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Trump Accuses Sotomayor of Using ‘Shame’ to Turn Conservative Justices against His Administration

President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., February 12, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

President Trump defended the critical tweets he directed at Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor during a press conference in India Tuesday, calling her dissent in the Court’s public-charge ruling “so inappropriate.”

Sotomayor accused the Supreme Court’s conservative majority of “putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won” following a 5-4 ruling which allowed the Trump administration to implement its “public charge” rule, which limits access to legal status for immigrants who are expected to rely on public benefits.

“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases,” Sotomayor wrote Friday. “It is hard to say what is more troubling,” she said, pointing to the case at hand, “that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.”

The president took to Twitter late Monday night to criticize the comments, and suggested Sotomayor should recuse herself “on all Trump, or Trump related, matters.”

“I only ask for fairness, especially when it comes to decisions made by the United States Supreme Court!” Trump tweeted.

Trump elaborated on the criticism during the press conference in India Tuesday, saying “virtually everybody” agrees that Sotomayor was out of line.

“I just thought it was so inappropriate, such a terrible statement for a Supreme Court justice,” he said. “She’s trying to shame people with perhaps a different view into voting her way, and that’s so inappropriate . . . I’ve seen papers on it — people cannot believe that she said it.”

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