The Census Case and Our Radical Chief Justice?

 

I’ve been thinking further about the Chief Justice’s opinion in the Census case, Department of Commerce v. New York (full opinion here). I am concerned that his opinion may reflect a truly radical and dangerous idea, in a way that he may not have considered. Though frankly, this seems unlikely, as he is an extremely intelligent and experienced lawyer and judge.

I find the Chief’s reasoning very troubling, and his rationale was shared by none of the other eight Justices. The Chief thought that the substantive decision made by the Secretary of Commerce — to include a citizenship question on the census long form — was perfectly permissible as a general proposition. However, the Chief thought that the possibly bad motives of this particular Secretary made the decision impermissible.

It strikes me that this is a very dangerous idea, in terms of the proper functioning of our government with the separation of powers. The Court is supposed to stand for the rule of law. But the standard adopted by the Chief is, quite literally, that a decision can be impermissible when made by a Cabinet Secretary appointed by one President — say, one whose name rhymes with “Ronald” but isn’t “Ronald” — while the very same decision is perfectly permissible if made by a Cabinet Secretary appointed by President Obama, or by a hypothetical President whose name might rhyme with, oh, I don’t know, perhaps “Twit.”

This is the opposite of the rule of law. This is authorizing every District Court Judge in the United States to allow sweeping and intrusive discovery into the motivations behind every discretionary decision made by an Executive Branch official, and overturn such decisions if the Judge does not like the decision-maker’s motives. But it establishes no rule that would prevent the exact same decision from being made by a Executive Branch decision-maker that the Judge favors.

I. Summary of the Issues in the Census Case

Parsing the decision is quite difficult. Here is a summary:

(1) There was a Constitutional argument against the Secretary’s decision based on the Enumeration Clause, rejected in Sec. III of the Chief’s opinion. I think that this prevailed 5-0, with the four Leftist Justices abstaining. The Chief and the other four Conservatives definitely rejected the Constitutional argument, while the Leftist dissent (authored by Breyer, joined by the others) neither joined in nor dissented from this section.

(2) There was a statutory argument based on alleged technical violations of certain Census statutes, rejected in Sec. IV.C of the Chief’s opinion. I think that this also prevailed 5-0, with the four Leftist Justices abstaining. Again, the Chief and the other four Conservatives definitely rejected this statutory argument, while the Leftist dissent neither joined nor dissented from this section.

(3) There was a statutory argument based on the Administrative Procedures Act, with the issue being whether the Secretary’s exercise of discretion was “arbitrary and capricious.” The Secretary prevailed on this issue 5-4, with the Chief and the other four Conservatives definitely upholding the decision under the “arbitrary and capricious” standard, and the four Leftists reaching the opposite conclusion.

(4) Then there was the argument that the justification presented by the Secretary was “pretextual.” The Secretary lost on this issue 5-4, with the Chief and the four Leftists overturning the decision on this basis, and the four Conservatives vigorously dissenting.

I found Justice Thomas’s dissent (joined by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) outstanding. Here are the highlights:

Part IV–B of the opinion of the Court correctly applies this standard to conclude that the Secretary’s decision
survives ordinary arbitrary-and-capricious review. That holding should end our inquiry.

But the opinion continues. Acknowledging that “no particular step” in the proceedings here “stands out as inappropriate or defective,” even after reviewing “all the evidence in the record . . . , including the extra-record discovery,” ante, at 26, the Court nevertheless agrees with the District Court that the Secretary’s rationale for reinstating the citizenship question was “pretextual—that is, that the real reason for his decision was something other than the sole reason he put forward in his memorandum, namely enhancement of DOJ’s VRA enforcement efforts.” 351 F. Supp. 3d 502, 660 (SDNY 2019); see ante, at 28. According to the Court, something just “seems” wrong. Ibid.

This conclusion is extraordinary. The Court engages in an unauthorized inquiry into evidence not properly before us to reach an unsupported conclusion. Moreover, each step of the inquiry offends the presumption of regularity we owe the Executive. The judgment of the District Court should be reversed.

. . .

The Court’s erroneous decision in this case is bad enough, as it unjustifiably interferes with the 2020 census. But the implications of today’s decision are broader. With today’s decision, the Court has opened a Pandora’s box of pretext-based challenges in administrative law. Today’s decision marks the first time the Court has ever invalidated an agency action as “pretextual.” Having taken that step, one thing is certain: This will not be the last time it is asked to do so. Virtually every significant agency action is vulnerable to the kinds of allegations the Court credits today. These decisions regularly involve coordination with numerous stakeholders and agencies, involvement at the highest levels of the Executive Branch, opposition from reluctant agency staff, and—perhaps most importantly—persons who stand to gain from the action’s demise. Opponents of future executive actions can be expected to make full use of the Court’s new approach.

