And it’s not just the courts. Even the civil servants most likely to agree with Trump aren’t doing what he says.

Trump tells border agents to ignore the law in order to block asylum seekers from legally entering the United States. Unsurprisingly, those same border agents were told by their bosses to ignore the president and follow the law, lest they themselves get arrested.

This too was predictable in a system with a strong, independent judiciary, no matter the partisan leanings of the judges. Why? Because no matter how much those judges share some of Trump’s concerns, their won self-interest is much more directed towards protecting the rule of law. And yeah, when the president starts telling people to ignore judges and their rulings, nothing is going to matter more to those judges than defending the rule of law. And yeah, the men and women who serve in the border patrol are smart enough to figure that out, no matter what anyone else might say.

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