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Supreme Court Hands Down Another Party Line Decision

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.Here’s another Supreme Court case from this morning:

The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for the president to get rid of the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but allowed the watchdog agency created in the wake of the global financial crisis to stand.
….In its 5-4 ruling Monday, the court majority said the structure of the investigative and enforcement agency violates the Constitution by “concentrating power in a unilateral actor insulated from Presidential control,” wrote Roberts, who was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Think about this. The question at hand is whether the president has the inherent right to fire the head of an agency even if Congress restricts that ability. In fact, it’s even more arcane than that: it’s whether the president has the inherent right to fire the head of an agency run by a single person, rather than a multi-person board.
And yet, the decision ended up being decided strictly along party lines. The five Republicans said yes; the four Democrats said no. How is it that even esoteric questions like this have become purely ideological in the hands of the Supreme Court?

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