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Ex-Federal Judge Blasts Judiciary And Entire Nation For Not Calling Out Trump More

Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig on Friday blasted former President Donald Trump for his repeated attacks on the nation’s judicial system, calling on leaders in both the state and federal courts — alongside all Americans — to do more about it.

“Never in American history has any person, let alone a President of the United States, leveled such threatening attacks against the federal and state courts and federal and state judicial officers of the kind the former president has leveled continually now for years,” Luttig said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“But suffice it to say, never in history has any person leveled such attacks and been met with such passivity, acquiescence, and submissiveness by the nation,” he continued.

Luttig, a Republican, was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, and he served until 2006, when he left for a higher-paid position with Boeing. He currently works for Coca-Cola.

He said in the post that it is the Supreme Court’s “responsibility” to “protect the federal courts, the federal judges, and all participants in the justice system,” adding that the same was true for the state courts.

Luttig praised U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton for going to CNN with his concerns this week. Walton, whose court is in the District of Columbia, criticized Trump in an interview Thursday. Sitting judges typically do not grant interviews to the media.

Trump’s attacks, Luttig said, amounted to a “reprehensible spectacle.”

“Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the entire nation to protect its courts and judges, its Constitution, its Rule of Law, and America’s Democracy from vicious attack, threat, undermine, and deliberate delegitimization at the hands of anyone so determined,” he concluded.

Trump has most recently been going after the daughter of the judge who is overseeing his criminal hush-money trial in New York. He has criticized other judges overseeing cases against him, various prosecutors and entire appellate districts that did not rule in his favor. During his New York state business fraud trial, Judge Arthur Engoron threatened to jail Trump if he did not stop trashing the judge’s staff.

Luttig also played a role in the House select committee hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He testified publicly before Congress in June 2022 to say that “our democracy today is on a knife’s edge.”

Read Luttig’s full comments below.

The Nation is witnessing the determined delegitimization of both its Federal and State judiciaries and the systematic dismantling of its system of justice and Rule of Law by a single man — the former President of the United States.

In the months ahead, the former president can only be expected to ramp up his unprecedented efforts to delegitimize the courts of the United States, the nation’s state courts, and America’s system of justice, through his vicious, disgraceful, and unforgivable attacks and threats on the Federal and State Judiciaries and the individual Judges of these courts.

Never in American history has any person, let alone a President of the United States, leveled such threatening attacks against the federal and state courts and federal and state judicial officers of the kind the former president has leveled continually now for years.

But suffice it to say, never in history has any person leveled such attacks and been met with such passivity, acquiescence, and submissiveness by the nation.

It is a regrettable commentary on our times that a lone federal judge, The Honorable Judge Reggie B. Walton ― because no one whose responsibility it is to do so has had the courage and the will ― would finally be left no choice but, himself, to express on national television the profound concerns of the entire Federal and State Judiciaries over Donald Trump’s contemptible attacks on the federal and state courts, the judges of these courts and their families, and the other participants in the judicial process.

It is the responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States in the first instance to protect the federal courts, the federal judges, and all participants in the justice system from the reprehensible spectacle of the former president’s inexcusable, threatening attacks, just as it is the responsibility of the respective State Supreme Courts in the first instance to protect their courts and their state judges from the same.

Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the entire nation to protect its courts and judges, its Constitution, its Rule of Law, and America’s Democracy from vicious attack, threat, undermine, and deliberate delegitimization at the hands of anyone so determined.

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