One gets the impression from cable news and political activists, and Twitter, I suppose, holding forth about guns and abortion, that the Supreme Court is policy driven, and always divided, and that the Democratic and Republican appointees all hate and oppose each other. It just isn’t true. I think they are unanimous in most cases, and even the coalitions in the divided decisions don’t always line up the way you’d imagine; hence Scalia and Ginsburg joining in certain cases where both left and right are uneasy with abuses of police power, searches and seizures, for example.
This case from today held that aliens who enter the U.S. illegally (technically, “without inspection”) are ineligible to adjust status to that of a permanent resident. Of course, an amnesty bill, a congressional enactment, would change that, but the art. III courts themselves do not, cannot and should not reward gate crashers with green cards, no matter how sympathetic the case. Not even the liberal and wise Latina Justice Sotomayor had a problem with this straightforward matter of statutory construction.
Maybe there’s hope for this country ….