The first day of the Supreme Court’s new term will bring lots of drama. Many people are expecting a seismic legal showdown between the Justice Department and another federal agency. It is a rarity for the Justice Department, as a representation of the United States government, to disagree with another federal agency. It is even unusual for the Justice Department to send its top lawyers to tussle with the agency before the Supreme Court. The fact this is happening gives people an idea of what to expect from the Trump administration going forward.
There are a number of cases in which the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gone against another federal agency. The Supreme Court will referee one of these conflicts in the coming weeks, and the others by next year.
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The current situation is explained by politics. The Justice Department is against agencies whose goal is to protect the interests of workers and consumers are less likely to align with that of the administration going forward. What this shows is how aggressive the Justice Department plans to carry out its conservative agenda through the courts.
“It is uncommon to have lawyers at opposing sides representing the federal government,” says Deepak Gupta an appellate lawyer. “The idea that is having in several cases covering diverse issue is truly remarkable and it is an indication of how aggressive the Trump administration is, and its position to make several changes on a number of issues.”
The first case appearing before the court has to do with workers’ right to collective action. One of the other cases will decide whether the creation of the agency in charge of protecting consumers is in violation the Constitution. The last case will have to do with whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects employees from being fired based on their sexual orientation.
The willingness of the Justice Department to combat the other agencies is surprising because in one or two of the cases, the Justice Department has to alter its position so as to oppose the federal agencies. Any changes, are made after robust deliberation, due to the fact that the department is expected to have a singular position on legal issues.
“One would expect the department to take a closer look at what the government’s position is. To ensure any proposed changes is not done out of ill-interest,” says Jonathan Adler, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about the legal proceedings but there’s bound to be lots of drama in the near future. Irrespective of what people say, the current administration is expected to bring lots of juicy drama.
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