Twice this week the Trump administration has suffered major losses at the Supreme Court. President Donald Trump’s administration has placed two judges on the bench, to much criticism from those who see it as ‘stacking’ with not only conservative judges, but judges Trump specifically expects to rule in his favor. However, the president tweeted Thursday morning asking, “Do you get the impression the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”
Alliance for Justice notes that both of Trump’s Supreme Court appointees have been controversial, for different reasons. Neil Gorsuch, seated in 2017, struck some people as occupying a seat that President Barack Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, should have filled, but Mitch McConnell blocked voting on the seat while Obama was in office. Trump’s second pick, Brett Kavanaugh, was controversial for his own past, and accusations of sexual misconduct, as well as for his seat’s sudden availability when his predecessor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, suddenly and unexpectedly retired.
With two Trump-appointed justices on the bench, there has been public concern that this could shift the court in ways that would affect the nation for generations. Trump even complained that other SCOTUS Justices had expressed concerns about his two appointees potentially holding a bias in his favor.
However, as Trump’s term draws to a close, with the 2020 elections only a few months away, SCOTUS has ruled against his administration twice in quick succession. Though they’re by no means the only times that SCOTUS hasn’t sided with Trump, these two seemed to hit him particularly hard.
As the New York Times reported earlier this week, SCOTUS ruled that current civil rights laws do protect LGBT employees from being fired for their sexuality or gender. Trump responded, suggesting that he disagreed with the ruling, but said it’s one his administration “can live with.”
However, on Thursday, the court ruled against Trump again. They determined that Trump doesn’t have the right to simply end DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that protected undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as kids — without sufficient justification. NPR reports that Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision, calling the attempt to end the program “arbitrary and capricious.”
While these two rulings went against Trump’s administration, SCOTUS also made another decision that earned criticism from conservatives this week, by declining to hear several cases in which a decision might have expanded second amendment rights.
#SCOTUS declines to hear a group of Second Amendment cases that the justices had considered at several conferences
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 15, 2020
Trump appeared to take these decisions quite personally, raging on Twitter to say call the court ‘politically-charged’ and declare that ‘more justices’ would be necessary to protect gun rights. He asked if anyone else got the impression SCOTUS was acting against him personally.
It was as recent as February that Donald Trump was touting his two seated Justices as proof of his success as President of the United States. Now, only a few months later, it’s clear that his changes to the court haven’t ensured his administration’s victories in some very significant cases.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com