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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Respect for the constitutional separation of powers...what a quaint concept....

I've often said in the last election I didn't vote for Donald Trump, but against Mrs. Bill Clinton. That being said, I've been very pleased with many of his actions, chief of which was insuring a great jurist succeeded the late, great, Antonin Scalia. Neil Gorsuch has been a worthy successor to Justice Scalia, anchoring the court's conservative (should I say, constitution respecting) wing.

Yesterday the decision came down Epic Systems Corporations v. Lewis, a dispute on the ability of corporations, as a condition of employment, to require associates to settle disputes through binding arbitration, not in class action law suites. The court ruled, 5-4, that the law states if an employee agreed to this, it does prevent him from joining a class action law suit. Justice Gorsuch delivered the majority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a decent she read openly in the court (The Notorious RBG was not happy).

Now I would like to point out this portion of the majority opinion:

These rules exist for good reasons. Respect for Congress as drafter counsels against too easily finding irreconcilable conflicts in its work. More than that, respect for the separation of powers counsels restraint. Allowing judges to pick and choose between statutes risks transforming them from expounders of what the law is into policymakers choosing what the law should be. Our rules aiming for harmony over conflict in statutory interpretation grow from an appreciation that it’s the job of Congress by legislation, not this Court by supposition, both to write the laws and to repeal them.

What a concept. Congress write law, the courts stick to interpreting if they are within the bounds of the constitution. Who would have thunk it?

The late Judge Robert Bork, nominee of Ronald Reagan. Bork had a brilliant legal mind and would have been a suburb justice, but Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden slandered the man. He responded truthfully, he would "defer the the legislature when the constitution is silent." Truthful and constitutional, but not the way Kennedy would have wanted it. Thankfully, a better way of thinking held up on this case. Well done SCOTUS.

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