In January, the Supreme Court ruled for the Trump administration, which had asked for permission on the “public charge” rule, banning noncitizens from receiving a green card if the government thought that those noncitizens would rely on public assistance. As Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog wrote, “That ruling put on hold a pair of orders by a federal district court in New York, which had blocked the government from enforcing the rule anywhere in the nation.”
On Friday night, the Supreme Court ruled the Trump administration could enforce that rule in Illinois while the federal government goes ahead and appeals a judge’s ruling barring the federal government from enforcing the rule. That ruling prompted leftist justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was nominated for her seat on the court by former President Barack Obama, to attack the five so-called “conservative” judges on the court who gave the Trump administration a 5-4 victory in the case, as being biased in favor of President Trump, writing, “the Court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others.”
The Daily Mail reported, “Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court lifted a limited injunction that applied only to Illinois … The emergency applications by the administration are meant to circumvent ‘the normal appellate process’ while ‘putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won,’ Sotomayor wrote in her dissent.”
The Daily Mail explained:
For the last 20 years, only actual cash benefits – TANF and SSI – or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense disqualified applicants. Now they can be disqualified for using: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food stamps; Public Housing; Section 8 housing assistance; most forms of Medicaid; any state or local income assistance.
On Saturday, The White House stated, “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.”
In June 2018, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, in a 5-to-4 vote. Sotomayor issued a furious dissent in which she accused the president of anti-Muslim bias, likening the ban to Korematsu v. United States, the 1944 decision that endorsed the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
The majority opinion disagreed, slamming Sotomayor for her use of the case simply for rhetorical purposes, writing:
… the dissent invokes Korematsu v. United States. Whatever rhetorical advantage the dissent may see in doing so, Korematsu has nothing to do with this case. The forcible relocation of U. S. citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively unlawful and outside the scope of Presidential authority. But it is wholly inapt to liken that morally repugnant order to a facially neutral policy deny- ing certain foreign nationals the privilege of admission. The entry suspension is an act that is well within executive authority and could have been taken by any other President—the only question is evaluating the actions of this particular President in promulgating an otherwise valid Proclamation.