Following two cases concerning corrections officers accused of mistreating prisoners, in which one prisoner was kept in unsanitary conditions and the other was assaulted for no reason, the Court suggested that some cases are so egregious that no precedent was necessary to allow a plaintiff to sue.
The justices lack legal experience with women’s rights, racial rights, disability rights, immigration, environmental law, or criminal defense “outside of perhaps some white collar work,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
The case hinges on balancing the request of Guantanamo detainee Abu Zubaydah to describe his waterboarding with the need to conceal information that could jeopardize national security or intelligence operations.
The Supreme Court is set to consider the validity of treating publicly revealed information as a “state secret.” Both the Biden and Trump administrations insist that revealing such information about torture at Guantanamo will jeopardize U.S. intelligence operations and international relations.
The 56-year-old associate justice, who has been vaccinated, tested positive for coronavirus during a routine examination Thursday. Court officials said he was not suffering any symptoms, and no other Justice has received a positive diagnosis.
As a presidential commission examines the future of the Court, criticism is mounting from the left and right that justices are too political, too powerful and serve for too long. Surveys show public approval is plummeting.