The Trump administration picked up two major immigration victories last week at the U.S. Supreme Court.
But over the weekend, conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh shocked many and sided with liberals in a case that could have major implications on November’s election.
The Supreme Court has denied an emergency request from Illinois Republicans seeking to block a state measure that bars large gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several Illinois Republican organizations had asked the nation’s top court to intervene after lower courts denied their request to immediately block enforcement of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order that prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people. They argued the governor had been favoring one category of speech over another by providing exemptions to the prohibition to religious gatherings and allowing Black Lives Matter protests but not political gatherings.
The Illinois Republican Party and three local GOP organizations—Will County Republican Central Committee, Schaumberg Township Republican Organization, and Northwest Side GOP Club—were seeking to hold political party events larger than 50 people, including rallies, fundraisers, and a picnic on July 4. They sued Pritzker in mid-June, alleging that the executive order violates their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
“Though fighting COVID-19 is doubtless a compelling state interest, the Governor’s policy fails narrow tailoring because it treats similarly situated speakers differently. The First and Fourteenth Amendments both guarantee equal treatment of similar speakers,” the groups wrote in their application to the court. “Government may no more favor one particular speaker or category of speech than it may target one for disfavor.”
As noted by CNN, Justice Brett Kavanaugh — a conservative nominated by President Donald Trump — stunned many and denied their application without comment.
Beyond this, the Supreme Court has been very busy lately.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the president has the legal authority to fire the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) without cause.
Before that, the Supreme Court has issued a ruling against a George Soros-backed group, Open Society International, which was seeking funding from the United States to battle AIDS/HIV around the world.
According to a law from 2003, no organization can receive funding that does not have a policy “explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.”
As it turns out, OSI does not have such a policy. It appears that the Soros-backed group was unwilling to adopt such a policy and sued the government over free speech grounds.
The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a coalition of environmental groups that claimed Trump’s construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was damaging and destroying the environment.
Radio host Hugh Hewitt also revealed last week that a conservative Supreme Court Justice may be seriously considering stepping down.