U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman on Wednesday drew a standing ovation from fellow judges with a fiery address that denounced President Donald Trump’s contempt for the independent judiciary.
The National Law Journal reports that Friedman, while delivering the annual Judge Thomas A. Flannery Lecture at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, D.C., tore into the president for launching personal attacks on judges who issued rulings that have shut down some of his administration’s policies.
“We are in unchartered territory,” he said. “We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms.”
Friedman then told the audience that Trump’s attacks are “not normal” and said that “this kind of personal attack on courts and individual judges violates all recognized democratic norms.”
The judge earned a standing ovation for his remarks and praise from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan.
“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” he said.
Included among the attendees at the event was Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general who has drawn criticism for signing off on Attorney General Bill Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.