High powered attorney and counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway shut down President Trump for using a statistic out of context to make the assertion that the reversal rate of cases handled by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is indicative of it being a “complete and total disaster” on Thursday, November 22.
As millions of citizens enjoyed a day off of work in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the president remained on the job so far as his role as a communicator goes. Considering the nation was remembering the historical convergence of European settlers with American natives, he selected the occasion to ironically focus much of his messaging on immigration policy. The Huffington Post points out that in hand with pushing for tighter security, Trump took several shots at the Ninth Circuit for blocking his orders regarding the U.S.-Mexico border.
After bemoaning the Ninth Circuit as a “thorn in our side” during a teleconference with military service members, President Trump doubled down by telling reporters from Fox News and other media outlets that his job is being made difficult by judges who legislate from the bench. He more specifically chided U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tiger for recently rejecting his attempt at denying undocumented migrants the ability to apply for asylum at the border.
Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in the Country, 79%, & is used to get an almost guaranteed result. Judges must not Legislate Security…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2018
— Mahesh Narayanan (@heshnarayanan) November 23, 2018
The number of Ninth Circuit cases reviewed and reversed was high, but the Ninth Circuit is by far largest federal circuit by number of judges and size of docket.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) November 22, 2018
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago conference attacks were preceded by an early morning tweet in which he doubled back to reinforce his disfavor for the appeals court by underscoring that 79 percent of its rulings have been overturned. According to Conway, that much may be true, but to infer that the numbers suggest anything other than that the court’s intention is to consider cases that may have been wrongly decided – would be a stretch.
“To put the point more simply, the Supreme Court doesn’t usually take cases to affirm them, which is why the statistic the President is citing is misleading,” Daily Mail quotes Conway as having written after he posted a circuit scorecard chart that cites the percentage of rulings a list of courts within the circuit has affirmed side by side with the percentages of rulings each has reversed.
In addition, Conway would argue that the numbers aren’t as disproportionate as they may seem when one considers that last year 74 percent of all nationwide rulings were overturned by the Supreme Court – and those from the Ninth Circuit would naturally be higher because it is “by far the largest federal circuit by number of judges and size of docket.”