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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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 455783

Reported Deaths: 6166
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin945441502
Ramsey40698749
Dakota33623354
Anoka31398368
Washington20579237
Stearns18111190
St. Louis14006251
Scott1221199
Wright11811107
Olmsted1083075
Sherburne831270
Carver705639
Clay660684
Rice624774
Kandiyohi558772
Blue Earth549533
Crow Wing490678
Otter Tail464968
Chisago460438
Benton423788
Winona394948
Douglas379766
Nobles374847
Mower374429
Goodhue358163
Polk330760
McLeod328647
Beltrami316148
Morrison314645
Lyon306139
Becker289439
Itasca287843
Isanti286143
Carlton284443
Steele279510
Pine270515
Freeborn254723
Todd233730
Nicollet230538
Brown218634
Mille Lacs215745
Le Sueur214416
Cass210824
Meeker201533
Waseca193316
Wabasha17483
Martin172026
Roseau166517
Hubbard151138
Redwood141327
Houston140314
Dodge13974
Renville138540
Chippewa133232
Cottonwood129118
Fillmore12778
Wadena120818
Rock112012
Aitkin111533
Faribault110116
Sibley11017
Watonwan10698
Pennington101016
Kanabec99818
Pipestone97223
Yellow Medicine95016
Murray9137
Jackson87310
Swift84718
Pope7485
Stevens7078
Marshall70415
Clearwater68814
Lake66415
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching60810
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Unassigned43968
Grant4388
Norman4268
Mahnomen4167
Kittson37420
Red Lake3204
Traverse2623
Lake of the Woods1981
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312194

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46975465
Linn18114279
Scott15900172
Black Hawk14123243
Woodbury13145181
Johnson1231752
Dubuque11651159
Pottawattamie9182115
Dallas910872
Story883538
Cerro Gordo474372
Webster473377
Warren461539
Sioux460457
Clinton459168
Marshall432262
Buena Vista397230
Muscatine396578
Des Moines395543
Plymouth353670
Wapello351798
Jasper333359
Lee326932
Marion310853
Jones275250
Henry269131
Carroll258934
Bremer250448
Crawford235824
Washington224133
Boone223517
Benton213950
Mahaska198637
Jackson195332
Tama190959
Dickinson189229
Kossuth180944
Delaware176536
Clay173021
Wright167624
Fayette166324
Hamilton162530
Buchanan162324
Winneshiek161020
Harrison158762
Hardin157831
Cedar155819
Clayton153949
Butler152324
Page148115
Floyd141936
Cherokee140327
Mills138517
Lyon137933
Poweshiek135424
Hancock132424
Allamakee131530
Iowa128022
Madison124210
Calhoun12379
Grundy122828
Jefferson122425
Winnebago122329
Mitchell117137
Louisa116430
Cass115343
Chickasaw113812
Appanoose113040
Sac112815
Union111723
Emmet111332
Humboldt107819
Shelby106427
Guthrie104624
Franklin103618
Unassigned10210
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery89224
Keokuk86426
Howard85919
Monroe82620
Clarke8199
Pocahontas78711
Ida76430
Davis70421
Adair69720
Greene6977
Monona68418
Lucas66910
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6009
Fremont5276
Van Buren50515
Decatur4994
Ringgold45511
Audubon4258
Wayne42021
Adams3023
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