The three Conservative Justices (Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch) are sounding the alarm on Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett according to a Newsweek article.
One of the accusations used against them was that they lack backbone.
For the first time in a generation, there are six conservative justices on the Supreme Court. In time, this sextet will incrementally push the Court to the right. Yet, three of them are already sounding an alarm. Twice this term, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch warned that Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett lack backbone.
In an excessive force case, the conservative trio wrote that the two newest Justices were “unwilling to…bear the criticism that” denying the prisoner’s appeal “would inevitably elicit.” And in a religious liberty case, the Thomas-3 charged that Kavanaugh and Barrett lacked the “fortitude” to overrule a controversial precedent. The conservatives implied a similar fissure in several other cases.
It is fairly common for justices to criticize their colleagues’ legal judgments. But it is rare for justices to claim that their colleagues are motivated by cowardice. The putative 6-3 conservative majority is, in fact, far from monolithic. At present, we have a 3-3-3 Court. There are three progressives, three conservatives and three members in the middle. Only time will tell whether Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett will sidle up to Chief Justice John Roberts’ P.R.-based jurisprudence, or whether they will stand on their constitutional principles.
They were also called out for punting on an election case.
The Court’s right-of-center bloc also fractured over election law. No, not the Kraken case, or Texas’ ill-fated suit. Instead, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Degraffenreid presented a critical question: Can the courts modify the rules governing elections?
In February 2021, well after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Court declined to review the appeal. Once again, the three conservatives dissented. Based on the process of elimination, Kavanaugh and Barrett refused to take up the case. In dissent, Thomas wrote that the Court had “an ideal opportunity” to resolve this issue “before the next election cycle.” The majority’s “refusal to do so” was thus “inexplicable,” “befuddling” and “baffling.” Thomas added, “one wonders what this Court waits for.” And by “Court,” he no doubt meant Kavanaugh and Barrett: If one of them had agreed, the Court would have heard the case.
Kavanaugh’s silence in Degraffenreid is especially “befuddling.” Prior to last November’s election, he ruled that courts could not alter election rules. Perhaps the tumultuous aftermath of the election, including the events of January 6, gave him pause. The Wall Street Journal wondered, “Where did Justice Brett Kavanaugh wander off to, since he was the fourth vote in October?” And Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times observed that Barrett might have declined to grant review because “the optics of voting to hear a last-ditch Trump appeal would be awkward, to say the least.”
Back on June 26th, we reported on Alito being not happy with Barrett and Kavanaugh.
Trump has also made his displeasure with the Supreme Court clear.
During one of his rallies he said many of the judges were gutless and that he was ashamed of them:
Trump says many of our judges are gutless and he says he’s ashamed of the Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/XOi3Fv3XtI
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 27, 2021
“I am ashamed of our Supreme Court” – President Trump
Speaking of the 2020 election
— Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) June 27, 2021
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