The Supreme Court is in its final weeks of this year’s term.
This is when the Justices make their intentions clear.
And Ruth Bader Ginsberg made one decision that put Donald Trump at a loss for words.
The Supreme Court handed down a 7 to 2 ruling on a case that, on the surface, did not appear to have anything to do with Donald Trump.
In the case of Gamble v The United States, an Alabama man’s lawyers argued that the Constitution’s prohibition against double jeopardy prevented him from being tried on federal gun charges after pleading guilty to the same charges at the state level.
The majority of the Justices rejected this claim.
But interestingly enough, the two Justices who dissented were left-wing radical Ruth Bader Ginsberg and conservative Neil Gorsuch.
The other three liberal justices – Elena Kagan, Sonya Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer – joined the court’s four conservatives to uphold federal and state courts trying a suspect on the same charges.
But Ginsberg and Gorsuch argued that this opened the door for governmental abuse by allowing various levels of government to continually try a suspect on the same charges until it gets the result it wants.
“It is the doctrine’s premise that each government has — and must be allowed to vindicate — a distinct interest in enforcing its own criminal laws,” Ginsburg argued.
“That is a peculiar way to look at the Double Jeopardy Clause, which by its terms safeguards the ‘person’ and restrains the government.”
She continued by stating that, “early American courts regarded with disfavor the prospect of successive prosecutions by the Federal and State Governments” and that, with regard to concerns about federal and state governments interfering with each other, “cooperation between authorities is the norm.”
Justice Gorsuch joined Ginsberg in her dissent.
Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee wrote that, “a free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result. Unfortunately, the Court today endorses a colossal exception to this ancient rule against double jeopardy.”
This case takes on added significance considering that just a few months ago, New York City district attorney Cy Vance indicted Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort for a series of financial crimes similar to those he pled guilty to – and was convicted of – in D.C. and Virginia federal courts.
Vance brought these charges to make sure Manafort spent time in jail if Donald Trump pardoned him of his federal convictions.
President’s have no pardon power over state charges, so many Americans saw Vance’s move as a vindictive attempt to jail President Trump’s associates.
Had the Supreme Court agreed with the plaintiff’s challenge in Gamble, President Trump could have spared Manafort his prison sentence.
Afterall, the only reason Manafort is in jail is because the President’s enemies wanted to punish Manafort for working for the President.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.