Why Is the Judicial Branch Missing From WhiteHouse.Gov? [Update: It's Back]

As soon as Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States, an expectedly thorny digital transition began. On January 20, the Trump administration swiftly removed pages about Obama’s action plans for climate change, health care, and civil rights—which makes sense, as Trump clearly has different policies on these issues. Far more curiously, however, the page that explains how the judicial branch works is now also gone.

Illustration for article titled Why Is the Judicial Branch Missing From WhiteHouse.Gov? [Update: Its Back]

Considering that the executive branch seems to be defying a court-ordered injunction of Trump’s immigration ban in a brewing constitutional crisis, the absence feels rather sinister. The website’s judicial branch page, however, has been gone since Trump took office last Friday.


When the new administration took over WhiteHouse.gov, they didn’t remove all of Obama’s copy—the executive and legislative branch pages haven’t been changed. In fact, the current copy on the Executive Branch page mentions Barack Obama, but not Trump:

President Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. He is, however, only the 43rd person ever to serve as President; President Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms, and thus is recognized as both the 22nd and the 24th President.

The page offering more resources for learning about our branches of other government also vanished in the digital transition. The page for Elections & Voting has been updated to include a picture of Trump instead of one of Obama.

While this was likely an oversight, it sure feels nefarious considering the administration’s unlawful actions. Now, more than ever, would be good an opportunity for all of us to brush up on our system of checks and balances.


Update 1/30/2017 11:30am: The judicial branch tab is now back on the White House’s website, and the URL for the page now directs here:

Illustration for article titled Why Is the Judicial Branch Missing From WhiteHouse.Gov? [Update: Its Back]

[Margarita Noriega via Twitter]

Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.

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I’m just happy it’s not being hosted on Geocities.