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Professor Glenn Smith Comments on Recent Wave of Illegitimate Criticism of Federal Judges in LA Times Op-Ed

Professor Glenn C. Smith

In response to "crass delegitimization" of federal judges by the Trump administration, California Western School of Law Professor Glenn C. Smith has penned an opinion article, published today in the Los Angeles Times.

Smith references claims of racial and political bias—even lack of intelligence—hurled at judges by then-candidate and now-President Donald Trump, as well as last week's display of disrespect when Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions questioned the authority of a Hawaii-based U.S. district judge's restraining order on the administration's second attempt to impose a travel ban.

In the op-ed, Professor Smith, who teaches constitutional law as well as administrative and legislative law at California Western, does not shy away from conceding that federal judges should be subject to legitimate scrutiny. However, he points out that that politicians unfairly traverse into "bullying" territory when their attacks cannot legally be met with responses from the judiciary who are bound by traditional and ethical canons meant to uphold impartiality.

Smith articulates the importance of preserving judicial independence, wherein our third branch of government has the ability to check and balance non-judicial officials. According to him, every president, attorney general, and member of Congress has an obligation to reinforce, not undermine, respect for the core constitutional aspiration of 'equal justice under law' upheld by an independent judiciary.

"It is vital that our civic discourse not assume, or become resigned to, the notion that federal judges are just politicians who wear black robes," Smith asserts.

Read Smith's full article on