Saturday, February 1, 2020

Neil Gorsuch Issues Savage Rebuke to Activist Judges and Nationwide Injunctions

Image via Wikimedia
On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration's public charge rule to go into effect, striking down a nationwide injunction from a New York judge. The rule allows the government to deny green cards to immigrants who receive public assistance and are therefore considered a "public charge."
In addition to the 5-4 decision allowing the rule to go into effect, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch issued a concurring opinion rebuking activist judges and their rush to apply "nationwide injunctions" against Trump administration policies.
"Today the Court (rightly) grants a stay, allowing the government to pursue (for now) its policy everywhere save Illinois. But, in light of all that’s come before, it would be delusional to think that one stay today suffices to remedy the problem. The real problem here is the increasingly common practice of trial courts ordering relief that transcends the cases before them. Whether framed as injunctions of 'nationwide,' 'universal,' or 'cosmic' scope, these orders share the same basic flaw—they direct how the defendant must act toward persons who are not parties to the case," Gorsuch wrote.
Indeed, since Trump's inauguration, judges at various levels have issued injunctions to stall or prevent administration policy opposed by liberal groups and Democratic attorneys general. This is an egregious abuse of judicial review, and Gorsuch called the judges out for it.
"Equitable remedies, like remedies in general, are meant to redress the injuries sustained by a particular plaintiff in a particular lawsuit. When a district court orders the government not to enforce a rule against the plaintiffs in the case before it, the court redresses the injury that gives rise to its jurisdiction in the first place. But when a court goes further than that, ordering the government to take (or not take) some action with respect to those who are strangers to the suit, it is hard to see how the court could still be acting in the judicial role of resolving cases and controversies. Injunctions like these thus raise serious questions about the scope of courts’ equitable powers under Article III," he explained.
In the current case, Department of Homeland Security v. New York, four different courts issued injunctions: the Northern District of California prevented the policy in California, Oregon, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.; the Eastern District of Washington issued a nationwide injunction; the District of Maryland issued another nationwide injunction; and the Northern District of Illinois prevented the policy from taking effect in Illinois. Federal circuit courts struck some of these down.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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