Arnold Ahlert / March 2, 2020

Ginsburg and Sotomayor Exude Supreme Sanctimony

The two justices embody what’s wrong with so many members of the judiciary.

“I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president.” —Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, July 9, 2016

“He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.” —Ginsburg again, July 11, 2016

“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases. It is hard to say what is more troubling, that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.” —Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, criticizing the Court’s 5-4 majority for upholding the “public charge” rule in Wolf v. Cook County

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” —Chief Justice John Roberts, Nov. 21, 2018, rebutting the president’s assertion that a lower-court ruling against administration immigration policy was made by an “Obama judge”

Of the many things Americans are constitutionally entitled to regarding the administration of justice, judicial impartiality goes to the top of the list. And while Ginsburg subsequently expressed “regret” for her “ill-advised comments,” it remains impossible to believe that her well-publicized animus — animus for which even The New York Times and The Washington Post took her to task — has not influenced her decision-making with regard to the Trump administration’s agenda.

As for Sotomayor? Her criticism of SCOTUS’s conservative wing reeks of hypocrisy. Let’s begin with why the Trump administration has sought stays in an “unprecedented number of cases.” No one explained that better than U.S. Attorney General William Barr. “Since President Trump took office, federal district courts have issued 37 nationwide injunctions against the executive branch,” he stated in a speech at the American Law Institute on May 21, 2019. “That’s more than one a month. By comparison, during President [Barack] Obama’s first two years, district courts issued two nationwide injunctions against the executive branch, both of which were vacated by the Ninth Circuit. And according to the [Justice] Department’s best estimates, courts issued only 27 nationwide injunctions­ in all of the 20th century.”

Thus, activist judges in local jurisdictions have taken it upon themselves to thwart the president’s agenda nationwide, with rulings against an asylum ban, the public charge rule, giving states and counties the option to accept or refuse refugees, building a wall on our southern border, defunding sanctuary cities, or implementing a travel ban against countries with high rates of terrorism.

This activism is purposeful, and a column by the Senate Republican Policy Committee explains how: “A nationwide injunction issued by a district court can be appealed to a circuit court and then the Supreme Court, but while it goes through the process it can interrupt or even dictate federal policy for months or years.”

Thwarting Trump administration policy for months or years is a transparent effort to negate the 2016 election — the one Trump won, largely by promising to implement the very same policies nationwide injunctions are seeking to negate.

Columnist Daniel Horowitz illuminates the consequences. “If we are going to agree as a society that the judiciary now controls every political issue,” he writes, “including issues fundamental to our sovereignty, foreign policy, and national security, that essentially means that foreign invaders and smugglers and cartels control our destiny, regardless of who we elect as president or to Congress. Why? Because of California judges.”

For millions of Americans, the continual usurpation of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government by the judicial branch certainly sounds like “one emergency after another.” Thus the idea that a Supreme Court justice would infer that affirming the president’s constitutional powers — in a timely manner, no less — evinces judicial prejudice by her colleagues is absurd.

Moreover, genuine prejudice was demonstrated by Sotomayor herself in a speech given at the University of California School of Law at Berkeley in 2001. “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” she asserted.

Not quite. One would hope all judges sitting on the highest court in the nation would reach conclusions based solely on the Constitution, irrespective of their sex, ethnic makeup, or irrelevant life experiences.

Regardless, one thing is certain: Roberts’s assertion there are no ideologically influenced justices is absurd. Moreover, Roberts himself made one of the more political decisions of modern times when he ultimately changed his mind and decided ObamaCare’s individual mandate constituted a tax rather than an unconstitutional effort forcing people to buy a product.

Roberts’s flip-flop was hailed by leftists, but the irony revealed by columnist Ari Melber regarding why is impossible to ignore. He writes, “Justice Roberts has twice led a coalition to reject conservatives’ attempts to achieve at the court what they failed to do at the ballot box.”

In 2016, conservatives not only prevailed at the ballot box, they elected a president who changed the ideological makeup of SCOTUS to the point where Democrat presidential candidates have promised to pack the court with additional justices if they prevail in 2020. Justices who view the Constitution as a “living” document subject to judicial capriciousness, aimed at validating an agenda Democrats have failed to win at the ballot box.

“Justice Sotomayor is complaining that the Supreme Court has now enjoined multiple left-wing judges at the trial court level for blocking the president’s entire regulatory reform agenda,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) states. “What’s unprecedented is not what the Supreme Court is doing, it’s what all of these resistance judges are doing around the country when the president is passing regulations and they are trying to stop them nationwide from going into effect. That’s a practice that has to stop. I’m glad the Supreme Court has been stopping it on an ad hoc basis. They need to stop it permanently.”

Indeed. Moreover, as Trump has rightly suggested, both Ginsburg and Sotomayor should recuse themselves from cases involving his administration.

Why? Is there the slightest doubt Democrats and their media allies would have demanded exactly that if any justice publicly criticized Barack Obama or the ideology of his Court picks? The same Obama who also criticized SCOTUS during his 2010 State of the Union speech, insisting they reached the “wrong decision” in Citizens United v. FEC — and inaccurately stated that it allowed foreign corporations to make massive political contributions?

Where was Sotomayor then?

Last Friday, a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the Trump administration’s capacity to keep asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims are being processed. The same panel also ruled Border Patrol agents must process claims for those who snuck into America illegally.

In short, these judges reopened the border during a reportedly serious viral outbreak, while their leftist allies hammer the Trump administration for its unpreparedness regarding that same outbreak.

Does it get more activist — or absurd — than that?

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