Good Law | Bad Law #109 - Chief Justice Roberts’ Thanksgiving Bone to Pick with President Trump? w/ Steve Vladek

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Is President Trump trying to delegitimize the Federal Judiciary?


Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Professor Steve Vladek, of the University of Texas, to discuss the Thanksgiving Week war of words between Chief Justice Roberts and President Donald Trump.


On today’s episode, Aaron and Steve talk about the comments made by both Chief Justice Roberts and Donald Trump regarding the case that was recently decided in a federal court in California that struck down the President’s Executive Order limiting those seeking asylum at the Mexican border.  The federal trial court  -- not the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as the President inaccurately claimed – ruled that the President’s action was inconsistent with the clear language of the immigration law, 8 U.S.C. 1158. (


In a series of tweets, the President railed against the Ninth Circuit, claiming the decision was the product of an “Obama judge.”  In an extraordinary and public rebuke, Chief Justice Roberts denounced Trump’s notion of “Obama Judges,” saying that an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”


Steve and Aaron discuss the back-and-forth as well as the executive order and ruling itself and the implications for the reputation of and public confidence in the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court.  After listening to today’s episode and hearing their thoughts, as well as reading the code, what do you think? Would other courts agree with the ninth circuit’s interpretation?


To learn more about Steve, head over to his bio at


Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Steve Vladek


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