The jurist who Donald Trump sneered at as a “so called judge” after he issued a temporary restraining order on Trump’s immigration ban is this week’s Revolutionist of the Week. Judge James L. Robart of the Federal District Court in Seattle is a highly respected mainstream judge who was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed in a 99-0 vote in the Senate. This is the most positive endorsement any nominee can receive—and it happened during the contentious Bush years. His peers agree with those who confirmed him: he’s been called a “judge’s judge” by the lawyers who have come before him and is known for his keen intelligence and even temper according to Michael D. McKay, an active Republican and former United States attorney. Another former U.S. attorney described him as “strict” and absolutely committed to the independence of the judiciary branch of government.
It’s telling that Trump took the judge’s action so personally. Judge Robart’s ruling had nothing to do with the legality of Trump’s executive order, but rather he had to decide whether the people Trump banned had an excellent legal case in their favor, if affected individuals would suffer irreparable harm, and if the ban was against the public interest. Clearly Judge Robart ascertained that the answer was “yes” to all three questions.
So why did Trump attack such a respected judge? Once again, Trump’s true colors as a bully are showing. In my book, From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire, I devoted an entire chapter to describing the characteristics of a bully boss—and these characteristics are modeled by Trump on an almost hourly basis, validating my findings. I take no pleasure in this though. When the president disrespects a most respected jurist this way, he continues to put democracy at risk.