Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Court system supposed to protect us from overbearing politicos, but no more

Thus far, the federal court system has been sympathetic to Chicago in striking down efforts by President Donald J. Trump to eliminate the city’s laws that prevent its local police from being used by federal immigration officials to supplement their own efforts in harassing people.

The high court now Trump's rubber stamp?
But a part of me is constantly reminding myself that we haven’t heard the final word yet, and it’s always possible the ultimate court will come down in favor of the president – just because he’s the president from a certain political party.

WILL THE SUPREME Court of the United States use its 5-4 conservative-leaning majority and ultimately feel like issuing an order striking down “sanctuary cities” because it’s the desire of Donald Trump?

There already are those people who think the Supreme Court is inclined (possibly Wednesday morning) to rule against Illinois political interests in a case now pending as to whether public employee labor unions have a right to require government workers to join and pay dues.

Then, there’s the ruling the high court made Tuesday morning that says Trump’s efforts to impose travel restrictions against people from certain Middle East countries is acceptable – no matter how much many complain about its immorality, and how lower courts have ruled it is illegal.

Could “sanctuary cities” wind up facing the same fate some day? It is an issue yet to come before the high court. Yet it could also be a significant issue of sort come 2019.

TRUMP: Can't govern w/o allies in charge
THE SUPREME COURT, in the opinion issued Tuesday, said the president has the authority to get involved through executive orders in immigration policy, and also said it wasn’t terribly interested in hearing arguments about discrimination against Muslims.

But in the part that particularly amazes me, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court’s opinion, “we (the court) express no view on the soundness of the (Trump immigration) policy.”

Meaning, the idea of the judicial branch providing a balance (specifically, being the force that keeps government officials from overstepping their bounds when they react too far) isn’t one that the high court particularly feels like honoring.

That is a scary thought, if you think about it.

ROBERTS: Backing up the president
BECAUSE THE MAJORITY of our society that is relying on the concept of “checks and balances” to keep a Trump presidency from imposing serious, and lasting, harm could find themselves let down beyond belief.

Just like what could happen in the case of Janus vs. AFSCME. That’s the case based on a lawsuit originally filed by Mark Janus, an Illinois government employee who resents the idea that he had to join the labor union in the first place.

His lawsuit seeks to strike down any such membership requirements in order to have his job, and theoretically could require the union to have to go back to each of its members and seek their permission to charge them union dues.

With anti-labor forces hoping they can persuade many workers to refuse to pay up, meaning the unions would lose significant revenues and be undermined to the point where they would become ineffectual.

MANY THINK THE current partisan leanings of the court will result in Janus prevailing – with those of us inclined to support labor hoping for a partisan political miracle.

Will union take a blow from high court?i
Which also is why I’m wondering what will become of the sanctuary cities issue – which thus far the courts have said the federal government is overstepping its bounds in trying to cut off federal funding to those cities wishing to protect all people from police harassment.

That is how it is perceived – as in local cops getting involved in immigration issues that they technically have no jurisdiction over and no particular knowledge about.

Those who support the “sanctuary city” concept believe it’s a matter of federal immigration officials doing their own jobs when it comes to immigration law. Will partisan politics cause the high court to ultimately disagree?


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