Another eyebrow-raising change to the White House website under President Trump: it does not list nor provide details of the judiciary’s role in government the U.S. — naming only the Executive and Legislative branches, both of which are controlled by Republicans.
A page detailing the role of the judicial branch could be found on the website during President Obama‘s tenure. President George W Bush also had a (rather shorter) explainer. As did President Clinton, the first president to create a White House website all the way back in 1994.
The Trump administration apparently does not — at least, for now — believe the role of judges in the U.S.’ democracy merits a mention online.
The omission was spotted earlier by The Hill, which believes the page was removed the day after Trump’s inauguration, when a raft of other deletions were carried out.
Trying to manually access the following URL — https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/judicial-branch — results in a generic holding page graphic with a note reads: “Thanks for your interest in this subject”, and: “Stay tuned as we continue to update whitehouse.gov”. So it’s possible the page will be reinstated in future.
We’ve reached out to the Trump administration to ask for clarity about its intentions, and will update this post with any response.
Over the weekend the judiciary dealt a blow to the president after he had used an Executive Order to place a temporary ban on travel to the U.S. from several majority Muslim countries. A national stay was quickly granted against the order after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a legal challenge — illustrating how significant a check and balance the judiciary is in a functioning democracy.
Tweeting earlier today, Trump said he will announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow — two days earlier than he had previously slated for the appointment.
A generous interpretation of the missing Judicial Branch page is that the administration is holding off in order to include the president’s pick for the Supreme Court on the page.
Less generous interpretations for the removal of a link to the only independent branch of government are available.
Also still missing from the White House website: any mention of climate change, LGBT rights, Spanish, and the Statistical Policy Office, among other omissions…