SCOTUS Grants Requests To Delay Cases On Border Wall & Asylum Policy | Re-Introducing Justice Sonia Sotomayor
February 3, 2021
LET'S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF|
The Supreme Court this morning agreed to requests from the Biden administration to delay cases involving Trump administration policies that PRESIDENT BIDEN has already taken steps to unravel. The cases involve funding for the border wall and asylum-seekers having to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed. The justices canceled arguments that had been set for later this month.
IS IT TOO LATE NOW TO SAY SORRY|
Wife of JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, GINNI THOMAS, apologized to her husband’s law clerks for her support of the January 6 rally that led to the attack of the Capitol. On a private email listserv, Ginni apologized for a rift that developed among the cohort after her pro-Trump and pro-rally messages. She wrote, “I owe you all an apology. I have likely imposed on you my lifetime passions…My passions and beliefs are likely shared with the bulk of you, but certainly not all. And sometimes the smallest matters can divide loved ones for too long. Let’s pledge to not let politics divide THIS family, and learn to speak more gently and knowingly across the divide.” Robert Barnes with The Washington Post reports, “A sampling of posts made to the group were shared with The Washington Post by a member upset with some of the pro-Trump messages written by Ginni Thomas and others in the lead-up and aftermath of the election. Thomas did not respond to requests for comment. Several former clerks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the listserv is private, verified the dispute in what is normally an affable setting meant to celebrate achievements of the clerk ‘family.'”
READY TO RUN|
Ann E. Marimow and Matt Viser with The Washington Post report, “PRESIDENT BIDEN’S top advisers have spent months building an extensive pipeline of judicial nominees to fill court vacancies throughout the country, attempting to swiftly remake portions of the judiciary and undo one of his predecessor’s most significant achievements.” After Trump left an outsized mark on the courts during his single term, Biden wants to make a mark of his own. Biden already has five circuit court openings to fill and more are expected as a wave of retirements or judges taking lighter caseloads is expected to come through. One important retirement to watch for could be that of JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER who is 82.
Noah Feldman writes in Bloomberg that the courts aren’t coming to save voting rights. A report from the Brennan Center for Justice notes legislatures across the country are considering more than 100 bills aimed at restricting voter access. Feldman suggests, “The bills represent a direct, partisan reaction to the Democrats’ success in the 2020 election, when high turnout and mail-in voting powered blue victories in closely divided states like Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania. How likely are these bills to pass, and how likely are the ones that become law to survive legal challenges? Unfortunately, I don’t have good news for liberals on either of these questions. Where partisan gerrymandering favors Republicans in state legislatures, there is little to stop these bills from passing, or voters from punishing legislators for enacting them.”
HERE SHE IS|
Now that JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG has passed, JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR is poised to take over as the “functional minority leader” of the Supreme Court. But Sotomayor has always been a firebrand on the court, even if most folks were focused on the Notorious RBG. Irin Carmon writes for NY Mag’s Intelligencer about Sotomayor’s life, her work at the court this far, her personality, and the upbringing that shaped her.
“The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a PennEast Pipeline Co. appeal that aims to jump-start a planned natural-gas line by securing key land-use rights from New Jersey. The proposed 116-mile pipeline would carry as much as 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from northern Pennsylvania to New Jersey. PennEast is a joint venture of five companies including Southern Co. and Enbridge Inc. The court said it will hear arguments in April, meaning a ruling is likely by late June. The justices acted after the Trump administration urged them to take up the case.”