Tag Archives: Sonia Sotomayor

SCOTUS infected by animus, too?

What a revoltin’ development this is turning out to be. The U.S. Supreme Court’s two wings — the liberals and the conservatives — are at each other’s throats in the same way libs and cons are fighting in Congress and with the White House.

What’s more, we hear now that one of the court’s conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch, refuses to don a mask during court members’ meetings, despite the request issued by Chief Justice John Roberts, who wants to show respect for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who refuses to attend the hearings because of her diabetes.

You see, Sotomayor’s medical condition makes her susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. That doesn’t seem to bother Gorsuch.

Oh, then there’s this: Gorsuch is among the court’s conservative members; Sotomayor is one of the court liberals.

This is astonishing. What kind of pompous ass would behave in the manner that Gorsuch is behaving by refusing to mask up to help keep the virus away from one of his colleagues? Furthermore, why cannot the chief justice issue an order to all the justices to mask up in order for them to attend the weekly court conferences?

Neil Gorsuch defied a request from Chief Justice John Roberts to wear a mask out of respect for Sonia Sotomayor, a report says (msn.com)

We’re still in the middle of a killer pandemic, man! It is not an unreasonable thing for Chief Justice Roberts to insist that his fellow justices observe the protocols established by medical professionals to reduce the infection risk.

As for the animosity, media reports indicate that the court’s two wings are getting increasingly testy with each other as they grapple over how to decide critical court cases. With the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision hanging in the balance, for example, the court’s liberal wing is becoming alarmed — reportedly — over the prospect of the conservative court majority overturning or severely limiting a woman’s right to end a pregnancy.

I am alarmed at what is happening to our government.


No, Mr. POTUS, justices need not recuse themselves

Donald John Trump hasn’t yet read the U.S. Constitution, let alone the part that declares that the federal judiciary is supposed to operate free of any political pressure or interference from another “co-equal” branch of government.

You see, the current president has declared that Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg need to recuse themselves from any cases involving the president. Why? He says they’re biased against him.

Please pardon me for saying this, but we all have our bias. Judges take oaths to administer the law fairly and without prejudice. Their oath does not scrub the bias from their minds or their hearts, any more than it does for any other high-ranking office at any level of government.

As long as we’re talking about bias, should those justices who agree with the president philosophically recuse themselves from any case brought by those parties that might oppose him? Of course not! The framers intended for the federal judiciary, including the highest court in the land, to be free of political pressure, coercion or intimidation.

Therefore, Donald Trump’s call for Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg to recuse themselves from any future case involving the president’s administration is laughable on its face. Except that I ain’t laughing. Nor should anyone who values the distinct separation of powers among the three branches of government slap their knees while they guffaw hysterically.

That separation is spelled out categorically in the U.S. Constitution.

The president of the United States needs to read it.

Judicial independence bites Obama

Barack Obama has just gotten a taste of what many of his presidential predecessors have had to swallow as it regards federal judicial appointments.

Their court appointments didn’t vote nearly the way their benefactor — the president — wanted them to vote.

That, I submit, speaks quite eloquently to the need to keep the federal judiciary independent.


In two 9-0 rulings in recent days, the court struck down a Massachusetts law that regulated anti-abortion protesters and then it reeled in presidential appointment powers relating to recess appointments made when the Senate is not in session.

That means both of President Obama’s high court picks — Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — voted against the wishes of the man who nominated them to their dream job in the first place.

We hear yammering — mostly from the right wing of the political spectrum — that “unelected judges” wield too much power. This carping comes usually when the court rules against a cause or principle near and dear to conservatives’ hearts.

Indeed, the court has comprised many Republican appointees who’ve gone against the wishes of their presidential benefactors: Dwight Eisenhower picked Earl Warren to be chief justice and all Warren did was launch the Supreme Court on a whole range of landmark liberal court rulings, starting with the 1954 school desegregation ruling known as Brown v. the Board of Education.

Harry Blackmum (picked by Richard Nixon) wrote the Roe v. Wade abortion decision; John Paul Stevens (Gerald Ford) became a staunch liberal court member; Byron White (John Kennedy) voted “no” on Roe v. Wade; John Roberts (George W. Bush) voted with the majority to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Now two of the court’s liberal justices — Kagan and Sotomayor — have joined their fellow liberals and conservatives on the court to stick it in President Obama’s eye on a couple of key issues.

So, let’s stop the griping about the federal court system. The founders set up an independent branch of government for a reason, which was to prevent its politicization when trying to interpret the U.S. Constitution.