Well, it is not the new citizens who do not like Trump who now leave the country, but it is judge Primomo who has abruptly left citizenship ceremonies - and is leaving the judgeship as well.
Judge Primomo reportedly turned in a retirement notice, effective September 2017, the next day after his "unusual" lecture to the new citizens.
The judiciary is supposed to be independent and free from influence.
Yet, what happened to Judge Primomo is a direct effect of the outrage in the media and social media coming from his statements.
Is it an encroachment on judicial independence?
I don't think so.
After all, the judiciary has given itself a gift of absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench, and the U.S. Congress gave federal judges a gift of being free from discipline for whatever they do on the bench, leaving to victims of judicial misconduct only one remedy - appeal.
Yet, federal appeals in civil rights cases turned into rubber-stamping of what the misbehaving judges in the courts below say - through non-precedential summary opinions, which scholars claim are unconstitutional, without proper review of issues involved, see just 2 footnotes from the law review I just interlinked quoting Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit describing how judges, in their "discretion", decide cases through summary opinions - and nearly 100% of civil rights cases are decided this way by federal appellate courts:
So, there is absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench - and the victim of judicial misconduct is barred from suing a judge.
And, there is a Judicial Misconduct and Disability Act, 28 U.S.C. 352, under which the absolute majority of complaints against federal judges - complaints about misconduct on the bench, bias, ex parte communications and fixing court cases - are rejected for "lack of jurisdiction", because the U.S. Congress, in its infinite wisdom (lobbied, no doubt, by the judiciary) decided that the only remedy a victim of judicial misconduct in office can have is to appeal.
And, there are appellate courts that, as a matter of discretion, decide (or, rather, reject) issues of judicial misconduct through summary opinions where
- "facts need not be recited in detail because the parties to the dispute ... already know them" (why would then courts need to recite details of facts in any cases at all - including in the U.S. Supreme Court opinions?);
- it is not important "to be terribly precise in
- phrasing the legal standard announced"; or in
- "providing the rationale for the decision"
- it is not important for the judge to ponder precedential effect of the decision, "how the disposition will be applied and interpreted in future cases presenting slightly different facts and consideration",
- "[t]he time - often a huge amount of time - that judges spend calibrating and polishing opinions need not be spent in cases decided by an unpublished disposition that is intended for the parties alone" - and that applies to the now published, but still non-precedential summary orders, too.
- history, and
- reasoning of the cases do not even have to be stated.
With no remedy at law available for victims of judicial misconduct in federal courts, the only way of making the federal judicial misconduct known and trying to obtain some remedy remains exposure of such misconduct in the mainstream media (if it is brave enough to cover such an "sensitive" topic), or/and in the social media.
And, more and more we see judicial discipline imposed because news of such misconduct leaked first into social media, and then picked up by the timid mainstream media.
In this case, this was a court ceremony, but a citizenship ceremony.
So, those participating in the ceremony were:
- barred by judicial immunity from suing Judge Primomo;
- barred by Judicial Misconduct and Disability Act from complaining about judge Primomo's misconduct in office; and
- barred from appealing - because they were actually granted citizenship by judge Primomo in a court ceremony.
Their only remedy was making Judge Primomo's misconduct public.
They did - and Judge Primomo is going to be removed from the bench, not immediately, but within less than year at least.
So, victims of judicial misconduct should continue exposing that misconduct in the media.
The more we do that, the more changes we have hope of bringing about.