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Supreme Court Justices Make Big Announcement Prior To Trump Ruling

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Two Supreme Court justices have made some important statements ahead of rulings that will decide the political and legal fate of former President Donald Trump.

Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Sonia Sotomayor, who don’t agree on much in terms of how they view issues before the high court, did agree during a question-and-answer session on stage at the National Governor’s Association on Friday that they are not bound to presidents or political parties

Politico reported: “The hourlong appearance by Sotomayor and Barrett came as the high court is considering cases that have the potential to dramatically reshape the 2024 presidential race. In one pending case, the justices will decide whether states have the power to knock former President Donald Trump off the ballot. In another, the court is weighing Trump’s bid to stave off a trial this year on criminal charges that he conspired to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.”

“The justices offered few, if any, hints about how they will resolve those cases. But both Sotomayor, an appointee of President Barack Obama, and Barrett, a Trump appointee, emphasized that the members of the high court don’t consider themselves obliged to support their political patrons,” the report added.

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“Remember, thankfully — for us — presidents don’t last that long, right? There’s eight years,” Sotomayor said, which elicited laughter from the audience and Barrett. “So for us to be beholden to one of them is a little crazy, you know?”

“Not just beholden to a president, but not to a political party, either,” Barrett added quickly, according to Politico. “Life tenure does insulate us from politics. And, so, it’s not just that we’re not Obama judges and Trump judges, but we’re also not Democratic judges or Republican judges. We don’t sit on opposite sides of an aisle. We all wear the same color black robe. We don’t have red robes and blue robes.”

Given that Trump appointed one-third of the current court members, the upcoming decisions are likely to raise serious concerns about the political views of the justices.

His appointments shifted the court to a 6-3 conservative majority, marking the first time since Ronald Reagan’s presidency that a president filled three high court seats, Politico noted.

The two justices noted further that members of the high court treat each other cordially and with respect even when dealing with issues that bitterly divide the country.

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“When we disagree, our pens are sharp, but on a personal level, we never translate that into our relationship with one another,” Sotomayor declared, adding that justices continue traditions like regularly dining with each other without bringing up cases and occasionally visiting each other’s homes for meals as well. Sotomayor said she’s done that with “virtually all” of her colleagues.

Barrett revealed that she got several dinner offers when she first joined the court and her family was still living in Indiana, Politico reported.

“Justice Sotomayor showed up in my office with Halloween candy for my kids because it was right around Halloween time for my husband to take back to Indiana with him on that weekend,” Barrett said. “Collegiality isn’t going to make you change your principles … but there’s a way to have disagreement and to meet each other where it is possible to meet.”

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Both justices asserted that despite how they may be portrayed in the media, their differences are often less pronounced than suggested. They argued that any discrepancies usually stem from differences in judicial philosophy rather than personal policy preferences, the outlet noted further.

In recent years, other justices have complained that the court’s climate has deteriorated, much like the country’s politics, including Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan.

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