Incidentally, Justice Alito did not join Thomas because he went ever further, concluding that the Court had no authority to review the Secretary’s decision even under the “arbitrary and capricious” standard. Here’s the highlight from Alito:

Now, for the first time, this Court has seen fit to claim a role with respect to the inclusion of a citizenship question on the census, and in doing so, the Court has set a dangerous precedent, both with regard to the census itself and with regard to judicial review of all other executive agency actions. For the reasons ably stated by JUSTICE THOMAS, see ante, p. ___ (opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part), today’s decision is either an aberration or a license for widespread judicial inquiry into the motivations of Executive Branch officials. If this case is taken as a model, then any one of the approximately 1,000 district court judges in this country, upon receiving information that a controversial agency decision might have been motivated by some unstated consideration, may order the questioning of Cabinet officers and other high-ranking Executive Branch officials, and the judge may then pass judgment on whether the decision was pretextual. What Bismarck is reputed to have said about laws and sausages comes to mind. And that goes for decisionmaking by all three branches.

To put the point bluntly, the Federal Judiciary has no authority to stick its nose into the question whether it is good policy to include a citizenship question on the census or whether the reasons given by Secretary Ross for that decision were his only reasons or his real reasons. Of course, we may determine whether the decision is constitutional. But under the considerations that typically guide this Court in the exercise of its power of judicial review of agency action, we have no authority to decide whether the Secretary’s decision was rendered in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

II. A Modest Proposal

I think that the fundamental problem is with our political norm. We have become accustomed to the idea that the Judicial Branch can issues injunctions and mandates to the Executive Branch. This seems normal to us, but it is not necessarily so.

I want you to imagine something different. I want you to imagine that a single US District Judge interpreted the Constitution to require school busing as a remedy for racial discrimination. This isn’t a stretch, because SCOTUS actually upheld such decisions in the past. Now let’s imagine that the entity required to provide busing was the federal government — say because the jurisdiction was DC. (This may or may not have actually happened; I don’t recall and don’t really care for purposes of this hypothetical.)

Now imagine that, in order to enforce its decision, this single US District Judge issued an injunction to every member of Congress, enjoining every Representative and every Senator from voting against a bill that had been introduced to fund the busing mandated by the District Court.

That’s right. Imagine a federal Judge giving orders to Senators and Representatives about how they had to vote.

What is your reaction?

Outrage, I hope. This would be an inconceivable violation of the separation of powers. It would be immediately recognizable as judicial tyranny.

I submit that the situation is precisely the same with respect to the President and other members of the Executive Branch.

I am envisioning a blanket rule against injunctive or mandatory relief against Executive Branch officials. I recognize that this may cause a variety of problems. However, allowing Judges to order around Executive officials also causes problems.

This does not mean that people victimized by wrongful action of Executive officers would be without a remedy. The remedy, however, would involve the Judiciary acting within its proper authority — for example, by awarding damages. Perhaps even punitive damages.

I would like some feedback on this. A few examples from both recent and more distant history:

  1. In the Steel Seizure Case (Youngstown Sheet & Tube), SCOTUS could have found that the Executive’s seizure of the steel mills was impermissible, but declined to issue an injunction. It could have allowed recovery of damages, perhaps including punitive damages.
  2. In the Travel Ban Case, the lower court could have declined to issue an injunction, and simply awarded damages to the individual complaining Plaintiffs.
  3. In the Nixon Tapes Case, the Court could have declined to order the President to turn over materials, but could have ordered an instruction that the President’s refusal to do so permitted the jury to infer that the tapes would have revealed the truth of the conspiracy to cover-up the Watergate break-in.

I understand that this is not a panacea, but it seems to me that the danger of judicial overreach outweighs the contrary dangers.

I also understand that, in ordinary civil cases, injunctive relief is an available remedy (though it is supposed to be available only in cases of “irreparable harm,” and the meaning that some judges attach to the word “irreparable” leaves me inclined to quote Inigo from Princess Bride. I submit, however, that injunctive relief issued by the Judicial Branch to one of the other branches creates serious separation of powers problems that are not present in a regular civil case.

I’m expecting responses about the “rule of law.” But this does not mean the “rule of judges,” and the separation of powers is a key component of the “rule of law.”

III. Siding with my old buddy Tom

So it turns out that my terrific old friend Tom happened to address this precise question, in a letter to Abby, the wife of my heroic friend John. Good ol’ Tom is on my side.

