Neil Gorsuch — the Supreme Court Justice who owes his appointment to Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) unscrupulous and un-American decision to block President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland from a fair hearing — has been the rallying cry for conservatives during the Trump era.
As the president continues to debase our democracy, attack the free press, and practice rampant corruption, Republicans console themselves with the fact that at least they stole the Supreme Court seat they wanted.
After today’s news, they may need to construct a different narrative. A decision from the court was announced today, and much to the chagrin of the MAGA crowd, Gorsuch ruled against Trump on a deportation case, reports The Hill.
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Gorsuch, along with the four liberal Justices, voted in favor of immigrant James Garcia Dimaya, agreeing that the two burglary charges he faces do not fall under the category of “violent crimes.”
The Justice Department attempted to argue that the burglaries were indeed violent crimes, which in turn would have allowed them to immediately deport Dimaya under current law, in keeping with Trump and Attorney Jeff Sessions’s virulent anti-immigrant, xenophobic ethos.
Justice Elena Kagan delivered the opinion and said that the Court followed a previous ruling that stated that the definition of “violent felony” was too vague as to be constitutionally upheld. Gorsuch’s agreement was couched in the fact that “vague laws invite arbitrary power.” He pointed out that prior to the American Revolution, “treason” was such an abstract concept legally that people could be put to death for simply voicing certain opinions.
“The founders cited the crown’s abuse of ‘pretended’ crimes like this as one of their reasons for revolution,” said Gorsuch.
The four remaining Justices dissented, stating that “violent crime” is not too vague a descriptor and can be legally upheld. While Gorsuch still sits in a seat that should rightfully belong to someone else, this decision is commendable. That said, one would be a fool to presume he has finally seen the light, and will likely rule along Trumpian lines on future cases.