Federal judge rebukes Trump attacks on courts, compares to segregationist era

Carlton Reeves is a U.S. lawyer and jurist who currently serves as a United States District...
Carlton Reeves is a U.S. lawyer and jurist who currently serves as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Source: University of Virginia
Published: Apr. 12, 2019 at 4:43 PM CDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WLBT) - A federal district court judge, nominated by President Barack Obama in 2010 launched a broad unprecedented swipe Wednesday against President Donald Trump accusing him of launching an “assault on our judiciary.”

Judge Carlton Wayne Reeves of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, quoted the President’s past tweets that disparage judges and told an audience at the University of Virginia Law School:

“When politicians attack courts as ‘dangerous,’ ‘political’ and guilty of ‘egregious overreach,’ you can hear the Klan’s lawyers, assailing officers of the court across the South.”

“When the powerful accuse courts of ‘opening up our country to potential terrorists’ you can hear the Southern Manifesto’s authors, smearing the judiciary, for simply upholding the rights of black folk.”

It is exceedingly rare for a sitting judge to launch an attack against a sitting president. He particularly noted Trump’s attacks against Judge Curiel, saying and castigated the current nomination process.

Reeves said that courts “can and—and should be criticized” because Judges get it wrong, all the time. That includes me.”

“But the slander and falsehoods thrown at courts today are not those of a critic, seeking to improve the judiciary’s search for truth. They are words of an attacker , seeking to distort and twist that search toward falsehood.”

BuzzFeed first reported his remarks.

Judge Reeves is quoting directly from Trump’s tweets, although he does not specifically name him in the remarks.

A prepared copy of his remarks obtained by BuzzFeed contains detailed footnotes that reference Trump’s tweets.

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