Justice Barrett sides with liberals in Jan. 6 case

 June 29, 2024

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is under scrutiny for her recent decision to side with her liberal colleagues in a key case.

The case, according to The Hill, had to do with the Biden administration's prosecution of those individuals who participated in the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

The court ruled that the Biden administration has been applying the law that they are using to prosecute these individuals in ways that the law was never intended to be used.

It was not a unanimous decision, however. It was 6-3 with with Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissenting.


In order to understand Barrett's dissent, one needs to know a little bit about the law at issue.

"The law, Section 1512(c)(2), makes it a crime to “corruptly” obstruct, impede or interfere with official inquiries and investigations by Congress. It carries a maximum 20 years in prison and has been used to prosecute more than 350 rioters accused of interrupting Congress’s 2020 certification of the vote," The Hill reports.

It adds, "But Fischer [the defendant] claimed the Justice Department retooled the charge to sweepingly prosecute those who participated in the riot, when the law — established in the wake of the Enron accounting scandal — actually intended to narrowly criminalize document shredding."

The Supreme Court has now ruled for Fischer, and the ruling is expected to have an impact on many of the Biden administration's Jan. 6 prosecutions - including, perhaps, former President Donald Trump's.

Barrett and two of her liberal colleagues, however, think the court made a mistake.

Here's why:

Barrett essentially argued, in her dissent, that the court improperly interpreted the statute mentioned above.

She wrote:

Joseph Fischer allegedly participated in a riot at the Capitol that forced the delay of Congress’s joint session on January 6. Blocking an official proceeding from moving forward surely qualifies as obstructing or impeding the proceeding by means other than document destruction. Fischer’s alleged conduct thus falls within (c)(2)’s scope.

Here, perhaps, it is worth noting that Barrett did admit that the government is likely using the law in ways that it was not meant to be used.

But, she argued that this is nothing unusual - that laws "often go further than the problem that inspired them."

This is one of several recent cases in which Barrett - an appointee of former President Trump - has issued an opinion that conservatives have taken issue with. It is looking more and more as though the Supreme Court is not as conservative as the political left seems to claim it is.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.