Reading and Understanding Court Decisions
This week at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Justice Amy Barrett acknowledged expected court decisions on reproductive rights and gun control would be seen through a political lens and may lead to division. The Justice urged people to read the decisions and understand their decisions are based on law and their interpretation of the Constitution. To learn how expert lawyers and attorneys apply the law, check with this car wreck injury lawyer Vegas.
Justice Amy Barrett;
” judges, or Justices in this instance, are not deciding cases to impose a ‘policy result,’ but are making their best effort to determine what the law and the Constitution require.
In a nation splintered by partisanship and wracked by incivility, Barrett in her remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library appeared to acknowledge court decisions on reproductive rights and gun control would be seen through a political lens and lead to division.
Justice Barrett ‘urged’ Americans to ‘read the opinion’ and consider the court’s reasoning before making judgments about the outcome.“
With divisive Supreme Court rulings coming, Barrett says: ‘Read the opinion’ (yahoo.com)
I was wondering what was driving all the noise coming from a recent 5-4 SCOTUS decision with Chief Justice John Roberts joining Justices Kagan, Sotomayer, and Breyer in dissent. So with connecting all the dots, hopefully you are seeing what I am seeing. To my left is an abbreviated article detailing the recent SCOTUS decision as provided by Steve Vladeck on Twitter. (if you click on the image, it will enlarge and be readable)
Short version is; SCOTUS blocked a stay by a US District Court which was blocking the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters. Allowing states to determine such was a part of the Trump administration issued rule interpreting the Clean Water Act to allow such. The US District Court disagreed with the state. SCOTUS in a 5-4 decision blocked the US District Court.
Lets read “the rest of the story” of what Justice Amy Barrett had to say about SCOTUS decisions at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
“Does (the decision) read like something that was purely results driven and designed to impose the policy preferences of the majority, or does this read like it actually is an honest effort and persuasive effort, even if one you ultimately don’t agree with, to determine what the Constitution and precedent requires?” she asked.
Americans should judge the court — or any federal court — by its reasoning, she said. “Is its reasoning that of a political or legislative body, or is its reasoning judicial?”
With divisive Supreme Court rulings coming, Barrett says: ‘Read the opinion’ (yahoo.com)
Judging from where Justice Barrett gave her commentary, it was not meant to appeal to the entire nation. I suspect her commentary is a warning of what is too come.
Some other reads too:
Steve Vladeck on Twitter is writing a book about the Shadow Docket and has a good take on the Louisiana vs American Rivers decision. Lawyers, Guns, and Money’s Scott Lemieux has a good article up too. And I, I am a few days late to the news here. It is worth repeating.
On Monday, Justice Amy Barrett asked us to read the opinions of SCOTUS and not take them as setting policy for a nation. Wednesday found SCOTUS deciding whether a state can issue certificates for discharging pollutants into navigable water. I am assuming this water may also be for drinking purposes also.
And again SCOTUS used the Shadow Docket;
SCOTUS made their 5-4 decision using the emergency shadow docket and never issued an Opinion Justice Barrett so proudly speaks of as a Justice in support of the majority decision. So much for understanding SCOTUS decisions. Justice Roberts agreed with the minority in support.
Justice Kagan’s dissent;
“An applicant must show more than a likelihood of prevailing on the merits in the appellate court. It must also show an exceptional need for immediate relief.” (According to the dissent the states and non-profits challenging the vacatur failed to show irreparable harm if the 2020 rules is vacated.)
“[T]he applicants have not identified a single project that a State has obstructed in the five months since the District Court’s decision. Still more, they have not cited a single project that the court’s ruling threatens, or is likely to threaten, in the time before the appellate process concludes.” “And the application fails to show that proper implementation of the reinstated regulatory regime—which existed for 50 years before the vacated rule came into effect—is incapable of countering whatever state overreach may (but may not) occur.”
Supreme Court Allows Clean Water Act Rule to Stay in Effect – The Council of State Governments (csg.org)
I suspect Justice Amy Barrett is giving the nation a clue as to what is forthcoming. Understand too, the commentary made by bloggers is mostly about SCOTUS’s shadow docket which leaves no reasoning in support of their decision for future courts.
So, the short answer is the GOP stole 1– arguably two, but that was really the Notorious RBG’s ego— seats and as a result SCOTUS has zero credibility with a majority of Americans. Thomas needs to resign which would make Roberts the swing vote which I actually think most of the country could live with— protect individual rights while letting the corporate rich decide everything else. Not my ideal but you can’t always get what you want, but….
