The US supreme court is deciding more and more cases in a secretive ‘shadow docket’

On Tuesday, the supreme court issued an order requiring the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era policy that required asylum seekers from Central America to stay across the border in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. On Thursday, the court blocked an extension of the federal emergency ban on evictions, gutting a 1944 law that gave the CDC the authority to implement such measures to curb disease, and endangering the 8m American households that are behind on rent – who now, without federal eviction protection, may face homelessness. Both of these orders last week were issued in the dead of night. Their opinions were truncated, light on the details of their legal reasoning, and unsigned. Vote counts were not issued showing how each justice decided. And despite the enormous legal and human impact that the decisions inflicted, they were the product of rushed, abbreviated proceedings. The court did not receive full briefs on these matters, heard no oral arguments and overrode the normal sequence of appellate proceedings to issue their orders. Welcome to the “shadow docket”, the so-called emergency proceedings that now constitute the majority of the supreme court’s business. Minimally argued, rarely justified and decided without transparency, shadow docket orders were once a tool the court used to dispense with unremarkable and legally unambiguous matters. The shadow docket’s expanded use raises troubling questions – both for transparency, and for the separation of powers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption from reliable major media sources.

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Author: {Want To Know}

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