Mark Joseph Stern reports for Slate:
. . . .
Put simply: When some of the most despised and powerless among us ask the Supreme Court to spare their lives, the conservative justices turn a cold shoulder. When the Trump administration demands permission to implement some cruel, nativist, and potentially unlawful immigration restrictions, the conservatives bend over backward to give it everything it wants. There is nothing “fair and balanced” about the court’s double standard that favors the government over everyone else. And, as Sotomayor implies, this flagrant bias creates the disturbing impression that the Trump administration has a majority of the court in its pocket.
Read the full article at the above link.
Here’s a link to Justice Sotomayor’s full dissent in Wolf v. Cook County:
Here’s a “key quote” from Justice Sotomayor’s dissent:
These facts—all of which undermine the Government’s assertion of irreparable harm—show two things, one about the Government’s conduct and one about this Court’s own. First, the Government has come to treat “th[e] exceptional mechanism” of stay relief “as a new normal.” Barr v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, 588 U. S. ___, ___ (2019) (SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting from grant of stay) (slip op., at 5). Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming lim- ited Court resources in each. And with each successive ap- plication, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow. Indeed, its behavior relating to the public-charge
6 WOLF v. COOK COUNTY SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting
rule in particular shows how much its own definition of ir- reparable harm has shifted. Having first sought a stay in the New York cases based, in large part, on the purported harm created by a nationwide injunction, it now disclaims that rationale and insists that the harm is its temporary inability to enforce its goals in one State.
Second, this Court is partly to blame for the breakdown in the appellate process. That is because the Court—in this case, the New York cases, and many others—has been all too quick to grant the Government’s “reflexiv[e]” requests. Ibid. But make no mistake: Such a shift in the Court’s own behavior comes at a cost.
Stay applications force the Court to consider important statutory and constitutional questions that have not been ventilated fully in the lower courts, on abbreviated timeta- bles and without oral argument. They upend the normal appellate process, putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won a stay. (Here, the Government touts that in granting a stay in the New York cases, this Court “necessarily concluded that if the court of appeals were to uphold the preliminary injunctio[n], the Court likely would grant a petition for a writ of certiorari” and that “there was a fair prospect the Court would rule in favor of the govern- ment.” Application 3.) They demand extensive time and resources when the Court’s intervention may well be unnec- essary—particularly when, as here, a court of appeals is poised to decide the issue for itself.
Perhaps most troublingly, the Court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others. This Court often permits executions—where the risk of ir- reparable harm is the loss of life—to proceed, justifying many of those decisions on purported failures “to raise any potentially meritorious claims in a timely manner.” Mur- phy v. Collier, 587 U. S. ___, ___ (2019) (second statement of KAVANAUGH, J.) (slip op., at 4); see also id., at ___ (ALITO, J., joined by THOMAS and GORSUCH, JJ., dissenting from grant of stay) (slip op., at 6) (“When courts do not have ad- equate time to consider a claim, the decisionmaking process may be compromised”); cf. Dunn v. Ray, 586 U. S. ___ (2019) (overturning the grant of a stay of execution). Yet the Court’s concerns over quick decisions wither when prodded by the Government in far less compelling circumstances— where the Government itself chose to wait to seek relief, and where its claimed harm is continuation of a 20-year status quo in one State. I fear that this disparity in treatment erodes the fair and balanced decision making process that this Court must strive to protect.
I respectfully dissent.
Of course, the regime’s use of manufactured and clearly bogus “national emergencies” or fake appeals to “national security” is a perversion of both fact and law, as well as a mocking of Constitutional separation of powers. This obscenely transparent legal ruse essentially was invited by the Roberts and his GOP brethren. Roberts somewhat disingenuously claims to be a “student of history.” But, whether he takes responsibility for it or not, he has basically invited Trump & Miller to start a new “Reichstag Fire” almost every week with migrants, asylum seekers, Latinos, and the less affluent as the “designated usual suspects.”
Powerful as her dissent is, Justice Sotomayor actually understates the case against her GOP colleagues. Every racist, White Nationalist, nativist, and/or authoritarian movement in American history has been enabled, advanced, and protected by morally corrupt and intellectually dishonest jurists who have intentionally provided “legal cover” for those official misdeeds. How about “states rights,” “separate but equal,” “plenary power,” and a host of other now discredited legal doctrines used to justify everything from slavery to denying voting, and other Constitutional rights including life itself to African Americans? They were all used to “cover” for actions that might more properly have been considered “crimes against humanity.”
Who knows what legal blather Roberts and his four fellow rightist toadies will come up with to further promote the destruction of humanity and the disintegration of American democracy at the hands of Trump, Miller, Barr, Putin, and the rest of the gang?
But, courageous “outings” like those by Justice Sotomayor will help insure that history will be able to trace the bloody path of needless deaths, ruined lives, wasted human potential, official hate mongering, and unspeakable human misery they are unleashing directly to their doors and hold them accountable in a way that our current system has disgracefully failed to do.
Trump was right about at least one thing: There are indeed “GOP Justices” on the Supremes wholly owned by him and his party. They consistently put GOP rightist ideology and and authoritarianism above the Constitution, human rights, the rule of law, intellectual honesty, and simple human decency. Other than that, they’re a “great bunch of guys!”
Due Process Forever; Complicit Courts Never!