Says one of the supposedly witty tweeters reacting to Trump's "SEE YOU IN COURT...!" tweet.
I say "supposedly" because I'm seeing these reactions laid out at The Hill — another one of these MSM reports of what's happening in social media — as if Trump's really getting slammed brilliantly, but I don't think the responses are very good.
Another one is: "oh no, not court —judges." And: "are u.. are u gonna sue the judicial branch."
Maybe I'm too much of a law professor to find that funny. So here's my possibly plodding reaction to the reactions:
1. There is no antecedent for the "you" in "SEE YOU IN COURT." The "you" isn't necessarily the judges, who, of course, are on their home court in court. It could be the opposing party (the state of Washington), or it could be America.
2. If it's America, what he's saying is: If you are looking to me to hear what I think of what's been going on in this lawsuit, I'm not going to say that now. It's going to be in the legal briefs and arguments, presented by lawyers in court. So, come on, everyone, watch the court. That's where you'll be seeing what happens.
3. Trump is actually backing away from attacking the court. He didn't just take a shot like "so-called judge." He indicated that he's going to litigate the case according to the normal process. That's not an effort to bully or intimidate or denigrate the courts.* It shows an intent to submit to the courts and implies confidence in his ability to win on the law. (And he should show that confidence! He's got great arguments on his side. Politicizing the matter makes his case look weak and may needlessly tempt courts to push back.)
4. "See you in court" is an old comic expression. Anti-Trumpers tend to assume Trump is crazed and angry, but much of the time he's being loose and funny. I figured out how to exclude Trump from my Google search of the phrase and I found plenty of evidence for the proposition that "See you in court" is funny. Example:
* The phrase "See you in court" does have a bullying connotation, but not when there's an ongoing lawsuit, especially when you are not the instigator of the litigation. The catchphrase exists to be used in a dispute that is not yet the subject of a lawsuit, where you are cutting off negotiations with a threat to file a lawsuit. So the usual context for the expression is missing here.
AND: If the tweeters want to laugh at the idea that Trump is at a disadvantage confronting judges in court, because judges wield the power in court, they need to step back and take a wider view. The President has the power to appoint judges, and his power to appoint judges who are different from the judges who are ruling against him is augmented by the public's perception that the judges are "activists" exceeding their proper power. It's not even obvious that Trump wants to win this particular lawsuit. He may get more power and more of what he wants by losing it. Trump antagonists are often caught laughing idiotically while he's playing a multilevel game and is several moves ahead.