First came a White House statement calling the ruling “outrageous” (the word was later taken out). Then came Trump's many tweets, which were scattered throughout the day Saturday and actually seemed to question the judge's authority. And then, in its appeal, the Trump administration said the lower-court judge shouldn't be “second-guessing” the president.
The administration is complying with the order. But Trump's increasingly alarming tweets and this type of rhetoric about the judge's authority begs the question: What if it didn't? What if Trump — or any president — decided too much was at stake or that he didn't recognize “this so-called judge's” authority?
It's something experts on executive authority have been chewing over. Given Trump's populist campaign, admiration for authoritarian leaders and expressed skepticism toward the political establishment, some think it's possible he takes on the judicial establishment, too.
“They're spoiling for a fight, and that’s what populists do,” said Daniel P. Franklin, a professor at Georgia State University. “And I think that’s the way it plays out — maybe not on this issue, but on something.”
I'll emphasize up front that the Trump administration has given no indication that they'll actually ignore this particular court order — or any other. (They're appealing, and the 9th Circuit declined to immediately reinstate the ban early Sunday morning.) Franklin said he's not aware of when a president “purposely ignored a direct court order.”
But sometimes presidents have interpreted court decisions in ways that lead to discord between branches of government, leading to the threat of constitutional crises.
Full story in article.