DACA LIVES | In 5-4 Ruling, Chief Justice Roberts Writes Majority Opinion
June 18, 2020
DREAM ON DREAM ON|
The Supreme Court today blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program which shields hundreds of thousands of Dreamers from deportation. CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS wrote the majority opinion, joined by the court’s four more liberal members of the court. Roberts wrote that the administration failed to provide adequate justification for ending the program. “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,” the chief justice wrote. It’s possible PRESIDENT TRUMP will try again and offer a more detailed explanation for ending the program, but that seems unlikely to occur in the heat of a presidential campaign.
NOW YOU HAVE THE SHIVERS|
David Savage with the Los Angeles Times notes that JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH’S opinion in the landmark decision this week extending civil rights protections to LGBTQ employees “sent a shudder through the ranks of conservative activists and columnists.” The justice’s position in the case has been viewed as a betrayal, as a sign of another Republican-appointed justice who sides with liberal colleagues on key issues. “This theme of conservatives’ hopes being betrayed at the Supreme Court has a long history on the right. PRESIDENT NIXON appointed four new justices to the high court under a banner of law and order and strict construction, but one of them was JUSTICE HARRY BLACKMUN, the author of the Roe vs. Wade opinion and, in his later years, a steady liberal vote. PRESIDENTS REAGAN and GEORGE H.W. BUSH ran as antiabortion Republicans and appointed five justices to the high court. But three of them — JUSTICES SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR, ANTHONY M. KENNEDY and DAVID SOUTER — combined in 1992 to uphold Roe vs. Wade against a strong conservative drive to overturn the right to abortion.”
THE KAGAN COURT|
“Congratulations to CHIEF JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN on her big win Monday at the Supreme Court on gay and transgender rights in Bostock v. Clayton County. Ok, she isn’t the Chief, but she might as well be.” The Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal argues that even though she didn’t write the majority opinion in the case, Kagan’s views were all over Gorsuch’s majority opinion. The Ed Board notes, “In oral argument, Justice Kagan redefined ‘sex’ in Title VII to mean more than the binary choice of a man or woman. JUSTICE GORSUCH bought the argument, and in the process he usurps Congress and distorts the textualist school of jurisprudence that he claims to follow.”
The Justice Department made the official announcement yesterday that NOEL FRANCISCO will step down at the end of the term from his post as Solicitor General. Francisco was confirmed in 2017 and in the time since he has defended some of the Trump administration’s most controversial cases at the Supreme Court.
Linda Greenhouse with The New York Times opines on the Supreme Court’s LGBTQ workers’ rights decision in which justices had to define the meaning of sex. Of course, we all know which definition prevailed and Greenhouse suggests, “Monday’s decision is something to cheer, even if there prove to be holes in the web of legal protection that six justices have cast over a group of people who not very long ago were, to paraphrase the retired JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY, strangers to the law. We are all made better off by the court’s insistence that Title VII protects individuals.”
WE'RE THE FRIENDSHIP COMPANY|
On a recent podcast, West Wing star and member of the infamous “Brat Pack,” ROB LOWE shared that he is buddies with none other than Supreme Court JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS. The two met when Lowe was inducted into the Horatio Alger organization, and sometime thereafter Thomas gave Lowe advice upon his son’s admittance into law school. Lowe said, “I call this cell phone and he answers it. And you’re like, ‘Geez. Shouldn’t there be, like, a vetting process?’ And 45 minutes, he’s giving me advice on what my son should do vis-a-vis law school and clerking.” Who doesn’t love a story about an unlikely friendship?!
SCOTUS VIEWSBloomberg Opinion
“Does the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, forbidding employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, also spell the end to affirmative action? That may sound like a crazy question. But Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion, emphasizing the need to follow the ‘original public meaning’ of legal texts, gives a real boost to opponents of affirmative action. In fact, a passage in that opinion seems as if it was explicitly meant to provide that boost.”The Hill
“It turns out that being on the right side of a cynical partisan strategy can put you on the wrong side of history. Just ask Karl Rove. Before the 2004 election, as senior political adviser to President Bush, he had a problem. Republican voter turnout was looking soft, and the polls were mediocre. His answer was to fire up conservatives by muscling propositions to ban same sex marriages on the ballots in nearly a dozen states.”
OTHER NEWSThe New York Times
“Dozens of cases, if not hundreds, like Ms. Tudor’s are likely to be bolstered by the court’s landmark ruling that employers cannot fire people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. LGBTQ rights lawyers are preparing to argue that the highest jurists in the land have erased all doubt that transgender people are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex.”The Cut
“In its first major test on abortion since President Trump appointed conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is expected to render a decision soon that will signal to state lawmakers how far they can go in restricting abortion access. How the Court comes down on the case could also serve as an indicator of its willingness to dial back reproductive rights going forward.”National Law Journal
“After the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision barring employers from firing workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, a series of cases pending before the justices asks them again to confront discrimination against LGBT individuals.”