NEW DELHI – President Donald Trump doubled down on his criticism of two liberal Supreme Court justices on Tuesday, suggesting that the two should recuse themselves from any cases involving his administration because of their past statements about him and a Supreme Court dissent Trump viewed as critical of him.
The president posted a tweet Monday in which he suggested Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor recuse themselves from cases involving the Trump administration because of his concerns about bias against him.
“It’s very obvious,” Trump told reporters in a news conference in India, where the president is wrapping up a 36-hour trip. “Justice Ginsburg should [recuse herself] because she went wild during the campaign when I was running.”
“Perhaps she was for Hillary Clinton,” Trump added
“I just don’t know how they cannot recuse themselves from anything having to do with Trump or Trump related,” the president said. Of Sotomayor, Trump suggested that the justice – appointed by President Barack Obama – is “trying to shame people with perhaps a different view.”
Quoting Fox News host Laura Ingraham in a tweet on Monday evening Eastern Time, Trump said Sotomayor had accused Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices of “being biased in favor of Trump.”
“This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to ‘shame’ some into voting her way?” Trump wrote, also recalling Ginsburg’s criticism of him as a “faker” when he was running for president.
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The dissent that had drawn the ire of Trump and other conservatives involved a Supreme Court case about the legality of the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule. The Department of Homeland Security rule would allow the government to bar legal immigrants from residency or green cards if they are receiving or are deemed likely to need non-cash benefits for more than a year, such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing vouchers.
Last Friday, the Court decided to lift a lower court’s injunction to block the rule’s implementation in Illinois. In her dissent on that ruling, Sotomayor blasted the court’s conservatives and their deference to the government in similar arguments.
As several of Trump’s critics pointed out on Twitter, Sotomayor’s dissent does not single out him or his administration but instead referred to her concerns about the government’s applications for stays. The government’s request to halt the lower court’s block on the policy, she wrote, “upend the normal appellate process, putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won a stay.”