Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Justice Gorsuch sides with the law, not the politicians. Good for him!

I'm getting very annoyed with idiots sounding off about Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch for voting against what they see as Trump administration priorities concerning immigration.  I've seen blog posts and other ideologically-blinkered ramblings denouncing him as a "traitor", or something similar.  For those not familiar with the news report, here's one version.  I've underlined the key sentence.

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that part of a federal law that makes it easier to deport immigrants who have been convicted of crimes is too vague to be enforced.

The court's 5-4 decision — an unusual alignment in which new Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the four liberal justices — concerns a catchall provision of immigration law that defines what makes a crime violent. Conviction for a crime of violence makes deportation "a virtual certainty" for an immigrant, no matter how long he has lived in the United States, Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her opinion for the court.

The decision is a loss for President Donald Trump's administration, which has emphasized stricter enforcement of immigration law. In this case, President Barack Obama's administration took the same position in the Supreme Court in defense of the challenged provision.

With the four other conservative justices in dissent, it was the vote of the Trump appointee that was decisive in striking down the provision at issue. Gorsuch did not join all of Kagan's opinion, but he agreed with her that the law could not be left in place. Gorsuch wrote that "no one should be surprised that the Constitution looks unkindly on any law so vague that reasonable people cannot understand its terms and judges do not know where to begin in applying it."

There's more at the link.

I have no idea why people are complaining that Justice Gorsuch is a "traitor" to President Trump for ruling as he did.  On the contrary - he did exactly what he was appointed to do.  He ruled according to the Constitution and laws of the United States.  What's more, he's absolutely correct.  If we can't understand a law, and if judges can't figure out how to apply it, then why the hell is it a law in the first place?

Justice Gorsuch wasn't partisan and he wasn't a traitor.  I wish we had more judges like him, not putting partisan politics ahead of their job of administering the law as it is written and according to what it plainly says and means.  He ruled that, in this case, since the law was not clear about what it meant, it was constitutionally invalid.  What would critics rather he had done - judicially modified the law by ruling according to his personal convictions and philosophies?  Isn't that what we complain about in so many other judges?  By ruling as he did, he demonstrated clearly the problem with this particular law as passed by Congress.  In doing so, the ball has been passed back to the legislative branch of government, which now has an opportunity to write, debate and pass a more logical, rational, easily understandable law that will accomplish what it intended in the first place.  That's precisely how our system of government is supposed to work.

Thank you, Mr. Justice Gorsuch.  You did your job, and I'm grateful.  Long may you continue to do so!



Gorges Smythe said...

I can see both sides, except for the traitor term. The justice is basically saying that the law needs rewritten. Still, with all of our border problems and democrat obstruction, the ruling comes at a very inconvenient time. Plus, it's unlikely there would be enough votes to rewrite it properly.

McChuck said...

The role of the Supreme Court now, in these times is to rule from the bench and favor their political parties. If the Left does it, the Right must also or else be overwhelmed. There is no victory in noble defeat - there is only defeat. And defeat by the Left means our utter destruction.

Lawfare is real. It is a significant portion of the Left's assault on America. It's time we fight fire with fire.

Should it be this way? No. It is not ethical, nor moral, it is merely necessary.

Old 1811 said...

The ruling was correct. Burglary is a property crime, not a crime of violence, and you can't make it a violent crime just to get the result you want.
This guy was convicted of two burglaries. Why didn't the government use the section of the same law that renders a permanent resident deportable if he's convicted of two "crimes involving moral turpitude" (crimes involving theft, fraud, or violence, which certainly includes burglary) "not arising from the same scheme of criminal misconduct"?
It looks to me like the government outsmarted itself. Who could have predicted that?

Peter said...

@McChuck: To coin a phrase, "Two wrongs don't make one right". If we adopt the same tactics as those who seek only to use the law as a tool to achieve their ends, we de-legitimize the law just as much as they do. We make ourselves just as guilty.

Dad29 said...

It looks to me like the government outsmarted itself.

Not necessarily. If I intend to void this Federal law, and I am a committed Lefty prosecutor, I will over-charge so that the result is what we saw yesterday.

Sadly, as Peter mentions, Congress will not do its work; it prefers to avoid any sort of controversy.

And if you think that Congress deliberately 'sets up' the courts for these decisions, you are right.

Steve Sky said...

The problem isn't that we'll delegitimize the law, that's already happened. The problem is that our side would rather bend knee & kiss the ring of our oppressors, than actually fight to win.

From a link on the

After Trump won, the left retreated from controlling us through elected offices to controlling us through unelected offices. Federal judges, the FBI, the media and major corporate monopolies have been pitted against the elected officials who represent the will of the people. This is the civil war we are now in.

The question now becomes whether we'll die like the Kulaks, or not, and I think Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's quote about how the populace treats the secret police, will get another try in our country.

Old 1811 said...

I don't think the government overcharged, but that they used the wrong charge in an attempt to get an easy (or easier) win. If your intent is to get a law overturned, doing something that will end up in the Supreme Court seems to be a complicated and chancy to do it. After all, this was a 5-4 decision.
And I don't think this was a sneaky lefty trick. Burglary isn't a crime of violence. Violence is defined as the use of force or fear against a person, not property. Calling burglary a "crime of violence" because doing so will accomplish your goal is wrong.

Dad29 said...

Note, please, that I agree with Gorsuch's position....

Points taken.

Chris Mallory said...

Simple, change the law from "violent crime" to any crime to include misdemeanors, traffic citations and city ordinances. Make sure it applies no matter how long the immigrant has been in the US. We need mass deportations, not more immigration.

Will said...

The problem with calling a burglary a non-violent crime is to overlook the somewhat common situation where the criminal(s) overlook the fact that someone IS in the building. Too often the result is an attack on the person, especially if it is a female.
BTW, a very common action of the burglars is to hit the kitchen first, to arm themselves with cutlery in case they DO find a resident. It gets tossed when they leave, so they are unarmed if they get stopped on or near the property. This is because being armed as a burglar is normally a heavier charge than a simple B&E would net them.

McChuck said...

@Peter - There is no law. The Constitution is dead. Pretending otherwise doesn't help is survive and win. The Left wants us DEAD.

Political power is the prize, and is used to punish your enemies and control the masses. The Leftists have taught us this. Not fighting back is a noble stance, but will be no more successful than turning in our guns will make the world a more peaceful place.

Any weapon of my enemy is meet and good for me to use.

Old 1811 said...

Calling burglary, a crime against property, a "violent" crime because of the potential for violence if a burglar confronts a resident is not correct. If a burglar confronts a resident, he usually flees, and if he assaults the resident, he's not committing a burglary. He's committing an assault, robbery, etc. Shoplifters have been known to injure or kill people attempting to stop them, but no one considers shoplifting a violent crime.
And this guy wasn't convicted of robbery or assault; he was convicted of burglary, which means he was not convicted of committing any violence.
If the government had used the proper charge, a conviction of "two or more crimes involving moral turpitude not arising from the same scheme of criminal misconduct," this guy would have been deported long ago with no muss and no fuss. But the government screwed up and now it and we are paying the price. It's that simple.

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

Agreed. We need more judges like Mr. Gorsuch if we have any hope of retaining rule of law.