Trump calls on Sotomayor and Ginsburg to recuse themselves after comments accusing colleagues of Trump bias

Late last night Trump tweeted in response to a statement from Laura Ingraham that both Sotomayor and Ginsburg should recuse themselves after comments from Sotomayor accusing GOP appointed justices of being biased in Trump’s favor:

Trump tweets: “Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump.” @IngrahamAngle @FoxNews This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to “shame” some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a “faker”. Both should recuse themselves……on all Trump, or Trump related, matters! While “elections have consequences”, I only ask for fairness, especially when it comes to decisions made by the United States Supreme Court!

Here’s more on what Sotomayor said from Fox News:

Sotomayor, who was nominated by President Obama in 2009, issued the blistering dissent Friday after a ruling in the case of Wolf v. Cook County.

The case dealt with the Trump administration’s expansion of situations where the government can deny visas to non-citizens looking to enter the U.S.

Federal law already says that officials can take into account whether an applicant is likely to become a “public charge,” which government guidance has said refers to someone “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.

Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, “It is hard to say what is more troubling: that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.”

Vox pointed out what appeared to be the crux of Sotomayor’s argument: the Trump administration has a practice of using a favorable Supreme Court to bypass lower courts still considering cases. The report pointed to a paper written by Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor. Vladeck wrote that Trump’s solicitor general has filed at least 21 stay applications in the Supreme Court and compared that number to the combined eight times the applications were used during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited Court resources in each,” Sotomayor wrote in the dissent. “And with each successive application, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow. Indeed, its behavior relating to the public-charge rule in particular shows how much its own definition of irreparable harm has shifted.”

The Hill adds even more:

In the case, Wolf v. Cook County, a U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the policy in Illinois. The Supreme Court had previously voted 5-4 in January to lift a nationwide injunction imposed by a federal judge in New York while the case played out in appeals court. Last week, Solicitor General Noel Francisco sent a request asking the court to do the same for the Illinois injunction.

Sotomayor said the court has not looked at this case, as well as other appeals of the administration’s policies, objectively and is quick to rule in favor of President Trump.

“This Court is partly to blame for the breakdown in the appellate process,” Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, wrote. “That is because the Court—in this case, the New York cases, and many others—has been all too quick to grant the Government’s ‘reflexiv[e]’ requests. But make no mistake: Such a shift in the Court’s own behavior comes at a cost.”

“I fear that this disparity in treatment erodes the fair and balanced decision making process that this Court must strive to protect,” Sotomayor concluded.

So there’s your bias. She’s angry because Trump has called on the court a number of times to lift these nationwide injunctions and the court, without reviewing the matter, often grants it. It looks like she’s accusing her own colleagues of bias in favor of Trump.

Trump is right. That is a horrible thing to say. And she’s wrong in her criticism, as Carrie Sevino points out:

Carrie Severino, the president of the Judicial Crisis Network, told Ingraham that Sotomayor’s concern is misplaced. She said lower-court judges are repeatedly issuing nationwide injunctions at a quantity never before seen — that is, ruling that their decision affects the entire country rather than the jurisdiction wherein it was brought.

If my memory serves me well I believe even Clarence Thomas has written that these lower courts, whose jurisdiction is limited, should not be issuing these nationwide injunctions. It’s not about bias and Sotomayor should apologize to her colleagues.

As far as Trump’s comments about Ginsburg calling him a faker, that was in 2016 and Ginsburg apologized. I get his point, which is a good point. But in terms of calling on them to recuse themselves, he probably should have just focused on Sotomayor.

Comment Policy: Please read our comment policy before making a comment. In short, please be respectful of others and do not engage in personal attacks. Otherwise we will revoke your comment privileges.