(NewsBreakDaily.org) – United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) was the author of a 9-0 decision regarding the case of Evelyn Sineneng-Smith. Sineneng-Smith’s conviction on an illegal immigration statute was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It wasn’t the fact they’d vacated a person’s sentence, but rather how they went about it that brought Ginsburg’s wrath down upon them.
In an unanimous opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg excoriated the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for “an abuse of discretion” when it brought in third parties to argue the case and ruled on that basis. https://t.co/s92X9oLvXp
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) May 8, 2020
In the case of the United States v. Sineneng-Smith, the defendant was convicted of breaking a federal statute that bars someone from encouraging illegal immigration. The 9th Circuit then reversed the conviction but not because Sineneng-Smith argued to have it overturned.
People and groups not directly involved with the litigation routinely file friend of the court (amicus curiae) briefs in matters in which they have a vested interest. For example, the National Rifle Association (NRA) frequently does so on important Second Amendment cases. In this case, the appeals panel actually went out and handpicked three groups to submit briefs, after oral arguments were complete.
To compound that error, the court specifically told these groups to include the idea that the law the defendant was convicted of was “unconstitutionally overbroad.” That was an argument that was not presented by defense attorneys at trial or on appeal.
This particular section of the federal court system has a notorious reputation for its Liberal Judicial Activism-based rulings. This time it appears they went so far off the rails that RBG noted their actions “in this case goes well beyond the pale.”
The nine people on SCOTUS unanimously decreed the Ninth Circuit crossed the line. Considering they’re frequently divided along Conservative/Liberal ideologies, this can only be seen as an extremely sharp rebuke.
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