After Ukraine and the Russia-hoax, it seems likely the Democrats in the U.S. House's quest for Donald Trump’s tax returns is just the latest effort to damage the President politically. During oral argument over President Trump’s tax returns, USA Today sums up that point as follows:
On the other hand, all the conservatives and some liberal justices wondered whether the subpoenas go too far in seeking a decade of private data involving not only the president but members of his family. They suggested such extensive probing could harass and distract both Trump and future presidents.
. . .
“How can we both protect the House’s interest in obtaining information it needs to legislate but also protect the presidency?" Kavanaugh asked House general counsel Douglas Letter. . . .
But even liberal Associate Justice Stephen Breyer noted the subpoenas "go way, way beyond tax returns," a concern voiced by several conservative colleagues.
As Jonathan Alder tweets, the fact the House lawyers could not even articulate a limit to the House subpoena power is a serious problem:
Lopez and Morrison were lost when SG could not identify any legislation beyond the scope of Commerce Power. Today, Letter couldn't identify any limit on Congressional subpoena power. How did he not know that question was coming?!?— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) May 12, 2020
Of course, House Democrats are not the only ones who may be abusing their power. Serious recusal questions come up. First, there is Justice Ginsburg. As Professor Josh Blackman wrote, quoting past Ginsburg comments:
[BBC host Razia] Iqbal: You will be very aware that there are Senators who are already saying before the impeachment gets to the Senate or the trial in the Senate. They've already made their minds up. That's problematic.
Ginsburg: Well if a judge said that, a judge would be disqualified from sitting on the case.
. . .
And [yet] she told CNN:
"He is a faker," she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. "He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that." (emphasis in original)
. . .
But in a case where Trump is sued in his individual capacity, or where Trump's personal actions could violate the Constitution, Ginsburg's partiality is now suspect. Ginsburg's own words should appear front and center in a disqualification motion filed by Trump's attorneys. She only has herself to blame.
And today, Justice Sotomayor said the following:
Justice Sonia Sotomayor: "We’re asking for his personal tax returns before he became President." pic.twitter.com/rln5jhmQcA— The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2020
“We’re?” Is Justice Sotomayor a neutral judge or an advocate for the Democrats' position?
The Court should side with the President but there are concerns that, like the Democrats, certain liberal justices are blurring the lines between politics and the law.