Feb 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Justice Sotomayor: Rushing Trump admin's legal challenges "comes at a cost"

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor at Tufts University on Sept. 12 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a dissenting opinion on Friday against the court's 5-4 vote to allow the Trump administration to penalize immigrants likely to rely on public programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

The big picture: The Trump administration has consistently tried to get controversial cases in front of the Supreme Court as quickly as possible, routinely asking the high court to step in before appeals courts have a chance to rule, Axios' Sam Baker reports. Sotomayor is apparently expressing her dissent at this new arrangement as well as the ruling itself.

Flashback: “It appears the Government has treated this exceptional mechanism as a new normal,” Sotomayor wrote in a dissenting opinion last fall. “Not long ago, the Court resisted the shortcut the Government now invites. I regret that my colleagues have not exercised the same restraint here.”

What she's saying:

"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. ...
... this Court is partly to blame for the breakdown in the appellate process. That is because the Court—in this case, the New York cases, and many others—has been all too quick to grant the Government’s “reflexiv[e]” requests. Ibid. But make no mistake: Such a shift in the Court’s own behavior comes at a cost."
— Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote

The other side: "We are gratified by the Supreme Court ruling on Friday night lifting the final remaining injunction on the public charge regulation. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security will be able to implement its regulation on Monday," the White House said in a statement on Saturday.

Go deeper: Trump administration to penalize immigrants likely to use public benefits

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Trump says RBG and Sotomayor should recuse themselves from his cases

President Trump at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted during his India visit late Monday that Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should "recuse themselves" from cases involving him or his administration.

Why it matters: The president's criticism of the liberal justices comes after he attacked the judge overseeing the case of his longtime adviser Roger Stone, who was sentenced last Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes including lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Supreme Court allows Trump's full "Remain in Mexico" program to continue

President Trump at a rally in Phoenix in February. Photo: Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images

The Supreme Court gave the Trump administration another immigration win on Wednesday, blocking a federal injunction that would have halted the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — or "Remain in Mexico" policy — in California and Arizona.

Why it matters: The Trump administration sent military troops to parts of the border ahead of the decision in order to prepare for any surges of migrants crossing the border if MPP was halted, per the New York Times.

The Supreme Court could be Trump's ACA nightmare

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court’s next big Affordable Care Act case could be a huge political problem for President Trump.

Why it matters: The Trump administration will spend the next several months urging the court to strip away some 20 million people’s health insurance and to throw out protections for pre-existing conditions. And it may all come to a head just before Election Day.

Go deeperArrowMar 3, 2020 - Health