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This still image taken from United States Courts shows Judge James Robart listening to a case at Seattle Courthouse on March 12, 2013. (United States Courts via AP)

With his tweet attacking the "opinion of this so-called judge," Trump may have complicated efforts by his lawyers to defend the travel restrictions. University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman told AP: "Either they have to defend the statements that Judge Robart is a 'so-called judge,' which you can't do, or they have to distance themselves from the president, who is their boss."

The #1 trending article on Apple News last night was a CNN opinion piece,"Trump's most bone-chilling tweet," arguing he was "apparently attempting to delegitimize our federal judiciary."

Profiles of the judge make the swipe look misplaced. Seattle Times front-pager: "Trump's 'so-called judge' is highly regarded Republican appointee" ... AP: "Seattle judge derided by Trump known as conservative jurist" ... N.Y. Times, "'So-Called' Judge Criticized by Trump Is Known as a Mainstream Republican."

Just the facts on U.S. District Judge James Robart, 69:

  • Graduate of Georgetown Law.
  • Nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003.
  • Confirmed 99-0 by Senate in 2004.
  • Known for conservative legal views.
  • Record of helping disadvantaged children that includes fostering six of them; represented refugees from Southeast Asia.
  • "Last year, Robart declared 'black lives matter' during a federal court hearing, saying he would not allow the Seattle police union to hold the city 'hostage' by linking demands for higher wages to constitutional policing."
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Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia structures in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden's big Saudi reset

Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman this evening ahead of the release of a CIA report expected to implicate the king's son, and the kingdom's de facto ruler, in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: In one month, Biden has ended support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, frozen a large arms deal and snubbed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by declining to speak with him directly.