Justices Affiliate With Political Parties And Ideological Groups…What Does That Say About The Court’s Legitimacy?
February 3, 2020
CLOSING MORE DOORS|
On Friday, PRESIDENT TRUMP announced an expanded version of his travel ban that targets prospective immigrants from six countries — four are African nations and three have Muslim-majority populations. His original travel ban barred immigrants and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. It was revised amid court challenges and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018.
For Bloomberg Law, Gabe Roth opines on the political affiliations of justices — something his team at Fix the Court looked into to see where and if any of them registered with a party. Roth argues, “It’s fine for the nine to have an opinion on Wegman’s vs. Trader Joe’s or pepperoni vs. pineapple, but one would hope that the arbiters of the most critical issues facing our nation wouldn’t be choosing ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat’ on their voter registrations. Even if the public has a sense of what liberal JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG or PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP-appointed JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH may think about a certain topic, registering as a partisan, as each has, is a discrete choice that ascribes political motivations onto a purportedly apolitical body. At a time when justices’ associations are coming under greater scrutiny, they should do more to show that they’re engaged in something different from politicians. Renouncing party affiliation would be one way to do that.”
MARK YO CALENDARS|
John Kruzel with The Hill reports the Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for March 31 in the landmark fight over PRESIDENT TRUMP’S financial records. Justices will hear a dispute that involves challenges from the House and from New York state prosecutors separately trying to obtain the president’s tax returns and financial records. Kruzel notes, “A blockbuster ruling on the extent of presidential immunity in the face of congressional oversight and state prosecutorial power is expected by late June, just months ahead of Election Day.”
On Friday, at a Federalist Society convention at Disney World, JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS barked back to a proposed ethics rule that would discourage federal judges from belonging to the conservative Federalist Society and its liberal counterpart, the American Constitution Society. Jess Bravin with The Wall Street Journal reports on the potential new rule put forward by the federal judiciary’s policy-making body, the Judicial Conference of the U.S.
GET OVER IT? YEAH RIGHT|
“Among the many strange and worrying truths about American elections, one has a tendency to get lost: The path to the presidency can run not just through battleground states but also through the Supreme Court.” That’s Richard L. Hasen writing in The Atlantic that SCOTUS may have lost the legitimacy it would need to resolve a disputed election. Hasen suggests, “One of the key features of a functioning democracy is that it is capable of conducting fair elections, with fair means for resolving election disputes. It is essential for such a democracy that losers accept election results as legitimate, vowing to fight harder the next time for political power. With gaping polarization, not just in society but on the Supreme Court, it becomes difficult to imagine that liberals could simply ‘get over it’ if they were once again on the losing side of a 5–4 decision choosing another Republican president following an election meltdown. Things could get very ugly very quickly.”
SCOTUS VIEWSThe New York Times
“Citizens United is bad law. Limits on corporate political spending are a necessary and legitimate check on the economic power the government grants by letting businesses incorporate. But there is little prospect the court will reverse the decision in the foreseeable future, and proponents of a constitutional amendment have a very long road to travel.”The Wall Street Journal
“The sesquicentennial of the 15th Amendment—ratified Feb. 3, 1870—provides a reminder of the importance of adhering to the Constitution’s original meaning. The amendment provides: ‘The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.’ It was the last of the three Reconstruction amendments, and after a promising start, including the election or appointment of some 2,000 black public officials, it was disregarded until the mid-20th century.”