Valkygrrl tipped me off to the Supreme Court case of Patel v. Garland, a 5-4 decision involving both ethics and law. It’s almost too complicated to describe, so I recommend you read it, including Justice Gorsuch’s dissent, here.
It’s a terrific example of where the role of the Court diverges from what the average citizen thinks it is. The majority held that federal law bars courts from reviewing a judge’s alleged factual error in an immigration matter: Patel was held to have forfeited his chance at getting back on a path to citizenship because he had—mistakenly, he claims—stated falsely that he was a citizen on a key document. The trial judge ruled that this was intentional; Gorsuch states that this was an obvious error on the judge’s part, and that justice demands a judicial reversal. The conservative majority held that the decision could not be reviewed one way or the other.
“Today, the court holds that a federal bureaucracy can make an obvious factual error, one that will result in an individual’s removal from this country, and nothing can be done about it,” Gorsuch wrote. “No court may even hear the case. It is a bold claim promising dire consequences for countless lawful immigrants.” But the majority, in opinion by Justice Barrett, said federal law bans judicial review of decisions by immigration judges that deny discretionary relief from deportation, and the ban also prevents judicial review of factual findings underlying the denial of relief.
As the Waco Kid (“Blazing Saddles”) would say, “Boy, is she strict!”
I don’t understand why Gorsuch is so convinced Patel is being honest when he says he checked the wrong box by accident. Nor was he exactly a “lawful immigrant”: he came to the U.S. illegally to begin with.
1. From the “Quotes that would instantly make up my mind about who to vote for” Dept.: Kathy Burnett, one of the Republicans on the ballot in the GOP primary to determine who runs for the open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania (Dr. Oz is among her competition, and the Trump endorsed candidate), was asked if she would support whoever got the nomination if she didn’t, and said,
“I have no intentions of supporting globalists. I believe we have ran out of room on this runway for this spaceship. I believe we have very little rope left to just roll the dice and we’ll see how it all works out on the other end. I believe our country is in trouble. I don’t believe we have much longer and I believe what I have done is I have made it possible where Pennsylvanians do not have to hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils this time. I don’t think we have room to just vote for any old warm body with an R next to their name. I think we can do better than that.”
The fact that someone who talks and thinks like that can even be this close to a seat in the Senate is sufficient reason to start looking for a real spaceship.
2. New York, New York! Continue reading