Last tuesday was the scene of a bar room brawl in the U.S. Supreme Court. For an oral argument confrontation, bare knuckles best describes it between two Justices and one attorney.
On one side in a double team effort were Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. On the other standing alone against the two was Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar. The assailants were the two justices.
Prelogar asserted a legal oral argument challenging the power of federal courts in a certain regard. Roberts and Kavanaugh did not agree and came down on her hard. I would expect Kavanaugh to beat up on a woman. Roberts surprised me.
The case being argued was United States v. Texas. The altercation involved a minor side issue in the case. Roberts and Kavanaugh went bonkers, however.
The issue had major implications for the executive branch and its ability to function. Imagine a federal district court case in Idaho: Can a plaintiff walk into court, challenge a federal regulation, and win a victory that halts the entire government’s ability to enforce that regulation against anyone, anywhere in the U.S.? In matters and persons not involved in the lawsuit where the decision was being rendered.
The problem a 30 year one. Occasionally used over the years even by the Democrats. However conservative federal judges in recent years are using it everywhere possible which means all the time. It has become an obstacle to governance affecting the Biden administration. The conservative judiciary is using it as a “nationwide injunction.”
Prelogar suggested to the Supreme Court (in my words): Hey guys, not fair, not right, beyond the court’s power.
The roof caved in! The wrath of Roberts and Kavanaugh came down upon her. They sounded shocked and offended. Furious that Prelogar would accuse them of misreading a statute.
The legal issue is of little concern to me. It is in the way Roberts and Kavanaugh handled it and Prelogar. They went too far – way too far- in how they treated Prrelogar. Respect is a two way street.
One of the arguments by Roberts and Kavanaugh was that issue at hand had been used by the courts for 30 years. The number of years apparently had meaning to them. My initial reaction was what about the right to abortion. The law for 50 years. Yet these very same Justices had no problem overturning it. Such HYPOCRACY!
Supreme Court Justices have it made. They are treated with the ultimate respect. Enjoy lifetime jobs. Everyone kisses their asses both on and off the Bench. Attorneys arguing before them generally receive similar respect, though the Justices on occasion have lost their tempers. However not to the extreme Roberts and Kavanaugh did with Prelogar,
Justices in the past 20 years have begun receiving perks. Perks because of who they are and what they can do for a party in a decision. Examples are the free trips to conferences, benefits derived via the Heritage Foundation, influence, etc. The attitudes of some of the Justices has changed. Alito’s being a prime example. The man has become a detriment to the Court’s reputation. Thomas and his wife Ginni no better.
The American people have always held the Supreme Court to a high level of respect. It is rapidly diminishing. To get respect, you must give respect. The Justices may be omnipotent. However, they should not show that omnipotence in how they handle things on and off the Court. Diminishing respect erodes respect for the Court. In due course, its decisions will not be regarded as they have been.
The Court is becoming Trump like. Think about it.
The position of Supreme Court Justice is a cushy one. If the Court’s attitude and actions continue as they are, the job will lose its prestige. Rules will be passed governing their conduct. Playing God will lose its luster. Many of the Justices will face disciplinary proceedings and some perhaps lose their jobs.
Enjoy your day!