Feb 5, 2017

"So-called judge"

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."

Go deeper

Congress' $250 billion PPP injection could come too late for some businesses

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before the Paycheck Protection Program formally launched last Friday, we knew two things: The rollout would be rocky, and the initial $250 billion wouldn't be enough for America's small businesses.

The state of play: Banks and government officials have been working to smooth out the process, and on Thursday the Senate will vote to pump another $250 billion into the program.

Fauci: Social distancing could reduce coronavirus death toll to 60,000

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC's "Today" on Thursday that he's hopeful that social-distancing measures in place across the U.S. will reduce the total number of coronavirus deaths.

Why it matters: Fauci said that while early models projected between 100,000 and 200,000 U.S. deaths from the pandemic, he now believes that number could come down to 60,000 — but he emphasized the importance of keeping social distancing in place to ensure that trend holds.

Go deeperArrow20 mins ago - Health

OPEC+ and G20 energy meetings mark zero hour for oil diplomacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The next two days will be pivotal for determining whether large oil-producing countries can partially stabilize an industry reeling from very low prices and the historic, coronavirus-fueled collapse in demand.

Driving the news: The OPEC+ group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia begin meeting remotely later Thursday morning to discuss production cuts, to be followed by a virtual Friday meeting among G20 energy ministers that includes the U.S.