Justice Neil Gorsuch Writes Scathing Dissent After SCOTUS Refuses Appeal

‘Our Constitution does not tolerate what happened here,’ Justice Gorsuch wrote.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a lawyer thrown in prison for contempt of court in connection with his representation of citizens in Ecuador for their environmental damage lawsuit against oil and gas giant Chevron.
  • Steven Donziger had argued that a federal judge overstepped his legal authority in appointing three lawyers as special prosecutors to handle Donziger’s contempt trial after the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan refused to prosecute him.
  • Writing in his dissent, Justice Neil Gorsuch suggested that the appointment of special prosecutors by the judge violated the Constitution’s separation of powers of branches of government, which grants the executive branch the power to file criminal cases, and the judiciary the power to interpret the laws.
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