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The Latest: No holiday break for Trump’s court criticism

November 22, 2018

President Donald Trump gestures as he walks to Marine One after speaking to media at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Palm Beach International Airport, in West Palm Beach, Fla., and on to and onto Mar-a-Lago. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and President Donald Trump (all times local):

8:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump has begun his Thanksgiving Day by resuming his public dispute with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts over the independence of the American judiciary.

Trump started the back-and-forth this week with remarks critical of a judge who was appointed by President Barack Obama and who rejected Trump’s migrant asylum policy. Roberts responded Wednesday in a statement by saying there are no “Obama judges or Trump judges” but instead “an extraordinary group of dedicated judges.”

Trump’s holiday criticism of the judicial branch of government takes aim at California’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which long has had a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents, with the current breakdown 16-7.

Trump tweets that Roberts “can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster.”

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12:50 a.m.

The chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, has told President Donald Trump that there are no “Obama judges or Trump judges,” but instead what Roberts calls “an extraordinary group of dedicated judges.”

To Trump, there are indeed “Obama judges” as he originally asserted in remarks critical of a federal judge who rejected his migrant asylum policy.

The back-and-forth represents an extraordinary public dispute over judicial independence.

It’s highly unusual for a president to single out judges for personal criticism. But it’s unprecedented in modern history for a chief justice to challenge a president’s comments.

Roberts and several of his Supreme Court colleagues have rebutted perceptions of the court as a political institution divided between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats.

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