(DCWatchdog.com) – Reflecting the broader culture-war and political tensions in the nation, the United States Supreme Court is starting its new term on Monday with lingering, simmering tensions in continuation of strife surrounding the last rulings it issued in June.
According to The Washington Times, the Supreme Court is reconvening on October 2 amid “brazen public sniping over ethics rules,” with observers stressing a “growing frustration” by the three liberal justices on the bench.
The tensions are reflected, among other things, in Justice Sonia Sotomayor starting to sign her dissenting opinions with “I dissent” instead of “respectfully dissent,” the report notes.
The Times emphasizes that at the end of June, just before the summer recess, the six conservative justices comprising the majority declared race-based affirmative action in college admissions unconstitutional, killed President Joe Biden’s $400 billion student loan forgiveness plan, and defended artists refusing services to gay couples.
“I do sense there’s more tension than normal, and I think it’s because the three Democratic appointees kind of feel desperate,” Mike Davis, a court watcher and founder of the Article III Project, told the news outlet.
“They feel it’s 6-3. Sometimes they can pick off [Justice Brett M.] Kavanaugh and the chief, but they’re going to be in the minority for probably the rest of their lives,” the observer explained.
The report explains that in last term’s final ruling, which foiled Biden’s debt forgiveness program, Chief Justice John Roberts “delivered a judicial spanking to the three Democratic-appointed justices.”
Roberts blasted the dissent of the three liberals on the bench as “disturbing” after they had accused the conservative majority of “judicial adventurism and straining legal reasoning.”
“Reasonable minds may disagree with our analysis — in fact, at least three do,” the chief justice wrote.
“We do not mistake this plainly heartfelt disagreement for disparagement. It is important that the public not be misled either. Any such misperception would be harmful to this institution and our country,” he argued.
In September, during a Notre Dame Law School address, liberal Justice Elena Kagan disagreed with Roberts’ assessment that her previous criticism was beyond what was admissible.
“I don’t think that’s disturbing at all. As I said, I think it would be disturbing if a dissent that thought that the court had gone beyond the proper role of the judiciary, it would be disturbing if you didn’t say that,” Kagan stated.