In an opinion released on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan appeared to take aim at her colleague, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Former President Barack Obama selected both liberal justices.
The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Andy Warhol Foundation infringed upon the copyright of a photograph taken by Lynn Goldsmith. Only Justice Kagan and Chief Justice John Roberts disagreed with this opinion.
In her dissenting opinion, Justice Kagan wrote that she wanted to offer “one preliminary note” and took a not-so-subtle shot at her liberal colleague, Justice Sotomayor:
One preliminary note before beginning in earnest. As readers are by now aware, the majority opinion is trained on this dissent in a way majority opinions seldom are. Maybe that makes the majority opinion self-refuting? After all, a dissent with “no theory” and “[n]o reason” is not one usually thought to merit pages of commentary and fistfuls of comeback footnotes. Ante, at 36. In any event, I’ll not attempt to rebut point for point the majority’s varied accusations; instead, I’ll mainly rest on my original submission. I’ll just make two suggestions about reading what follows.
When you notice that my description of a precedent differs from that of the majority, examine the decision. Second, when you encounter an argument with which you recall the majority disagreed, return to its response and consider the ratio of reasoning to ipse dixit. With these two suggestions, I’ll rely on the readers’ excellent judgment.
Several legal correspondents highlighted her provocative remarks on Twitter.
Still reading the opinions, but this is quite a footnote from Kagan to Sotomayor in the former's dissent. pic.twitter.com/NY3Dw93fHk
— Matt Ford (@fordm) May 18, 2023
Sotomayor responds extensively to Kagan's dissent, leading Kagan to drop this very spicy footnote. https://t.co/ew8BmInWZO pic.twitter.com/5pt0avG76q
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) May 18, 2023
Interesting to see how heated the disagreement between Sotomayor and Kagan is. https://t.co/K5r9mHb9xa
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) May 18, 2023
In a separate decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case that many believe could have fundamentally altered social media and the Internet.
The nation’s highest court declined to hear a case that could have clarified the scope of the federal liability shield known as Section 230, which protects internet companies from numerous legal claims involving user-posted content.
“In a pair of rulings Thursday morning, the justices shut down lawsuits seeking to hold giants like Google and Twitter liable for terrorism-promoting content on their platforms, but the court nixed the suits without issuing any sweeping pronouncements on the immunity provision that has come under increasing fire from both Republicans and Democrats,” Politico reported.
“The cases mark the first time the high court dealt with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the 1996 law that gives internet websites broad liability protections for most third-party content posted on their sites. It marks a major win for tech companies that have argued narrowing their decades-old liability shield could be disastrous for the internet, leading to a greater influx of hate speech and extremist content online,” the outlet added.
In a dissenting opinion issued in October 2020, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas criticized Section 230 in the Malwarebytes Inc. v. Enigma Software Group USA case.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
“Courts have long emphasized nontextual arguments when interpreting 230, leaving questionable precedent in their wake,” the justice said. “Extending 230 immunity beyond the natural reading of the text can have serious consequences,” he added, and specified his concern about giving companies immunity from civil claims for “knowingly host[ing] illegal child pornography” and “for race discrimination.” CONTINUE READING…