In a 5-4 decision, the conservative-dominated Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim ban Tuesday — but Justice Sonia Sotomayor didn’t mince words in a blistering dissent, calling out the majority for “ignoring the facts” about Trump’s bigotry and turning a “blind eye” to the suffering he has caused.
In a majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said Trump would be allowed to ban travelers from majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
But Sotomayor — along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer — voted against the bigoted policy.
Sotomayor authored a blistering dissent, joined by Ginsburg, that accused the court’s conservatives of ignoring Trump’s obvious “anti-Muslim animus” when he talked about the ban in public.
The justices also said the travel ban was openly “discriminatory” against Muslims — and that Trump’s team tried to hide that bias behind “a facade of national security concerns”:
[The majority opinion] leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns. …
Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus. …
Given President Trump’s failure to correct the reasonable perception of his apparent hostility toward the Islamic faith, it is unsurprising that the President’s lawyers have, at every step in the lower courts, failed in their attempts to launder the Proclamation of its discriminatory taint.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how much Trump’s lawyers tried to clean it up later — Trump’s bigoted statements about his policy made it very clear that he intended to discriminate against Muslims.
Sotomayor said that by upholding the Muslim ban, the pro-Trump majority is “ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.”
Sotomayor also called the ruling “troubling” and “contrary to the Constitution and our precedent.”
The seat occupied by Justice Neil Gorsuch, one of the conservatives who voted to uphold the law, rightfully belongs to a much more liberal justice, President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland.
But Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, stole the seat by refusing to allow Garland a hearing after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Sotomayor and Kagan were appointed by President Barack Obama, and Ginsburg and Breyer by President Bill Clinton.
Enabled by Republican politicians and their underhanded legislative tactics, the Supreme Court has upheld discrimination in a shameful decision.
Already, the American Civil Liberties Union is comparing this ruling to the decision to uphold Japanese internment camps and warning that history will judge it harshly.
The liberal justices of the court are doing their best to make the dark mark burned on American history by Trump, congressional Republicans, and conservative justices clear to the entire world.
Published with permission of The American Independent.