Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Liberal justices raise alarm about Supreme Court’s weakening of federal agency power

By 37ci3 Jul5,2024

WASHINGTON — Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor was visibly upset as she appealed the Supreme Court’s decision last week. limited powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Taking the relatively rare step of reading a summary of his dissent from the open court, he expressed his strong feelings about what he called the “war on the administrative state.”

“Those who protect the rule of law have nothing to celebrate,” he said, emphasizing the word “nothing”.

The decision was one of three that hit federal agencies in the final week of the court’s term. All were decided 6-3 along ideological lines, with the conservatives of the court in the majority.

And in all three, the liberal justices did their best to draw attention to broader concerns about the court taking away federal agencies’ authority to rule in areas such as the environment, worker safety and consumer protection.

Rather, they took turns.

After Sotomayor on June 27, it was Justice Elena Kagan’s moment in the spotlight the next day. He authored a dissenting opinion, like the court It overturned a 40-year precedent gave deference to federal agencies when statutes’ meanings were unclear.

Like Sotomayor, he read a lengthy summary of his opinion from the bench, saying the ruling would deal “a major blow to the legal system” by casting doubt on long-held interpretations of the law.

Then came Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday morning.

Most of them were waiting for the trial seismic judgment A court that granted former President Donald Trump some immunities for his tenure as president has given business another victory by making it easier to file lawsuits challenging the organization’s historic actions.

Followed by his liberal colleagues, the sometimes exasperated Jackson read his protest from the bench. Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who wrote the majority opinion, followed suit.

The implications of the ruling are “simply staggering,” Jackson said, because it will trigger a flood of litigation that could cripple federal agencies.

The fact that the liberal justices were completely united, each writing their own opinion, led to a “striking array of dissents,” said attorney John Ellwood, who argued the cases before the court.

Sam Sankar, a lawyer with the environmental group Earthjustice, said: “The opponents didn’t split. They focused their energy. They cooperated, in my estimation. It was a team effort, in my opinion.”

But Jennifer Mascott, a professor at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and a contributor to NBC News, said it’s a “fool’s errand” to read too much into the unified nature of the dissent. Among other things, he noted that it is normal to distribute the workload among justices.

The practice of judges reading the briefs of dissenting opinions from the bench when they are particularly displeased with decisions is relatively rare, but it has been the case for years.

One justice who made an impact with her dissent was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served as part of the liberal minority. Among the vehement dissents he read in court was one challenging the court’s 2013 ruling that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

Known for wearing decorative collars he called jabotsGinsburg even said she has a special outfit she wears while reading the dissent.

In a 2009 speech, he explained the value of reading dissent from the bench.

“This shows that, according to the opponents, the opinion of the court is not only wrong, but seriously wrong,” he said.

As for dissenting opinions, they can be persuasive both inside and outside the court, Ginsburg said. Sometimes a draft of a dissenting opinion prompts judges to reconsider, and the proposed decision never sees the light of day.

Ginsburg added that other opinions appeal to what Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes called “future intelligence.”

And some are calls to action, such as Ginsburg’s dissent in the 2007 gender discrimination case against Goodyear Tire employee Lilly Ledbetter. He wrote that Congress should amend the statute in question, and two years later, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Jackson struck a similar tone in his dissent Monday, saying Congress could easily amend the law to prevent startups from challenging agency rules that have been on the books for years.

“Congress still has a chance to end this absurdity and prevent further chaos,” he said.

The impact of oral dissents is mitigated somewhat by the fact that while the court now broadcasts audio of oral arguments live, audio of opinion announcements is not broadcast live. Released later for archival purposes.

Carolyn Shapiro, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, said liberal justices may have to take their show on the road, giving public speeches criticizing the court’s decisions to reach a larger audience.

“It would be a big change for them to do something like publicly criticize the court in another forum and therefore newsworthy,” he said.

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By 37ci3

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