As this session comes to a close, SCOTUS (Supreme Court of The United States) handed down two of the three most controversial decisions of the term.
When asked why the Supreme Court waits until the last minute? Experts seem to say – its so that they can get the cases ready. But I disagree. It’s cause they know the fall out will be huge and it’s best to be out of town when it happens.
Case in point: Fisher v University of Texas. As I wrote before, this is a case that was really bought by foes of Affirmative Action who have been around since before the Regan Administration.
With no question of standing, the Court took up the case even though the plaintiff has long since moved on. This was a naked attempt to continue to chip away at a law that tries to give minorities a chance to get admission into universities that have historically been all white.
Chief Justice Roberts (who probably now wishes when Fisher first came up the court had struck affirmative action down) must have thought this was a slam dunk (as did many others). The Court’s liberal wing was down a justice (Kagen recused herself) so even if the so called swing justice Kennedy sided with the liberals it would have been 4-3.
But then Justice Scalia died. The heart and soul of the conservative movement must be turning in his grave right now. People will be talking about the impact of Scalia’s tenure on the Court for generations.
But here, even the court took notice as Alito (who wrote the decent and was joined by Roberts and Thomas) notes: “Something strange has happened since our prior decision in this case.”
Yes, something strange has happened – the court has swung to the side of liberals on this one.
The swing vote Kennedy swung to the liberal side (along with Souter, Ginsberg and Sotomayor). The decision was 4-3 in favor of the defense – of the University of Texas. Yes, you can use race in a narrow way to decide who does and does not go to UT @ Austin,UT’s attorney, Gregory Garre and President Greg Fenves.
On the not so good side of things, the court came to no ruling on DACA. The decision was 4-4.
This is basically like a hung jury in a trial. Neither side could agree. So what happens? The lower court ruling stands. And the lower court ruling was a blistering NO to DACA.
The presiding judge Andrew Hanen believed the President went outside his authority when it came to the deferred action for undocumented children.
In addition, Hanen was so aggrieved by the administration’s continued push for DACA and what he viewed as outright lying, he ordered lawyers to ethics class.
He also demanded that Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch provide a “comprehensive plan” within 60 days describing how she will prevent unethical conduct in the future, as well as making sure the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility effectively prevents misconduct among its lawyers.
He also said that any Justice Department lawyer who wants to appear in a state or federal court in any of the 26 states who filed suit to block Mr. Obama’s executive actions should be required to take an annual three-hour ethics course for the next five years.
“Clearly, there seems to be a lack of knowledge about or adherence to the duties of professional responsibility in the halls of the Justice Department,” Judge Hanen wrote in the 28-page order.
Yikes! So DACA is in this guy’s hands? Good luck….