Liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is sick of serving on a court that continuously rules in favor of the law. She has spent her entire career as an activist in black robes, and she went to the Supreme Court with the idea of changing the American landscape one unhinged, “progressive” ruling at a time. And now, sitting on the court’s minority wing while ruling after ruling goes out against her liberal wishes, she’s fed up.
In a pointed minority opinion on Friday, Sotomayor lashed out at the conservative majority, insinuating that they were merely rubber-stamping President Trump’s executive orders. Her breaking point came in a 5-4 decision on Friday in which the court granted the administration an emergency stay that will allow them to keep enforcing a new, stricter “public charge rule.”
This rule, in congressional law, means migrants cannot come to this country and obtain permanent status if they are (or are likely to) depend on cash welfare from the government. The Trump administration recently updated the rule to include food stamps and other forms of non-cash government assistance.
As is typical in these situations, leftist organizations filed suit against the administration and a power-hungry judge in the lower courts placed a nationwide injunction against Trump. The Supreme Court on Friday did away with that injunction, angering liberals like Sotomayor.
“Today’s decision follows a now-familiar pattern. The Government seeks emergency relief from this Court, asking it to grant a stay where two lower courts have not. The Government insists—even though review in a court of appeals is imminent—that it will suffer irreparable harm if this Court does not grant a stay. And the Court yields,” she wrote.
“Claiming one emergency after another,” she continued, “the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited Court resources in each. And with each successive application, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow.
“Perhaps most troublingly, the Court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others,” she said. “I fear that this disparity in treatment erodes the fair and balanced decision making process that this Court must strive to protect.”
This opinion is a pretty revealing window into how Sotomayor thinks about what’s been happening over the last three years. To her, the Trump administration is abusing the Supreme Court in their many emergency requests. It doesn’t seem to occur to her that these requests are only arising in such extraordinary numbers because lower court liberal judges are making an extraordinary number of bad, baseless decisions against Trump.
Of course, the truth is that Sotomayor is just as much a part of the #Resistance as the litigants bringing the administration to court. She’s not upset about “fair and balanced” decisions; she’s upset because the strategy – freeze Trump in place using the courts – is not working as she’d hoped.
Let her whine. If Sotomayor’s unhappy, that’s a pretty good sign that the Constitution is healthy.