US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court has featured in the news two days in a row,


Fox News: Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban 5-4

The 5-4 ruling marks the first major high court decision on a Trump administration policy. It upholds the selective travel restrictions, which critics called a discriminatory “Muslim ban” but the administration argued was needed for security reasons.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who authored the conservative majority opinion, wrote that the order was “squarely within the scope of presidential authority” under federal law.

“The sole prerequisite set forth in [federal law] is that the president find that the entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. The president has undoubtedly fulfilled that requirement here,” he wrote.

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was among the court’s four liberals that wrote a dissent.

In a written statement, Trump called the ruling “a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution.” As critics continued to decry the policy as “xenophobic,” Trump described the court decision as “a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country.”

NPR: In 5-4 Decision, Court Deals Huge Blow to Government Unions

In a blow to organized labor, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers who choose not to join a union cannot be charged for the cost of collective bargaining.

The decision reverses a 4-decades-old precedent and upends laws in 22 states.

The vote was a predictable 5-4. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion with the court’s conservatives joining him.

So two decisions split between conservative and liberal judges. And the Supreme Court may get to lean further to the right – judges are appointed by Presidents, but need to be confirmed by the Senate.

CNBC: Kennedy Leaving Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday he’s retiring at the end of July, giving President Donald Trump another chance to fundamentally reshape the highest court in the land.

Replacing Kennedy with a conservative could have a massive long-term effect on the highest U.S. court. His decision to leave will have huge implications for the midterm elections, as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the Senate. The chamber confirms Supreme Court justices.

This will increase interest and pressure in the mid-term elections.


    • Corky

       /  June 28, 2018

      Seriously..God bless America. A true lawyers resignation. Covering all bases, and showing respect for the boss of bosses, and the greatest constitution in the world.

      It would be a forlorn hope that Europe would enact similar legislation.

  1. Ray

     /  June 28, 2018

    It is worth noting this is the model that Geoffrey Palmer (or as he insists Sir Geoffrey ) would like NZ to follow, judges making decisions on which of our laws are legal rather than the elected MPs !
    Which leads to the appointing judges becoming political act.
    And really old men, long out of touch, making important decisions on how ordinary citizens live their lives, see the present business in the UK on civil unions.

  2. Patzcuaro

     /  June 28, 2018
  3. Gezza

     /  June 28, 2018

    It’s a strange kind of Justice System that can get skewed one way or the other for decades by individual Presidents. On the face of it there’s an argument that can be made that a judicial system so accountable to voters that it lurches between liberal & conservative in different places and times fits the US but on balance I reckon it’s too inconsistent for anybody else.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  June 28, 2018

      And Trump won the Presidency under the existing system but failed to carry a majority of the voters.

      • David

         /  June 28, 2018

        There was never any intent that the presidency required the majority of voters.

        • Patzcuaro

           /  June 28, 2018

          I acknowledged that, but for a democracy to function long term it needs to be representative of a majority of voters. This is not the case in the US at present and wasn’t the case in NZ under FPP.

      • MaureenW

         /  June 28, 2018

        Same as Jacinta

        • Patzcuaro

           /  June 28, 2018

          No that is incorrect in NZ under MMP to form a government you must have at least 50.1% support. While Labour isn’t the biggest party, with the Greens and NZ First it represents over 50% of the votes cast.

          • MaureenW

             /  June 28, 2018

            While, in the US, the Electoral College is an indirect system for electing the US President.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  June 28, 2018

              Your point is?

              While the electoral college elects the president it doesn’t necessarily mean that the winner gets the highest overall vote. Because each state gets 2 senators regardless of population the electoral college is skewed towards the Republicans. California with a large population which leans Democrat gets the same number of senators as Wyoming which has a fraction of the population and leans Republican.

              In the electoral college each state gets the number of senators (always 2) plus the number of congressional districts which is based on population. As a result the electoral college is weighed towards rural Reublican voting states.

              The result is that a President who didn’t win the popular vote is going to influence the composition of the Supreme Court making it less representative of the overall country.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  June 28, 2018

            That assumes the majority of NZF voters wanted to go left. Their collapse in support as they have had to abandon many of their policies would suggest this may not be the case.
            So while the Government may represent in total the majority of voters for each party on election day, it is highly debatable as to whether it represents what the majority of voters actually wanted.

  4. David

     /  June 28, 2018

    Travel bans have always been a Presudents decision, Obama banned travel from the same countries and Congress has deemed these same places as dodgy. If you cant rely on those countries supplying correct information then why is a travel ban so terrible…safety first.
    Covered only 8% of Muslims and the original ruling was from the oft overturned 9th circuit and was judge shopped in the 1st place.
    Our minister has the same powers and doesn’t have to ask parliament to change any Visa requirements from war torn countries that have little or no government infrastructure.

  5. Patzcuaro

     /  June 28, 2018
  6. Joe Bloggs

     /  June 28, 2018

    I just feel sad for America, for the potential loss of abortion rights and LGBT rights

  7. High Flying Duck

     /  June 28, 2018

    Not sure why anyone is worried. I’m sure Trump is, as always, absolutely spot on in his assessment:

    “Trump: Kennedy retired now because he’s ‘confident in me to make the right choice’ to replace him”

    “President Trump on Wednesday said that Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court because he knew Trump would pick the right replacement to “carry on his great legacy.”

    “I’m very honored that he chose to do it during my term in office,” Trump said during a rally in Fargo, N.D. “Because he felt confident in me to make the right choice and carry on his great legacy. That’s why he did it.””

    • MaureenW

       /  June 28, 2018

      Lol, Joe doesn’t care he’s got a new cause to feel sad about – sniff!

    • Typical Trump to make it all about himself.

      Kennedy has no doubt been planning to retire while trump was president for decades.

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 28, 2018
    • Gezza

       /  June 28, 2018

      1. Do they have US law degrees?
      2. Do you have a US law degree?