Elections have consequences and according to Ruth Ginsburg’s warning yesterday, the Democrats are not going to be happy.
The court is sharply divided – 5 conservatives to 4 liberals. While we’ve seen some judges cross the aisle, those have been on smaller less critical cases. The big ones are coming – the census, gerrymandering, etc., and according to Ruth Ginsburg, we can expect a tight vote.
That will leave one side mortified. Based on earlier arguments where the conservative justices seemed to side with the Trump’s administration on the census and gerrymandering, the Democrats should get ready to be disappointed.
Yahoo reported that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hinted that sharp divisions will mark the final weeks of a Supreme Court term that will include major rulings on the census and partisan gerrymandering.
While speaking before the annual conference of federal judges in New York, Ruth Ginsburg suggested that more than a quarter of the court’s remaining 27 rulings will be decided by a single vote. Of the 43 argued cases settled so far, 11 were by a vote of either 5-4 or 5-3, she said.
“Given the number of most-watched cases still unannounced, I cannot predict that the relatively low sharp divisions ratio will hold,” the 86-year-old justice claimed, according to a copy of her remarks provided by the court on Friday.
The justices are scheduled to finish their nine-month term at the end of this month. It’s the first session since Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court and strengthened its conservative majority.
Ginsburg has made an annual practice of summarizing the high court’s term at the June conference, often offering what seem to be major hints about the outcome of the court’s biggest disputes.
Friday she touched on both the census and gerrymandering cases in her remarks. She linked the census case, which will determine whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross can include a question about citizenship in the 2020 survey, to the court’s decision last year upholding President Trump’s travel ban.
The travel ban ruling “granted great deference to the executive,” Ginsburg stated. Opponents of the citizenship question “have argued that a ruling in Secretary Ross’s favor would stretch deference beyond the breaking point.”
The two gerrymandering cases could resolve whether voting maps can be challenged as being so partisan they violate the Constitution.
“However one comes out on the legal issues, partisan gerrymandering unsettles the fundamental premise that people elect their representatives, not vice versa,” Ginsburg said.
The Washington Examiner reported that it’s been an eventful term for Justice Ginsburg, who for the first time in a quarter-century on the court missed some oral arguments while recovering from surgery.
“The court also gained a new member, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. Justice Ginsburg praised him for selecting all female law clerks, creating a new balance at the court. Thanks to his selections, the court has this term, for the first time ever, more women than men serving as law clerks,” Justice Ginsburg said.
Justice Kavanaugh replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired last summer. Justice Ginsburg called that the biggest factor for the court now, “and perhaps many terms ahead.”