From an 1804 letter from Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams:

The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”

Jefferson had reason to know. He was responding to Marbury v. Madison, which found that Jefferson’s Secretary of State (aka the Father of the Constitution) acted improperly by declining to deliver commissions to certain “midnight judges” that had been appointed by Abby’s husband John Adams (aka the Colossus of Independence, though perhaps this was not his finest moment). Madison, incidentally, was specifically instructed not to deliver the commissions by Jefferson (aka the Father of the Declaration of Independence) — Jefferson being the elected President at the time.

The appointments had been properly sealed but not delivered by a certain Virginian named John Marshall, who had been the Secretary of State under President Adams, and who — surprise, surprise — was Chief Justice of SCOTUS by the time that the case came up for decision. (Marshall was another one of those “midnight judges,” though in his case, the commission was delivered).

Even Chief Justice Marshall, however, balked at ordering Jefferson or Madison to deliver the commissions. He knew darned well what would have happened. His order would have been ignored, and rightly so. The Executive doesn’t get to order around the Judiciary — and vice versa, darn it!

So Marshall crafted a clever opinion in which he first found that Marbury was entitled to the commission, and then found that he should have the remedy of a writ of mandamus (an order that the commission be delivered), but then — third of all — found that SCOTUS could not issue such a writ because the Judiciary Act was unconstitutional, so SCOTUS lacked jurisdiction.

More from Jefferson, from a letter in 1820:

To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”

Here is my source for these Jefferson quotations.

IV. Conclusion

My conclusion remains uncertain. I am very concerned about what appears, to me, to be an increasing tendency toward judicial overreach. However, I want to consider thoughtful responses to the points that I raise, and in particular:

  1. Do you agree with me that the approach taken by Chief Justice Roberts is even more dangerous than the approach taken by the four Leftists, because the Chief would allow the Judiciary to overturn an action taken by one Executive official while upholding the very same action taken by another Executive official.
  2. What do you think of my suggestion that judicial injunctions or mandates directed at Executive officials present a separation of powers problem?

Published in Law
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There are 52 comments.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster

    Liberals are never, ever disappointed with their SCOTUS picks. Half the time Republicans are not only let down, they’re embarrassed. John Roberts is a creature of the swamp and the only thing he’s out to conserve is his natural habitat. 

    • #1
    • July 13, 2019, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    It is AlL Judicial Overreach 

    • #2
    • July 13, 2019, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. The Reticulator Member

    Building on this precedent, next we’ll see an Appeals Court ruling that President Trump cannot use the toilets in federal government buildings, because when he takes a dump he is thinking, “Dump Schumer,” which of course is a pretextual violation of his authorized powers.

    • #3
    • July 13, 2019, at 6:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    It is AlL Judicial Overreach

    • #4
    • July 13, 2019, at 7:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Ruling on the motives of a public official is new in our federal court system. I’m surprised that Roberts went for it.

    This is something that could be cured by statute, but I don’t think it will.

    The court has become too powerful, and needs to be curbed. Even packing the Supreme Court will have the effect of lowering its prestige. I’m all for doing anything that will.

    • #5
    • July 13, 2019, at 7:38 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    If Roberts’ reasoning is justified, why can’t Trump – and any member of congress – use the exact same reasoning? “Nice that you handed down a decision, Judge, but because it’s YOU I’m going to ignore it. See ya.”

    • #6
    • July 13, 2019, at 8:09 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  7. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    If Roberts’ reasoning is justified, why can’t Trump – and any member of congress – use the exact same reasoning? “Nice that you handed down a decision, Judge, but because it’s YOU I’m going to ignore it. See ya.”

    That’s the biggest weakness of the court. At some point they could be ignored by the other branches.

    It would be better for our system of government if it happened by congress instead of the president.

    • #7
    • July 13, 2019, at 8:13 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Richard Finlay Member

    I remember a case in Kansas City where a judge ordered a city commission to raise taxes to pay for school system amenities that he thought essential.

    My outrage affected nought.

    • #8
    • July 13, 2019, at 8:36 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Retail Lawyer Member

    I do not recall ever learning in law school that the the motive of an executive or legislator was a factor in judging the propriety of a law. I find it extremely troubling that it is now considered proper by some to do so. The court will be left make stuff up regarding the propriety of motives (for what else could it do?), and how will the court muster evidence regarding motive. It will disadvantage a forthcoming politician, and advantage the incoherent (like Pelosi) and baby-talker (Obama).

    This is a very bad development.

    • #9
    • July 14, 2019, at 4:53 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):
    I remember a case in Kansas City where a judge ordered a city commission to raise taxes to pay for school system amenities that he thought essential.

