Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Nadler, Conyers, and Cohen Introduce Resolution In Wake of Donald Trump’s Personal Attacks Against Judiciary

February 7, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee, along with Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN), each of the other Democratic Members of the House Judiciary Committee, and more than 20 additional cosponsors introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives reaffirming support for an independent judiciary and opposing personal attacks on judges and the judicial system.
 
In the wake of Judge James Robart’s order placing a temporary stay on the President’s Executive Order banning travel from certain countries, Donald Trump launched a personal attack against Judge Robart, labeling him a “so-called judge”, and threatening political retribution.  This was followed by repeated comments aimed at Judge Robart personally, as well as continued barbs speaking disparagingly of the courts and questioning the very institution of the federal judiciary.  

Ad hominem attacks on an individual judge, or the institution of the judiciary, by a sitting president is inappropriate and threatens to weaken public confidence in the courts as a fair and impartial arbiter of the law,” said Representatives Nadler, Conyers and Cohen in a joint statement.  “An independent judiciary is fundamental to the checks and balances embodied by the separation of powers, and is critical to our constitutional democracy.  Debate over the proper interpretation of the law is healthy.  But questioning the very legitimacy of the institution of the judiciary, and the men and women who serve honorably as judges is dangerous.”

The text of the resolution can be found here.

Original cosponsors include the following 49 Democratic Members: Reps. Jerrold Nadler (NY), John Conyers, Jr. (MI), Steve Cohen (TN), Paul Tonko (NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Zoe Lofgren (CA), David Cicilline (RI), Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA), Ted Lieu (CA), Jamie Raskin (MD), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Judy Chu (CA), Ted Deutch (FL), Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Eric Swalwell (CA), Danny K. Davis (IL), Karen Bass (CA), Carol Shea-Porter (NH), Yvette D. Clarke (NY), Al Green (TX), Daniel Kildee (MI), Brenda Lawrence (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), Bradley Schneider (IL), Louise Slaughter (NY), Maxine Waters (CA), Raul Ruiz (CA), Cedric Richmond (LA), Filemon Vela (TX), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Betty McCollum (MN), John Yarmuth (KY), Nydia Velazquez (NY), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Darren Soto (FL), Gene Green (TX), G.K. Butterfield (NC), Joe Courtney (CT), Nita Lowey (NY), Ben Ray Lujan (NM), John P. Sarbanes (MD), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Susan Davis (CA), Mark Takano (CA), Brad Sherman (CA), Jose Serrano (NY), Terri A. Sewell (AL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC).