Sonia Sotomayor Calls Out the Supreme Court Majority for Its Trump Bias

This is highly unusual for a SCOTUS justice.

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA Press)

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Following a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling issued Friday night, the Trump administration can move ahead with enforcing a rule designed to make it harder for poor and working-class immigrants to get green cards. Last month, the court split along the same lines to remove a nationwide injunction from a district judge in New York. Now, SCOTUS removes the remaining obstacle in Illinois from another lower court.

The rule is likely to disproportionately affect people from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. After court injunctions, the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court to move ahead with the policy. Because it acted under an emergency application, the majority did not have to explain its reasoning. 

Of the four liberal justices who dissented, only Justice Sonia Sotomayor offered an explanation. It is scathing. As Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern noted, Sotomayor unusually calls out the Republican appointees on the court for a “familiar pattern:” bias toward the Trump administration. 

“It is hard to say what is more troubling: that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it,” she wrote.

Her dissent continues:

Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited Court resources in each. And with each successive application, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow.

Read it in full here.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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