During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) compared left-leaning Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to an “arsonist” and turned her complaint against her fellow justices on its head.
On Friday night, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the Trump administration’s request for an emergency stay on a lower court’s nationwide injunction against its “public charge” rule — which bans non-citizens from receiving a green card if the government believes those non-citizens would rely on public assistance — while the administration appeals the injunction.
In her dissenting opinion on the ruling, Sotomayor attacked the five justices on the court who ruled in favor of the Trump administration. The justices, Sotomayor strongly suggested in the scathing dissent, have demonstrated bias for the Trump administration rather than a commitment to upholding the Constitution.
“[T]he Court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others,” she wrote suggestively.
“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,” Sotomayor opined.
Cruz, a Harvard-educated constitutional lawyer, addressed Sotomayor’s widely reported complaint against her fellow justices during a hearing on courts’ use of such nationwide injunctions on Tuesday.
“I read it a little bit like an arsonist complaining about the noise from the fire trucks,” Cruz said of Sotomayor’s minority opinion, as reported by Fox News.
The progressive justice, Cruz suggested, has the whole problem backwards. The issue is not that the Trump administration is requesting emergency stays on lower court’s injunctions, or that the Supreme Court is granting those stays. The problem is that activist judges in lower courts are excessively blocking Trump administration policies.
“If you look to the facts of what’s happening with nationwide injunctions, I think it will explain why the Department of Justice has had to ask the Supreme Court to intervene over and over again,” said Cruz.
The judges repeatedly blocking Trump administration policies, argued Cruz, are acting more like “partisan political activists” than fair-minded judges. Cruz also pointed out that a mere “handful of judges” are the ones who are preventing the administration from carrying out federal policies, a third of the injunctions having originated in California courts.
These judges are “operating effectively as part of the resistance movement,” abusing their authority to block Trump administration policies “they happen to disagree with,” the senator maintained.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the stay, the White House issued a statement over the weekend defending the rationale of its “public charge” rule.
“This final rule will protect hardworking American taxpayers, safeguard welfare programs for truly needy Americans, reduce the Federal deficit, and re-establish the fundamental legal principle that newcomers to our society should be financially self-reliant and not dependent on the largesse of United States taxpayers,” the White House said.
As The Daily Wire reported, Trump also blasted Sotomayor for her criticism of the other justices, calling her complaint “a terrible thing to say” and suggesting she and fellow progressive Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg “should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters!”