Courtesy of Vox:
The Supreme Court voted along ideological lines Friday evening to allow a Trump administration rule restricting low-income immigrants’ ability to enter the US to take full effect. All four of the Court’s Democratic appointees dissented, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing a sharply worded dissenting opinion accusing her Court of “putting a thumb on the scale in favor of” the Trump administration.
“It is hard to say what is more troubling,” Sotomayor wrote. “That the government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.”
Sotomayor’s dissent focuses less on the question of whether the Trump administration’s public charge rule is legal, and more on what she describes as a “now-familiar pattern” in the administration’s interactions with the Supreme Court.
As Sotomayor explains in her Wolf opinion, it is very unusual for the Supreme Court to grant such relief so easily.
Because the Supreme Court is the final word on nearly all questions of federal law, it typically likes to let novel legal issues percolate in the lower courts before handing down a final command. “Stay applications force the Court to consider important statutory and constitutional questions that have not been ventilated fully in the lower courts, on abbreviated timetables and without oral argument,” Sotomayor writes in her Wolf dissent. They also “upend the normal appellate process, putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won a stay.”
And in this Supreme Court, that party is almost always the Trump administration.
Sotomayor’s opinion is a warning that the Supreme Court’s Republican majority appears to care more about bailing out the Trump administration than it does careful deliberation that ensures the law is read properly. It’s also a warning that the Supreme Court appears to be bending the rules for Trump and Trump alone. As Sotomayor writes, “the Court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others.”
If Sotomayor is correct, and I think she would be in a position to know, this would mean that Trump has now successfully subverted the executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch of government to his will.
That would leave Congress all on its own to fight against the spreading fascism overtaking our country.
And as we know, without the support of the Senate they can do little.