Tag Archives: Neil Gorsuch

‘Unfathomably Cruel’: Billionaire-Backed Justices Rule in Favor of Criminalizing Homelessness

“Maybe the right-wing justices could empathize with the most vulnerable Americans if they spent less time jet-setting on luxury vacations on their wealthy benefactors’ dime,” said one critic.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Homeless encampment in Downtown Los Angeles over the freeway in 2021. Photo: Levi Clancy/Wikimedia Commons/CC

“SCOTUS just criminalized homelessness.”

So said numerous legal experts and advocates for the unhoused Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority ruled that local governments can enforce bans on sleeping outdoors, regardless of whether municipalities are able to offer them shelter space.

In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the justices ruled in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson that officials can criminalize sleeping and camping on public property including parks, even when housing options are unavailable or unaffordable.

Continue reading
Share Button

Supreme Court Puts Countless ‘Lives at Risk’ by Ruling Against Clean Air

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has abandoned any pretense of neutrality in cases involving environmental regulations,” an expert said.

By Edward Carver. Published 6-27-2024 by Common Dreams

The John E. Amos Power Plant is a three-unit coal-fired power plant in West Virginia
owned and operated by Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP). Photo: Cathy/flickr/CC

Health and environmental groups decried a U.S. Supreme Court decision on Thursday that suspended an air pollution rule with far-reaching implications set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The justices ruled 5-4 in Ohio v. EPA to nullify the rule, designed to protect people in states downwind from smog-forming pollution, until the case can be decided on its merits in federal court, siding with the industrial polluters and upwind states who’d petitioned them to do so.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Consumers Win’ as Supreme Court Rejects ‘Radical’ Attack on CFPB

Amid celebrations over the ruling, one legal expert warned, “Don’t confuse ‘SCOTUS slaps down a wackadoodle 5th Circuit decision’ with ‘SCOTUS is more moderate than its critics claim.'”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra. Screenshot: CNBC

Legal experts and progressive advocates on Thursday applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision to uphold the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding mechanism but also cautioned against praising the far-right justices.

While Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented, fellow right-winger Clarence Thomas penned the opinion in CFPB v. Consumer Financial Services Association of America, joined by the other three conservatives and three liberals—two of whom wrote concurring opinions.

Continue reading
Share Button

With Alito’s Billionaire Patron Holding $90 Million in Finance Firms, Watchdog Demands Recusal From CFPB Case

“Should Justice Alito preside over this case despite his clear conflicts of interest, it would add to the worsening Supreme Court corruption crisis and underscore the urgent need for ethics reform,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 9-18-2023 by Common Dreams

Samuel-Alito. Screenshot: Conversations with Bill Kristol

Anti-corruption watchdog Accountable.US on Monday said there is a clear need for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from an upcoming court case regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as a new analysis revealed the extent of one of his key associate’s financial interests in the case.

The group released new data showing that hedge fund manager Paul Singer holds at least $90 million in financial firms overseen by the CFPB, which was established in 2011 through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and has since provided $16 billion in financial relief to defrauded consumers and ordered companies to pay $3.7 billion in penalties.

Continue reading
Share Button

US Supreme Court Puts Chevron Doctrine ‘Squarely In the Crosshairs’

One legal expert said that overturning the nearly 40-year precedent “would lead to far more judicial power grabs.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 5-1-2023 by Common Dreams

The United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. ruled on June 29, 2022 that authorities in Oklahoma and other states can prosecute certain crimes on sovereign tribal land. Photo: Beatrice Murch/flickr/CC

The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a challenge to a nearly 40-year administrative law precedent under which judges defer to federal agencies’ interpretation of ambiguous statutes—a case that legal experts warn could result in judicial power grabs and the gutting of environmental and other regulations.

The Supreme Court said it will take up Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo—a case in which fishing companies are seeking to strike down the Chevron doctrine, named after the landmark 1984 Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council ruling that conservatives have long sought to overturn. The case is one of the most cited precedents in administrative law.

