I want to briefly reconnect with all those staunch progressives who, in 2016, told me that voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton on the basis of federal court protection was blackmail. I would love to see how shocked they all feel now that a conservative Supreme Court acted totally illegally to uphold a conservative judge’s decision that was ridiculous on the face of it. Populism! From New York Times:
Courts brief unsigned order said the administration appeared to act arbitrarily and capriciously in canceling the program, citing a decision last year refusing to let the Trump administration roll back the Obama-era program protecting young immigrants known as dreamers. The three most liberal members of the court – Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – said they would have granted a stay of the trial judge’s decision. They gave no reasons. The case will now be heard by an appeals court and could return to the Supreme Court.
Yeah, I can barely wait.
The initial ruling, handed down by Trump appointee Matthew Kacsmaryk, federal district judge in Amarillo, comes, of course, after the U.S. Supreme Court spent four years overturning district court injunctions issued against the policies of the previous administration*. (It was upheld by a three-judge panel on which the former president* named two.) Just on the basis of practicality, the decision is madness, and now it’s madness approved by the highest court in the land.
(Kacsmaryk is a real prize, by the way, fed in the theocratic zone of the conservative terrarium. His views on gay people were so rabid that even Senator Susan Collins was so deeply troubled that she voted against his confirmation.)
This leaves thousands of migrant families already in this country in limbo, and even more living in a dangerous situation on the Mexican side of the border. And he insists that the judge’s order be carried out immediately when the judge needs to know – and surely should know – that the revival of the old policy will require substantial negotiations with other countries, in particular Mexico. Surely, the Nine Wise Souls in Washington realize that subordinating the country’s foreign relations to a federal judge in Amarillo upsets the Constitution and common sense. The potential for shenanigans based on this notion is profound. Surely the Court will see what a bag of nightmares confirming Kacsmaryk’s decision would mean?
Not so much, no.
The ruling stemmed from the Supreme Court’s “shadow case,” which has become the primary means by which the Court’s 6-3 conservative majority vandalizes the law in the name of a clear policy line that begins in places like Amarillo and ends there across the rue du Capitole. And I can almost guarantee you that, now that this Pandora’s box is open, the next one will concern the emergency protocols made necessary by the pandemic. After all, the demand for good seats at the Federalist Society’s annual human sacrifice is always fierce.
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