You leaped for the minor issue and ignored the major one. In many instances, SCOTUS is not documenting its decisions. There will be not precedents or decisions to follow in future years due to the use of the Shadow Docket.
Sure there will— the major cases with the lengthy opinions and dissents will be cited and argued endlessly. The Shadow Docket is not precedent which is a good thing because they all understand that legal principles and the Constitution be damned, this SCOTUS is a partisan body making political choices. Politics has always played a role on the Court but this is the worst in my lifetime.
In an odd sort of a way, you are agreeing. For everything decided, there should be documentation. This decision impacts law only because they disagree? Gotta write the votes down and supply the reasoning for the decision.
You give Roberts way too much credit. He is evil, just not as evil as Alito or Barrett, but still evil. He is simply not interested in policies he considers unimportant. Those policies include anything but voter suppression and political domination by corporations and the super rich.
SCOTUS members get life time appointments and no other republican authority can overturn their decisions including that there is no option for plebiscite to reverse SCOTUS decisions. What could possibly go wrong with that?
I yield the floor to Lord Acton who wrote to Bishop Creighton –
“…I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position, like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the gaoler to murder Mary, and William III ordered his Scots minister to extirpate a clan. Here are the greater names coupled with the greater crimes. You would spare these criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them, higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice; still more, still higher, for the sake of historical science…”
[Google wrote it, so I don’t need to – kind of like legal precedent.]
The paradox of law looks for new places to hide away. It appears in new disguises, more appropriate to changing social conditions. The law of nature contracts and becomes the law of reasonable arguments, supposing that reason at least is the nature of human beings.
Sometimes courts will choose to overturn precedent, rejecting a prior interpretation of the Constitution in favor of a new one. This rarely happens but may occur if a prior decision is deemed unworkable or if significant social changes have occurred.
The most important aspect of the Constitution was mostly theoretical, that you could maintain ‘liberty & freedom’ by instituting national government that has several competing parts, always be a weaker government than elsewhere around the world.
It did not consider in the slightest that two (only two) political parties would come to dominate and pervert the original design of the government. To the point where it seems very unlikely that effective design changes can be made to fix the problems we face.
Eventually, this too will pass.
The mechanisms are in place to fix the issues. Leaping beyond what the founding fathers of the constitution and this nation is what is putting us in danger. The president is no different than the lowest person of this nation. Each deserves the same consideration by law. The processes are there and even political interests need to follow them.
There were federalists and antifederalists. We have one prone of government trying to usurp the other two in authority. one needs to say no as “no” national emergency exists which can not be solved.
Each court decision needs to be recorded properly not only for posterity but to continue to have a “foundation” for other legal decisions besides yea or nays. Justice Kagan did the right thing and Justice Barrett did not follow what she stated in her commentary at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library a non neutral site.
Antonin Scalia, in his youth, used to tote a rifle around on NY subways, because he was in Army ROTC. Eventually, he got to be an influential/powerful Supreme Court justice.
He was always a big gun aficionado. Could not be shaken in such beliefs.
Do not expect otherwise from any SC justices.
Expect a certain type of arrogance instead.
Little Anthony got to tote his big rifle around on subways because he was in the ROTC playing soldier boy. Probably in uniform too! Yet from what I read, he never served . . .
I carried a bolt-action 30-06 military rifle to a shop to be worked on near six-corners Chicago. I am not black so no one bothered me.
The bottom line is that a majority (albeit slim) of 50 states are with the GOP, while a majority of voters are with (or for) the Dems. Much civil unrest follows from this. Does not bode well.
Give it time. People will come around.
One way or the other.
As for Justice Amy Barrett…
Amy Coney Barrett Is the Least Experienced Supreme Court Nominee in 30 years
… Barrett has spent virtually all of her professional life in academia. Until President Trump nominated her to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, she had never been a judge, never worked in the government as a prosecutor, defense lawyer, solicitor general, or attorney general, or served as counsel to any legislative body—the usual professional channels that Supreme Court nominees tend to hail from. A graduate of Notre Dame law school, Barrett has almost no experience practicing law whatsoever—a hole in her resume so glaring that during her 7th Circuit confirmation hearing in 2017, Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were dismayed that she couldn’t recall more than three cases she’d worked on during her brief two years in private practice. Nominees are asked to provide details on 10. …