    Which raises the question of how do judges ensure their decisions are enforced?

    “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”

    There have been other places where judges have ordered taxes to be raised, even though they do not have the power to do so. Perhaps a little civil disobedience is in order . . .

    • #10
    • July 14, 2019, at 5:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. PHCheese Member

    Maybe Roberts visited that infamous island and there are pictures?

    • #11
    • July 14, 2019, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It is AlL Judicial Overreach

    Bryan, I understand your frustration, but this is not correct. The Chief and the other 4 Conservative Justices reached a fine ruling in the redistricting case, overturning prior, ill-considered case law that sought to impose judicial controls but could never come up with a viable standard.

    • #12
    • July 14, 2019, at 6:20 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Roberts’ chief goal seems to be comity, to the point he’s like a nervous and scared child who wants to do anything to make mommy and daddy stop fighting. But in this case mommy is the nation’s liberals and daddy are the conservatives.

    The Chief Justice sees a case coming down the pike that’s going to create major political reaction, and fighting between both sides and does whatever he can to avoid dealing with the problem, no matter how much he has to twist the law to do so. In his mind, he may hope that by punting on dealing with the problem he can get Congress and the White House to solve the problem on their own, or that the problem will somehow go away, but as was shown with his Obamacare ruling (which by his own reasoning and the GOP’s action two years ago should make the law unconstitutional), he doesn’t fix the problem but merely prolongs this dispute.

    • #13
    • July 14, 2019, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  14. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):

    I do not recall ever learning in law school that the the motive of an executive or legislator was a factor in judging the propriety of a law. I find it extremely troubling that it is now considered proper by some to do so. The court will be left make stuff up regarding the propriety of motives (for what else could it do?), and how will the court muster evidence regarding motive. It will disadvantage a forthcoming politician, and advantage the incoherent (like Pelosi) and baby-talker (Obama).

    This is a very bad development.

    I think that motive was an issue in the Dormant Commerce Clause cases that I studied in law school. It is also an issue in the race and sex discrimination cases, and perhaps some of the religious freedom cases. 

    The religious freedom case that I have in mind is Hialeah, a 9-0 decision from 1993, on which different Justices disagreed about whether to consider legislative motive or intent.

    • #14
    • July 14, 2019, at 6:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It is AlL Judicial Overreach

    Bryan, I understand your frustration, but this is not correct. The Chief and the other 4 Conservative Justices reached a fine ruling in the redistricting case, overturning prior, ill-considered case law that sought to impose judicial controls but could never come up with a viable standard.

    No. 

    Nowhere in Article III does it give the Court the powers it has taken for itself.

     

    • #15
    • July 14, 2019, at 7:05 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. EJHill Podcaster

    Bryan G. Stephens: Nowhere in Article III does it give the Court the powers it has taken for itself.

    Somewhere, someone is taking a whizz on the grave of John Marshall.

    • #16
    • July 14, 2019, at 8:10 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Roberts’ chief goal seems to be comity, to the point he’s like a nervous and scared child who wants to do anything to make mommy and daddy stop fighting. But in this case mommy is the nation’s liberals and daddy are the conservatives.

    There have been other threads that have talked about civility and have decried the lack thereof in our politics.

    This is an example of why many conservatives have lost patience with that argument.

    • #17
    • July 14, 2019, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Al Sparks Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Roberts’ chief goal seems to be comity, to the point he’s like a nervous and scared child who wants to do anything to make mommy and daddy stop fighting. But in this case mommy is the nation’s liberals and daddy are the conservatives.

    I don’t know that much about John Marshall. But he did everything he could to enhance the prestige and power of the court.

    Maybe he would be in favor of what the court has become.

    • #18
    • July 14, 2019, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    For some time now, we have not been allowed to use objective criteria, like results, to grade Democrat flights-of-fancy. Instead, we are told we must focus on their pure-as-the-driven-snow motives for passing same. That the Left would now seek such purity-tests at the outset is hardly a surprise.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to slide down this very slippery slope…

    • #19
    • July 14, 2019, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Richard Finlay Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Richard Finlay (View Comment):
    I remember a case in Kansas City where a judge ordered a city commission to raise taxes to pay for school system amenities that he thought essential.

    Which raises the question of how do judges ensure their decisions are enforced?

    “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”

    There have been other places where judges have ordered taxes to be raised, even though they do not have the power to do so. Perhaps a little civil disobedience is in order . . .

    I wish. I think I remember that the judge threatened holding them in contempt. Unfortunately, there always seem to be people who will do the dirty work. 

