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Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee breaks from him over ‘demoralising’ attacks on judges after president called them ‘disgraceful’

Source: The Telegraph

By Harriet Alexander and David Lawler

  • Senate to vote on confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
  • Supreme Court nominee breaks from Trump over ‘disheartening’ attacks on judges
  •  Trump lashes out at  ‘disgraceful’ court hearings over travel ban
  • No decision on travel ban today, court says
  • Sean Spicer defends Trump’s tweeting in support of his daughter’s business
  • Spicer says arguing success of Yemen raid is disservice to fallen soldier. 
  • Anger in Senate as Elizabeth Warren blocked from reading letter by MLK’s widow

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has called the president’s attacks on the judiciary “disheartening” after Mr Trump went after the appeals court considering his travel ban.

Neil Gorsuch has only just been nominated for the court, but defended the federal judges that have become targets of Mr Trump’s ire.

Meanwhile Sean Spicer, Mr Trump’s spokesman, has defended the president’s use of his official twitter account to support his daughter Ivanka’s clothing line, in a wide-ranging press conference to defend the two-week-old presidency.

He was also asked repeatedly about the president’s response to the travel ban hearing, after Mr Trump this morning angrily denounced the three judges hearing his travel ban appeal – describing the process as “disgraceful” and saying it was a “sad day” for the United States.

Addressing a conference of police chiefs, Mr Trump told the crowd he had listened to Tuesday’s hearing with dismay.

“I won’t say the court was biased. But so political,” he said.

Mr Trump attempted to litigate the case himself, reading at length from a document and commenting on how it proved the legal foundations of his travel ban – which was halted on Friday.

In brief | What is the separation of powers?

The term “separation of powers” was first used by an 18th Century French social and political philosopher, Charles-Louis de Secondat, whose work inspired the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the US constitution.

Under his model, the political authority of the state is divided into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial powers. He believed that these three institutions must be separate and acting independently, to stop any one branch from accumulating too much authority and trampling over liberty.

The National Conference of State Legislatures describes the three branches thus:

  • The legislative branch is responsible for enacting the laws of the state and appropriating the money necessary to operate the government.
  • The executive branch is responsible for implementing and administering the public policy enacted and funded by the legislative branch.
  • The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the constitution and laws and applying their interpretations to controversies brought before it.

Mr Trump went on: “I listened to lawyers on both sides last night, they were talking about things that had nothing to do with it.

“It’s so sad when you read something so perfectly written and so clear to anybody. I watched last night in amazement and I heard things I couldn’t believe.

“I don’t ever want to call a court biased so I won’t call it biased, and we haven’t had a decision yet, but courts seem to be so political. “But it would be so great for our system if they could read something and do what’s right.”

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