Continue reading
Share Button

John Roberts’ Wife Made Millions From Elite Law Firms, Major Companies: Whistleblower Docs

“It almost makes you wonder whether the Supreme Court of the United States is suffering a massive, systemic ethics crisis,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 4-28-2023 by Common Dreams

Swearing in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: George W. Bush White House Archives

A whistleblower from the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa says Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, earned $10.3 million in commissions over seven years from her job as a headhunter at the company, where she placed attorneys with law firms—including at least one that argued a case before the Supreme Court after the placement was made.

Sullivan Roberts earned the money between 2007 and 2014, having taken a job with the company two years after her husband was confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a report out Friday from Business Insider.

Continue reading
Share Button

Walkouts Underway in Virginia Against Youngkin’s Attack on Trans Students

“It is shameful to pin your political hopes on your willingness to harm an already marginalized group of kids,” said one critic of the Republican governor’s plan to roll back transgender students’ rights.

By Brett Wilkins  Published 9-27-2022 by Common Dreams

Virginia students participate in a September 27, 2022 commonwealth-wide walkout in protest of a proposed rollback of transgender student rights by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. (Photo: Pride Liberation Project/Twitter)

Thousands of high school students walked out of classrooms across Virginia on Tuesday to protest a plan by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin that critics say aims to repress transgender youth amid growing nationwide GOP-led attacks on LGBTQ+ rights.

Chanting “trans rights are human rights,” “DOE, let us be,” and other slogans, students at scores of schools took part in demonstrations calling for the rejection of model Virginia Department of Education policies proposed earlier this month by Youngkin that, if approved, would force schools to categorize pupils according to scientifically dubious notions of “biological sex.” Continue reading

Share Button

‘Payoff for 40 Years of Dark Money’: Supreme Court Delivers for Corporate America

“It was the conservative court’s larger agenda to gut the regulatory state and decimate executive powers to protect Americans’ health and safety,” warned one expert.

By Jake Johnson  Published 7-1-2022 by Common Dreams

The interior of the United States Supreme Court. Photo: Phil Roeder/CC

Over the past several decades, corporate lawyers, right-wing activists, Republican officials, and dark money groups with deep pockets have been laying the groundwork for a far-reaching legal assault on the federal government’s ability to regulate U.S. industry—including the oil and gas sector threatening the planet.

On Thursday, their investments bore major fruit.

In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, a Supreme Court packed with right-wing judges handpicked and boosted by some of the same forces leading the yearslong crusade against the power of regulatory agencies—which conservatives often dub the “administrative state”—dramatically restricted the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to rein in greenhouse gas pollution from power plants. Continue reading

Share Button

‘An Act of Conquest’: Native Americans Condemn SCOTUS Tribal Sovereignty Ruling

“Every few paragraphs of the majority opinion has another line that dismissively and casually cuts apart tribal independence that Native ancestors gave their lives for,” observed one Indigenous law professor.

By Brett Wilkins  Published 6-29-2022 by Common Dreams

The United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. ruled on June 29, 2022 that authorities in Oklahoma and other states can prosecute certain crimes on sovereign tribal land. Photo: Beatrice Murch/flickr/CC

Indigenous leaders on Wednesday condemned a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows authorities in Oklahoma and other states to prosecute certain crimes on sovereign tribal land, a narrowing of a landmark 2020 decision affirming Native treaty rights.

Writing for the majority in the 5-4 Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta decision—in which Neil Gorsuch joined the three liberal justices in dissent—Justice Brett Kavanaugh asserted that “the federal government and the state have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed by non-Indians against Indians in Indian Country.” Continue reading

Share Button

‘Endangers Us All’: Supreme Court Ruling Shields Border Agent From Excessive Force Lawsuit

The ruling leaves thousands of Border Patrol agents “absolutely immunized from liability,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “no matter how egregious the misconduct or resultant injury.”

By Julia Conley   Published 6-9-2022 by Common Dreams

ERO Cross Check 2017. Photo: ICE/flickr/public domain

A ruling by the right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday “will have far-reaching consequences” for people who accuse federal agents of violating their constitutional rights, the ACLU warned after the court ruled against a man who wanted to sue a U.S. Border Patrol agent who entered his property without a warrant and used excessive force.

The court ruled 6-3 in Egbert v. Boule that Congress must decide whether the plaintiff can sue the government over the alleged violation of his rights—a decision which Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissenting opinion threatens to block nearly all civil suits against federal agents. Continue reading

Share Button