    • #20
    • July 14, 2019, at 12:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Stad Thatcher

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    The Chief Justice sees a case coming down the pike that’s going to create major political reaction, and fighting between both sides and does whatever he can to avoid dealing with the problem, no matter how much he has to twist the law to do so.

    Put another way, by trying not to rock the boat, he rocks the boat!

    • #21
    • July 14, 2019, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Chris B Member

    Couldn’t the Secretary just determine that the Chief Justice had a pretextual motivation for his opinion based on the Chief Justice’s personal dislike of the Secretary, which therefore renders the opinion invalid?

     

    What’s good for the goose . . . 

    • #22
    • July 14, 2019, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  23. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It is AlL Judicial Overreach

    Bryan, I understand your frustration, but this is not correct. The Chief and the other 4 Conservative Justices reached a fine ruling in the redistricting case, overturning prior, ill-considered case law that sought to impose judicial controls but could never come up with a viable standard.

    No.

    Nowhere in Article III does it give the Court the powers it has taken for itself.

     

    I’m not sure what you mean. Article III vests the “judicial power” in SCOTUS and such other courts as Congress creates. What do you think that the Court is doing that is beyond its power?

    I think that I suggested an answer — that the Court exceeds its powers when it issues orders to the Executive. There may be other areas.

    • #23
    • July 14, 2019, at 1:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. The Reticulator Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Nowhere in Article III does it give the Court the powers it has taken for itself.

     

    But it’s not clear how our country could operate otherwise. If Jefferson couldn’t come up with a better plan, despite his blathering on the subject, then who can?

    • #24
    • July 14, 2019, at 3:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. cdor Member

    (3) There was a statutory argument based on the Administrative Procedures Act, with the issue being whether the Secretary’s exercise of discretion was “arbitrary and capricious.

    What is arbitrary and capricious is the decision of Chief Justice Roberts to believe he is a mind reader as well as a justice. President Trump, in his second term, would be in good stead to challenge the authority of the court in the area of nationwide injunctions and also when a judge pretends to be a psychiatrist. Roberts has already announced his antipathy towards Trump when he stated publicly, in argument with a Trump tweet, that there are no Obama or Bush judges. Roberts’ statement was so obviously false as to be laughable. Excellent presentation by @arizonapatriot.

    • #25
    • July 14, 2019, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Old Bathos Member

    There is a silver lining for those looking to reign in the Administrative State. With this precedent, if an agency issues regs if their reasoning is clearly disingenuous or just bogus (not uncommon), the court can strike it down unless and until more candor is forthcoming. Could be fun.

    • #26
    • July 14, 2019, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Skyler Coolidge

    I’ve not seen checks and balances in my lifetime. I’ve only seen a cabal of the three branches to increase federal power over the states and the people. 

    • #27
    • July 14, 2019, at 4:36 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  28. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It is AlL Judicial Overreach

    Bryan, I understand your frustration, but this is not correct. The Chief and the other 4 Conservative Justices reached a fine ruling in the redistricting case, overturning prior, ill-considered case law that sought to impose judicial controls but could never come up with a viable standard.

    No.

    Nowhere in Article III does it give the Court the powers it has taken for itself.

     

    I’m not sure what you mean. Article III vests the “judicial power” in SCOTUS and such other courts as Congress creates. What do you think that the Court is doing that is beyond its power?

    I think that I suggested an answer — that the Court exceeds its powers when it issues orders to the Executive. There may be other areas.

    The Court exceeds its powers when it decided that it, and it alone gets to rule on all laws and orders. 

     

    • #28
    • July 14, 2019, at 5:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I just saw that this was promoted to the main feed, and I saw that the title did not have a question mark — so I added it. I’m not sure if my memory is failing, but I thought that when I posted this on the member feed yesterday, I included a question mark at the end of the title. I meant to include a question mark. It’s possible that the title was modified when the post was promoted, but I’m not sure.

    I very much meant for there to be a question mark. “Our Radical Chief Justice?” is very different from “Our Radical Chief Justice.” I intended to be asking a question, not leveling an accusation.

    The Chief’s decision seemed radical and dangerous to me in this particular case. He is generally very sober and judicious.

    • #29
    • July 14, 2019, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Manny Member

    I can’t answer your questions since I’m legally trained but I have to say Roberts has been a huge disappointment. Unfortunately we’re stuck with him not only on the bench but as Chief Justice.

    Why is it that conservatives waiver over to the left but never lefties waiver to the right? 

    God bless Thomas and Alito. They are two giants.

    • #30
    • July 14, 2019, at 6:13 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
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