The United States Supreme Court has long had a predilection for Republican nominated Justices turning hard left after confirmation and donning the black robes of ultimate authority. Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra O’Connor were prime examples of portraying themselves as conservative and then reveling in the muddy waters of being “swing votes,” aligning with liberals on major issues.
President Donald Trump is now likely feeling the same sting that Pres. Ronald Reagan endured as his nominees O’Connor and Kennedy danced with the wolves.
Neil Gorsuch, a former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Tenth Circuit, was nominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to succeed brilliant originalist Antonin Scalia, who died unexpectedly while on a hunting trip.
Brett Kavanaugh, a U.S. District Court Judge for the D.C. Circuit, succeeded retiring Anthony Kennedy following a contentious nominating process in which Democrats went to the mat to defeat his nomination. Pres. Trump’s support remained solid and conservatives rejoiced as the two nominees each were sworn in and took their seats on the nation’s highest court.
On the nine-member court with five Republican appointees — including Chief Justice John Roberts — the all-too-frequent lurch to the left is palpably disappointing.
Monday, Roberts jarringly joined far-left justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor in striking down Louisiana’s law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, concluding such patient protections violate the abortion rights mandated in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Two weeks earlier, the court ruled 5-4 against the Trump administration, saying it did not take the proper steps to end Obama’s 8-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects an estimated quarter of a million illegal aliens from deportation based on unable to be verified claims they entered the USA with their invading parents as young children. Roberts, ensuring a future Democrat majority voting bloc, wrote the court’s opinion, joined by the four liberal justices.
Bereaved family members making final arrangements for their loved ones at a Georgia funeral home, were forced to deal with an obvious male employee who decided to come to work in drag. His employer asked him to return to his usual mode of dress, which he claimed infringed on his right of free expression as a newly configured transgender male. Gerald Bostock’s outrageous claim was persuasive. In a June 15, 2020, 6-3 ruling, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion. Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh were in the minority authoring dissents, voting for sanity.
Chief Justice John Roberts, portrayed as a conservative when nominated by President George W. Bush, joined his liberal colleagues in all three cases.