The recent clash between President Donald Trump and the U.S. federal judge who ruled against his immigration order has caused some observers to ask if the U.S. is on the verge of a constitutional crisis, reports the Washington Post.
The country was established with a checks and balances system composed of three branches of government— executive, legislative, and judicial — but if two of them are in direct opposition, a crisis could ensue where orders from one could potentially get ignored by another.
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Trump has been vocal in his criticism of U.S. District Judge James Robart after he issued a temporary stay to halt the president's immigration order, notes the Huffington Post.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted, "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
The next day, he posted the message, "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!"
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On ABC News' 'This Week,' Vice President Mike Pence said on Sunday that they would be fighting the ruling but also admitted that the judge was authorized to make the decision and, in his words, "that's why the administration is complying with that order as we speak."
However, University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner has written on his website that "Trump's 'so-called judge' remark...is clearly an attack on the independence of the judiciary."
Posner also predicts that "the long-term effect will be to set up a pitched battle between the executive and the judiciary, which will damage the reputation of both."
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