During a campaign rally Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reads a statement made by Michelle Fields, on March 29, 2016 in Janesville, Wis.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty

For the third time, a court uses Trump’s own words against him

The Miranda warning read to criminal suspects is familiar to anyone who’s watched police dramas on television: people have the right to remain silent, and they should know anything they say may be used against them in court.

Donald Trump should probably be aware of this, too, not because he’s been charged with a crime – at least not yet – but because the president’s words keep coming back to haunt him in court.

The Washington Post highlighted the latest example, which came this week from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Shortly after the bulk of the [Affordable Care Act] went into effect in 2014, House Republicans sued the Obama administration to stop [cost-sharing reduction] payments, which are central to upholding the law and the health of the insurance markets that participate. Now, Democratic attorneys general will sue the Trump administration to keep the federal subsidies.

Trump has openly considered whether to just stop paying those subsidies, which could put him on tricky constitutional and political ground. And health policy experts predict that stopping the payments would cripple the health insurance market and end Obamacare.

Democratic attorneys general from several states argued they should be able to intervene in the litigation before the Trump administration derails the case altogether. The appellate court agreed, in part because the states would directly suffer if the White House tried to sabotage the system, and in part because of “accumulating public statements by high-level officials.”

As Nicholas Bagley put it, “In other words, President Trump’s loose lips have once again created problems for his lawyers.”

If it seems like this keeps happening, it’s because this keeps happening.

Trump’s Muslim ban, for example, struggled repeatedly in courts because of the president’s own political rhetoric. The president’s lawyers ran into the same problem in April trying to defend Trump’s executive order on so-called “sanctuary cities.”

It’s a reminder that for all of Trump’s many troubles, he remains his own worst enemy.

Donald Trump and Federal Courts

For the third time, a court uses Trump's own words against him