SCOTUS’ Not So Odd Couple: Gorsuch and Sotomayor

Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    I still think all the hyperbole over the Gorsuch appointment was overblown. I get that the left was still (rightly, IMHO) pissed over the Garland snub by the Senate, but Gorsuch struck me as, if not a perfect candidate, at least not a bad one.Report

    • Em Carpenter in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      He’s not my first choice by any means, but I don’t hate his work so far. Disagree with some of it maybe but I’m not despairing.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      My primary objection to Gorsuch is that he isn’t Merrick Garland, as you indicate. I do not think my concerns are overblown. Garland did not get a vote. Garland did not get a hearing. This is a very bad place for our democracy to go. Right now, Trump’s AG candidate is refusing to meet with Senate Democrats. Because who cares, he doesn’t need their votes? I don’t know.

      We’re in a world of 24-7 partisanship, and nothing matters but “winning” a contest with other people from our own country. This is a state my father would describe as “eating your own liver”. A very bad place.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        Right now, Trump’s AG candidate is refusing to meet with Senate Democrats. Because who cares, he doesn’t need their votes? I don’t know.

        Doesn’t need their votes. Won’t get them unless he proclaims Trump can be arrested and the investigation (which the administration views as a partisan witch hunt) is allowed to continue.

        Garland did not get a vote. Garland did not get a hearing.

        If they’re going to stop him from going on the court for political reasons, then I’d rather have them do it honestly and take ownership of that rather than shred his rep by pretending he’s the devil of the day.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      All Republican nominees to the Supreme Court were going to be terrible by a matter of degrees, but yes, at least Gorsuch is the standard kind of terrible who’s 95% wrong, but will get hailed 5% of the time when he’s not saying that corporations are in the right to expect their workers to freeze to death to get the job done, but yes, he’s not likely a drunk sexual abuser like Kavanaugh. Which is why Gorsuch didn’t get much actual pushback in the wider populace.

      But, still it remains a fact that by this point, Samuel Alito and John Roberts are the only legitimate Republican members of the Supreme Court, and you can still even make an argument in their case.Report

  2. PD Shaw says:

    I think this is an excellent point:

    Gorsuch and Sotomayor’s staunch defense of the rights of criminal defendants is reminiscent of the late Justice Antonin Scalia

    In addition to the cases mentioned, I believe Scalia voted with Sotomayor in the previous confrontation clause cases involving when a lab tech needs to testify.

    Another example, Scalia (with Stevens) dissented from the opinion that citizens could be detained as enemy combatants in Hamdi; he argued that they needed to be charged with treason (or some other crime), or Congress must suspend the writ.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Paul Campos on LGM is discussing how the Trump admin expects RBG’s death or retirement to happen sooner rather than later. This would be give the right-wing a 6-3 lock on the Supreme Court and move them significantly to the right.

    Though the right-wing always cared more about the composition of the federal judiciary than liberals and quite successfully so. Liberals are just starting to catch up. Count me in as one of the people who thinks RBG was a great justice but should have designed between 2009-2014. Her desire to serve as long as possible does not come before the rights and lives of millions. I’m also curious about how much she brought into her personality cult. Breyer should have also resigned but his health does not seem as fragile.Report

  4. Pinky says:

    I don’t know what to make of this article. It starts out from the position that the Court is partisan, then describes the Court as inconsistently partisan, then concludes with the assertion that the Court isn’t partisan at all. And it doesn’t seem to transition, or walk the reader through a development. It rather seems like three conflicting articles. This raises the question, which is the most accurate view of the Court? I’d argue that it’s hardly ever partisan, but it is ideological. The three most common approaches of the Justices are textual originalism, originalism tempered by stare decisis, and liberal activism. That last group is focused on outcome, so the results are indistinguishable from partisanship.Report

    • Em Carpenter in reply to Pinky says:

      When I say partisan I mean an instrument of partisanship. The Court is politicized.
      Thus the perception that it’s a divided court with two factions who will consistently decide cases on conservative or liberal lines.
      Then I gave examples of why that’s not quite the case, and suggest it’s not nearly so ideologically bipartite as it is perceived.

      Thank you for your critique—duly noted.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Pinky says:

      I don’t find it surprising that judges who go to great pains to point out that they are not legislators generally don’t act like legislators. The surprising (and I suppose disappointing) thing is that we’ve heard so much about the politicization of the Court and its members that we are surprised to find that they act like what they are supposed to be — judges, who as human beings and scholars, each have their own opinions and aren’t hidebound to a particular faction or clique. That’s what we want from them, right?Report