SCOTUS Today: A Mixed Bag But Trump Nominees Do the Right Thing

Today’s decisions by the Supreme Court were a mixed bag.  First, any way you look at it, Chief Justice Robert’s decision in June Medical Services v. Russo is hard to reconcile with his dissent in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. From SCOTUSblog:

Four years ago, by a vote of 5-3, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that (among other things) required doctors who perform abortions to have the right to admit patients at a nearby hospital. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy joined his four more liberal colleagues in holding that, although Texas has a genuine interest in protecting the health of pregnant women, there was no evidence that the law actually did anything to promote that interest – but it did make it more difficult for women to get an abortion. Kennedy is no longer on the court, but today it was Chief Justice John Roberts who joined the court’s four liberals in ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo that a similar law from Louisiana is unconstitutional – even as he maintained that he continues to believe that the Texas case was wrongly decided.

As Justice Gorsuch wrote in the dissent (emphasis added)

The judicial power is constrained by an array of rules. Rules about the deference due the legislative process, the standing of the parties before us, the use of facial challenges to invalidate democratically enacted statutes, and the award of prospective relief. Still more rules seek to ensure that any legal tests judges may devise are capable of neutral and principled administration. Individually, these rules may seem prosaic. But, collectively, they help keep us in our constitutionally assigned lane, sure that we are in the business of saying what the law is, not what we wish it to be. Today’s decision doesn’t just overlook one of these rules. It overlooks one after another. And it does so in a case touching on one of the most controversial topics in contemporary politics and law, exactly the context where this Court should be leaning most heavily on the rules of the judicial process. In truth, Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), is not even at issue here. The real question we face concerns our willingness to follow the traditional constraints of the judicial process when a case touching on abortion enters the courtroom.

The opinion in Seila Law LLC v. CFPB was much better for the sake of the rule and law and clarity.  Again both of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees and Justices Samuel Alito and Thomas sided with the Constitution and this time they were joined by Chief Justice John Roberts. 

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional, determining that its head must be removable at the will of the president.

The decision reduces the power of the agency, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren, and is a victory for business groups. . . .

"The agency may therefore continue to operate, but its Director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the President at will," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 5-4 majority. . . .

In 2016, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said in a ruling in a similar case that the director of the CFPB was, except for the president, the “single most powerful official in the entire U.S. Government, at least when measured in terms of unilateral power.”

As Carrie Severino concluded:

Thank you, Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.  It is another reason why we need to re-elect President Trump to have more justices which consistently support the rule of law.