The U.S. Supreme Court has had a busy 2019 so far, and the consequential rulings continue to stack up. Their decision in this bizarre case is no exception.
In the High Court’s overturning of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on an equal pay case, a clear message has been sent: A dead judge can’t vote. Apparently, this isn’t common knowledge for the most liberal appeals court in the nation.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who passed away 11 days before the ruling in question, was still counted as a voting member in the court’s decision, thereby compelling the Supreme Court to step in and rectify the situation.
“That practice effectively allowed a deceased judge to exercise the judicial power of the United States after his death. But federal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity,” wrote the Supreme Court.
The 9th Circuit must now reconsider the case without Reinhardt, which is yet another embarrassing setback for an appeals court known for taking liberties with the Constitution.
The next major case before the Supreme Court concerns whether a World War I veterans’ memorial cross on public land in Maryland violates the Constitution’s establishment clause.
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