On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor essentially accused her conservative colleagues of carrying water for the President. My colleague, Bonchie, wrote an excellent post (here) about her most recent foray into activism.
In what appears to be another instance of a Democrat accusing Republicans of what they, themselves, are doing, Sotomayor penned a scorching dissent to the Supreme Court’s decision “to allow the Trump administration to enforce its “public charge” rule in the state of Illinois.”
(Note: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines “public charge” as “an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.”)
In her dissent, Sotomayor wrote, “It is hard to say what is more troubling: that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.”
On Monday night, Trump struck back via Twitter. He asked whether Sotomayor was trying to “shame” her colleagues into voting her way. He said “she never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a faker.”
Finally, he said, “Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters! While “elections have consequences,” I only ask for fairness, especially when it comes to decisions made by the United States Supreme Court!”
“Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump.” @IngrahamAngle @FoxNews This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to “shame” some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a “faker”. Both should recuse themselves..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2020
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Ginsburg told CNN, “He (then-candidate Trump) is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego…How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.” Ginsburg later apologized for her remarks.
This type of criticism is unusual for Supreme Court Justices. Of course, they all have opinions, but we count on them to put aside their biases and remain as apolitical as possible.
No one cares about Sotomayor’s political positions. Her job is to determine if something is lawful under the U.S. constitution. The Trump administration is entitled to enforce this law.
Sotomoyar is especially upset about the frequency with which the Trump Administration goes directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing the lower appeals courts. She writes:
Today’s decision follows a now-familiar pattern. The Government seeks emergency relief from this Court, asking it to grant a stay where two lower courts have not. The Government insists—even though review in a court of appeals is imminent—that it will suffer irreparable harm if this Court does not grant a stay. And the Court yields.
What follows a now-familiar pattern in this Administration is the frequency with which far left unelected judges have been issuing nationwide injunctions.
Bonchie explains why the Trump Administration is forced to bypass the lower courts out of necessity:
Let me help the Justice out. The reason that the conservatives on the court are hearing these cases is because there has been rampant abuse in the lower courts of injunctions. Whether it’s making them nationwide when they clearly don’t have the authority to do so, or providing explanations that don’t even begin to pass any legal standard, judges have been at war with the Trump administration for political reasons since the moment he took office.
Instead of continuing to allow it, the conservatives on the court have decided enough is enough. They are hearing these cases in an expedited manner and ruling on them based on their constitutional merits.
Last night, Carrie Severino, the president of the Judicial Crisis Network, joined Fox News’ Laura Ingraham to discuss Sotomayor’s withering dissent.
There has been an explosion of nationwide injunctions. Normally, a person sues and the judge has jurisdiction over their claim. These are people bringing a case and saying, ‘Well, I want to sue here, but I want you to have an injunction so they can’t enforce this law in the entire country.’ This is something that never happened in American history until 1963. It happened very rarely in previous administrations. Like 1.5 times per year under Reagan, Bush, Clinton. Now it’s like 14 per year. These liberal activist judges just have these knee-jerk reactions to Trump policy saying, ‘We’ve got to stop this.’
They are not applying the same laws to every single presidential administration before. Of course the Supreme Court has to step in and set the record straight.
President Trump doesn’t really expect Sotomayor and Ginsburg to recuse themselves, however, he was right to call Sotomayor out on this. It appears she has forgotten the role of a Supreme Court Justice. Chief Justice Roberts ought to remind her.