CBA Condemns Former President Trump's Personal Attacks Against Judicial Officials

Written Friday, April 5, 2024

The CBA condemns former President Donald Trump’s continued and recently heightened campaign of unfounded and dangerous accusations and personal attacks directed towards members of the judiciary, their staff, prosecutors, and their families. Mr. Trump’s statements labeled the judges and prosecutors handling his cases as “deranged,” “evil,” “crooked,” and “sick.” His social media posts identified by name and photograph a family member of one of the judges overseeing one of the cases currently pending against him. This dangerous rhetoric is intended or at least carries with it an unacceptable risk of both inciting violence and intimidating those public servants who are the backbone of our nation’s judicial branch.

Words matter, especially when they come from leaders whose conduct others will replicate, or worse, take to the next level. Here in Connecticut, we have witnessed similar vitriol and behavior from people who have posted online judges’ home addresses, photos, and the make and model of their cars, while also referencing ammunition and specific models of firearms and making unfounded claims about bias and coercion. Our judges have been stalked and harassed at work and at home. In New Jersey, a litigant who had made threatening internet posts against a federal judge showed up at her house with a gun, fatally shooting her son and wounding her husband. Words matter. Words have consequences.

Judges should not be required to issue orders barring litigants from engaging in reckless and malicious behavior designed to intimidate or threaten those involved in the judicial system, including court staff, their families, witnesses, and potential jurors. Political leaders who purport to believe in the Constitution should never place judges in that position through their own behavior. That behavior should never be the norm. 

The CBA has been committed to supporting our state and federal legal systems and the rule of law since 1875. We cannot, and will not, remain silent. We oppose and condemn efforts undertaken by any political leader that seeks to undermine the independent operation of our judiciary and the public’s trust in the legal system because of personal animus.