Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the leader of the court’s four member liberal bloc.
It’s made her one of the most predictable Justices on the bench.
And Ruth Bader Ginsburg made this announcement that took everyone by surprise.
The end of the Supreme Court term is just weeks away.
And the Justices are delivering their final opinions until the court reconvenes in October.
One case the court decided on was Mont v. U.S.
In this case, the Justices had to confront the question of whether a defendant can be sentenced for violating their supervised release for crimes committed while under supervised release, even if the supervised release expired while the suspect was in custody for the new crimes committed.
Jason Mont was on a five-year supervised release sentence following his release from prison in 2012.
The release was set to expire on March 6, 2017.
In 2016, Mont was arrested on drug trafficking charges.
Due to a series of delays, the judge in the case delayed sentencing until March 21, 2017, which put it past the date Mont’s supervised release ended.
The Federal District Court judge sentenced Mont to 42 months for violating his supervised release running concurrently with the state drug charges.
Mont challenged the fact that the District Court did not have jurisdiction to sentence him on March 21, 2017, because his supervised release had ended 15 days earlier.
That the court decided the case by a 5-4 vote was not surprising.
But what did take court watchers off guard was Ruth Bader Ginsburg siding with four conservative Justices to provide the deciding vote.
Justice Neil Gorsuch was the only conservative Justice to defect and vote with the remaining liberal justices.
Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the majority opinion.
“Under our view, in contrast, time in pretrial detention constitutes supervised release only if the charges against the defendant are dismissed or the defendant is acquitted,” Justice Thomas argued.
“This ensures that the defendant is not faulted for conduct he might not have committed, while otherwise giving full effect to the lawful judgment previously imposed on the defendant.”
Conservatives should not get used to Ginsburg defecting from the liberal bloc.
On a criminal procedure case with no clear ideological fault lines, Ginsburg can be a technical lawyer.
But Ginsburg is a rabid leftist that Democrats count on to vote in favor of their policy priorities.
That was on full display in the court’s opinion on a pair of abortion laws in Indiana.
Ginsburg and Thomas fought viciously over Ginsburg’s pro-abortion fanaticism.
Thomas objected to Ginsburg claiming a pregnant woman was not considered a mother until she gave birth.
That outrageous claim defied all logic and reason.
But it was typical of Ginsburg’s history of putting ideology before the law in politically charged cases.
And as the court is expected to hand down major opinions on questions over the 2020 census, partisan gerrymandering, and other hot button issues, liberals feel secure in knowing Ginsburg is a definite vote in their column.
We will keep you up to date on any new decisions the Supreme Court hands down.