When Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court he was expected to cement a five-justice conservative majority.
But things quickly changed.
And Brett Kavanaugh just got into a massive fight with the last person he ever suspected.
Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were on opposite sides of a high-profile case involving overturning a defendant’s conviction on a gun crime because of the vagueness of the statute in question.
Gorsuch joined the court’s four liberals to deliver the decisive vote in handing a victory for criminal defendants.
The Daily Caller reports:
Justice Neil Gorsuch joined with the Supreme Court’s liberal bloc to deal victory for criminal defendants Monday, striking down a federal law that punishes gun crimes as unconstitutionally vague.
The law at issue authorizes heightened penalties for individuals who use firearms to a commit a “crime of violence.” In dissent, Justice Brett Kavanaugh warned the decision would undermine public safety.
“Only the people’s elected representatives in Congress have the power to write new federal criminal laws,” Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion. “And when Congress exercises that power, it has to write statutes that give ordinary people fair warning about what the law demands of them.”
“Vague laws transgress both of those constitutional requirements,” Gorsuch added. “They hand off the legislature’s responsibility for defining criminal behavior to unelected prosecutors and judges, and they leave people with no sure way to know what consequences will attach to their conduct.”
Kavanaugh sided with Justices Alito, Roberts, and Thomas in the minority.
“The Court’s decision will thwart Congress’ law enforcement policies, destabilize the criminal justice system, and undermine safety in American communities,” Kavanaugh argued in his dissent.
Some conservatives agreed with Gorsuch’s ruling because it prevents prosecutors from using hazy laws to punish firearms owners.
Others agreed with Kavanaugh’s traditional law-and-order approach.
We will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this current Supreme Court term.