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Gorsuch comes through for Trump and big business

Just a few weeks ago, Supreme Court headlines caused some of President Donald Trump's supporters to pause for a momen...

Posted: May 22, 2018 4:45 AM
Updated: May 22, 2018 4:45 AM

Just a few weeks ago, Supreme Court headlines caused some of President Donald Trump's supporters to pause for a moment.

Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, had sided with the liberal justices for the first time in a 5-4 vote. The court had invalidated a provision of federal law that required the mandatory deportation of certain immigrants.

Had Trump squandered the opportunity to move the bench to the right? Would Gorsuch turn out to be a David Souter, a justice nominated by a Republican president who became a consistent liberal vote?

Judicial conservatives steeped in the law recognized immediately that even though Gorsuch had sided with the liberals in the case released on April 17 he was in fact, following the jurisprudence of his mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia often joined liberals on the bench when it came to the rights of criminal defendants, particularly if the laws used to convict them weren't clear.

So in Sessions v. Dimaya when Gorsuch wrote "vague laws invite arbitrary power," he was echoing Scalia.

And ultimately, the opinion, like several other early signs of Gorsuch's jurisprudence, did nothing to surprise those who worked to put Gorsuch on the bench.

But if there had been any lingering questions about whether the 50-year-old justice would disappoint Trump's core supporters, a new case released on Monday answered the question with a resounding 'No.'

The junior-most justice penned the 5-4 opinion siding with employers. The ruling was a victory for business and the Trump administration as it held that employers could require employees to sign class action waivers to bar them from banding together to fight legal disputes.

It was Gorsuch's first big opinion for the conservatives and he had presumably been assigned to write it by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was part of the majority, along with Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

Gorsuch said the opinion "did nothing to override" Congress' judgment. "Congress has instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be enforced as written," he said.

The opinion triggered the liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to do something she rarely does: read her dissent from the bench.

She called the employment agreements "arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave it contracts" that will result in the isolation of employees.

For good measure she said the majority was "egregiously wrong."

She wasn't the only one who said the ruling would undermine the right of workers.

"This is a shameful result that will have the practical effect of gutting our nation's civil rights and worker protection laws," said Michael Rubin, a lawyer who had filed a brief on behalf of unions.

In his opinion, Gorsuch called such predictions "apocalyptic warnings" and false alarms.

Andrew Pincus, who sided with employers in the case, said in a statement that consumers will benefit from lower prices resulting from companies' reduced legal fees and that the plaintiff's class action lawyers will be hurt. "Less litigation in court means lower fees for lawyers" he said.

But SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued a statement noting that the decision concerning non-union and private sector employment underlined the vitality of unions.

"This case goes to the heart of why unions are important to our nation's workforce," the statement read.

Left out of her statement, however, was the fact that the Supreme Court is currently considering a separate case that could gut the financial stability of public sector unions.

Last term the justices ordered Janus v. American Federation for reargument -- potentially because they were split 4-4 and needed Gorsuch's vote.

Like in the Epic Systems Corp. case Monday, Gorsuch said nothing during oral arguments earlier in the term. But his vote will, once again, be key. And liberals still thinking about how these cases would have come out if Merrick Garland had been confirmed to the bench, aren't holding their breath.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10409104
Hinds10279202
Harrison7313112
Jackson6566128
Rankin5887106
Lee529496
Madison5014107
Forrest389786
Jones369088
Lauderdale3594147
Lafayette338253
Washington3246108
Lamar297850
Oktibbeha252362
Lowndes247064
Bolivar244384
Panola232653
Neshoba2249121
Marshall222851
Leflore208591
Monroe206778
Pontotoc204231
Lincoln197366
Sunflower192655
Warren180258
Tate177751
Union171926
Copiah167940
Pike165359
Yazoo160140
Scott159430
Itawamba157635
Alcorn155628
Pearl River155368
Coahoma152743
Simpson152653
Prentiss151331
Adams144752
Grenada143345
Leake139744
Holmes133461
Covington128639
Tippah128430
George128325
Winston125526
Hancock124341
Wayne121323
Marion119446
Attala119334
Tishomingo112443
Chickasaw109432
Newton108229
Tallahatchie98127
Clay94727
Clarke93653
Jasper85223
Stone80615
Calhoun78713
Walthall77629
Montgomery76926
Carroll74115
Lawrence73814
Smith73216
Yalobusha73128
Noxubee72717
Perry68326
Tunica62619
Greene61522
Jefferson Davis59017
Claiborne58916
Amite56615
Humphreys54719
Benton50018
Quitman5007
Webster46714
Kemper45018
Wilkinson40522
Jefferson37112
Choctaw3617
Franklin3555
Sharkey32417
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 252900

Reported Deaths: 3638
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33526501
Mobile20103365
Madison13723151
Tuscaloosa13366154
Montgomery12552236
Shelby1079677
Baldwin9051137
Lee787266
Morgan696451
Calhoun6598121
Etowah656167
Marshall647357
Houston541038
DeKalb498137
Cullman462443
St. Clair441956
Limestone440445
Lauderdale426754
Elmore421164
Walker3735111
Talladega370157
Jackson340423
Colbert332042
Blount306140
Autauga281842
Franklin257434
Coffee250015
Dale239054
Dallas231532
Chilton228939
Russell22663
Covington225034
Escambia202331
Tallapoosa187291
Chambers182750
Pike161514
Clarke161019
Marion144736
Winston137523
Lawrence133436
Pickens126518
Geneva12508
Marengo123424
Bibb120418
Barbour118911
Butler118642
Randolph105522
Cherokee105124
Hale98131
Fayette94616
Washington93219
Clay92824
Henry8896
Monroe83011
Lowndes80929
Cleburne78814
Macon75522
Crenshaw72230
Bullock70119
Lamar7018
Conecuh70014
Perry6916
Wilcox64818
Sumter58622
Greene43518
Choctaw43114
Coosa3664
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