copyright © 2018 by Johanna Kalb and Alicia Bannon.
   1  See In His Own Words: The President's Attacks on the Courts, BRENNAN CTR. FOR
JUSTICE, https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/his-own-words-presidents-attacks-courts (last
visited Mar. 29, 2018) (detailing President Trump's criticisms, in tweets and speeches, of courts).
   2  Donald J. Trump   (@realDonaldTrump), TWITTER  (Feb. 5, 2017, 12:39 PM),
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/828342202174668800 (Just cannot believe a judge
would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People
pouring in. Bad!).
   3  Donald J. Trump   (@realDonaldTrump), TWITTER (Apr. 26,  2017, 3:36 AM),
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/857182179469774848. While it is true that seventy-
nine percent of the cases reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed in the period between
2010 and 2015, when considering the rate of reversal based on all cases decided by the circuit, the
reversal rate is below one percent. Lauren Carroll & Miriam Valverde, Does the Ninth Circuit
Have  an Overturn Record 'Close to 80%'?, POLITIFACT (Apr. 26, 2017, 11:24 AM),


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