President Donald Trump again butted heads with Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts in a sustained attack on the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit after it blocked his move to restrict access to political asylum in the US for illegal immigrants.
As the episodes piled up, from Trump's campaign time in 2016 and into his presidency, the man who sits at the helm of the federal judiciary said nothing.
Trump has tweeted disdainfully about Roberts since 2012, when the chief justice wrote the opinion upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature domestic program. "They know nothing about it and are making our Country unsafe".
It's highly unusual for a president to single out judges for personal criticism.
In the run-up to the holiday, the President clashed with Chief Justice John Roberts and the media in the latest demonstration of his tendency to compromise trust in American institutions that has been a hallmark of his time in power. And I'll tell you what, it's not going to happen like this anymore. It is out of control, has a frightful reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in the Country, 79%, & is used to get an nearly guaranteed result.
It was the kind of forum that previous presidents would have reserved to thank troops for their service, steering well clear of politics.
Roberts (left) is the highest ranking jurist on the Supreme Court. One president went further - and did so by criticizing John Marshall, a man who served longer in John Roberts's position than any other.
The United States is divided into 94 judicial districts, organized into 11 regional "circuits", and each of these circuits has an appellate - or appeals - court. Roberts saw the head of the executive branch's politicization of the ruling as a serious threat to the independence of the judiciary. "Please study the numbers, they are shocking." - tweets Wednesday.
Talking to reporters on Wednesday, the president had lashed out against a federal judge of San Francisco, Jon S Tigar, who had stayed his asylum ban.
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The 9th Circuit recently ruled that Trump's administration is required to consider claims of asylum regardless of where migrants cross the USA border.
It seemed a fight that Trump would relish but one Roberts has taken pains to avoid.
Tigar is not a judge on the 9th Circuit.
But the president has been given grief even by judge he has appointed.
The president's comments were prompted by Roberts' statement to the Associated Press, which ran counter to the precedent of Supreme Court justices not commenting on news reports.
Many phrases might describe Roberts' 13 years as chief justice since he was appointed by George W Bush, but "hot-headed" is not among them. Trump was attacking a large number of federal judges as biased partisans.
"It's a awful thing when judges take over your protective services, when they tell you how to protect your border".
"In an extraordinary time, a chief justice, head of a coequal branch, product of divided sovereignty that the framers saw was essential, I think has a kind of moral obligation if he sees something, to say something, and I think that it's not bad for the system to have the chief justice weigh in on this because the president's control of our mindshare is so wonderful", argued Meacham.
The case in question was the Trump administration's recent attempt to block legal asylum claims that don't come through an established checkpoint at the border. Trump did not handle the criticism well.