Summary: The Trump administration has changed direction regarding two Supreme Court cases. Will this lead to problems down the road?
The Trump Administration has made numerous drastic decisions in less than one year, and could this lead to a battle in the Supreme Court? According to The New York Times, the White House “may be headed for trouble” because it has switched sides in two major Supreme Court cases, one on workers’ rights and one on voting rolls.
The workers’ rights case involved whether or not arbitration agreements could be enforced. Last September, the solicitor general under President Barack Obama stated that workers who had signed arbitration agreements barring them from suing their employees could take their employers to court. In June, the Trump administration reached the “opposite conclusion” of its predecessor, according to Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall.
The second case involving voting decided on whether or not Ohio officials had been too aggressive in culling the state’s voter rolls. During the Obama administration, an appeals court said that Ohio had gone further than what federal law allowed, but the new administration stated that Ohio was allowed to purge voter rolls based on applicable laws.
Josh Blackman of South Texas College of Law said that it was “problematic” for the Trump Administration to U-Turn on issues that the Obama Administration had already settled, but that elections can create changes.
“There is nothing nefarious when a new administration disagrees with a previous administration,” Blackman said. “Indeed, it is quite natural that presidents see things differently. The only question that remains is how should courts treat this reversal.”
The New York Times said that case reversals “can try the justices’ patience” and that “switching sides comes at a cost to the office’s prized reputation for continuity, credibility, and independence.” The publication said that during the Obama Administration, there were also cases that were reversed and a backlash occurred then too.
Overall, our 45th president is reshaping the American legal system, not just with his policy changes but with his Supreme Court Justice pick as well as judicial appointments at various levels of government.
“Through July 14, roughly a week shy of Trump’s six-month anniversary in office, he had nominated 18 people for district judgeship vacancies, 14 for circuit courts and the Court of Federal Claims, and 23 for US attorney slots. During that same timeframe in Obama’s first term, Obama had nominated just four district judges, five appeals court judges, and 13 U.S. attorneys. In total, Trump nominated 55 people, and Obama just 22,” Business Insider wrote.
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