Biden’s Bad Run: Is The Biden Administration Doing Worse Than The Trump Administration In The Courts?

Below is my column in the Hill on the growing number of losses by the Biden Administration in courts around the country, including a particularly embarrassing loss before the United States Supreme Court. What is notable is that such losses in the early days of the Trump Administration led to coverage declaring a war on the “rule of law” and even indications of authoritarianism. The Biden losses have received little coverage despite what could be a worst record in the early days of his Administration. The fact is that such adverse decisions are not uncommon as Administrations try to fast track changes. However, the Biden Administration has actually had some very serious losses, including some which are being appealed. Yet, many previously outspoken legal experts have either blamed conservative judges  or simply ignored the losses all together. It is a continuation of an interesting pattern where Democrats are adopting the very rationales that they once denounced.

Here is the column:

President Biden repeatedly framed his campaign and his administration as defending “the rule of law” after what he and others portrayed as the lawless reign of President Trump. The image of Biden as restoring the Justice Department back into the good graces of the law and the courts is reinforced regularly in the media.

What is not being as fully reported is that Biden actually has racked up a litany of notable court losses that may now exceed those of his predecessor in his first six months. Indeed, the Biden administration has been found to have violated the Constitution in a surprising array of cases in a surprisingly short period of time.

Across the country, trial courts have been finding constitutional violations by the Biden administration in areas ranging from immigration to the environment to pandemic relief. The administration actually began with the same court record as the Trump administration, which lost an early challenge to its travel ban. (The Supreme Court later upheld the core elements of the travel ban and rejected the general claims raised against it.) Biden also lost a critical immigration fight when a federal court enjoined his 100-day moratorium on deportations. In a 105-page opinion, the court found that the administration omitted “any rational explanation grounded in the facts reviewed and the factors considered” and left only “an arbitrary and capricious choice” of the president in this early immigration order. Sound familiar? It should: That was the same argument used against Trump.

In Wisconsin, a federal court stopped Biden’s controversial $4 billion race-based federal relief program for farmers after finding that he was engaging in systemic racial discrimination. The court found that “the only consideration in determining whether a farmer or rancher’s loans should be completely forgiven is the person’s race or national origin.” As such, farmers were found to be “experiencing discrimination at the hands of their government.”

A court in Texas found that the Biden administration engaged in systemic discrimination to implement COVID-19 relief for American restaurants by giving preference to women, minorities and “socially and economically disadvantaged” people.

In Louisiana, a federal court enjoined the administration from carrying out its halting of gas and oil leases, finding that Biden’s unilateral action violated the separation of powers under the Constitution.

In Washington, D.C., a federal judge found that the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its authority by imposing a federal eviction moratorium to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The court rejected the administration’s sweeping claims of pandemic authority, a view taken by other (but not all) courts in a dispute that could go to the Supreme Court.

This week, a federal judge in Florida ruled against the administration and held that the CDC cannot dictate rules for cruise ships. The court found the administration is again exceeding its constitutional authority.

These rulings against the Biden administration came in the same areas covered extensively by the media during the Trump administration, including findings of constitutional violations and discriminatory practices. When early rulings were issued against Trump, legal and media experts declared that a war on the rule of law existed, if not the onset of tyranny. However, the media has given light coverage to Biden’s legal losses.

One of the most remarkable court losses was delivered at the hands of the Supreme Court in the case of Terry v. United States. It involved a criminal defendant in a crack case who argued for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act. The Trump administration argued against the defendant’s claim — but this was one of many positions that the Biden administration changed before the court. The Biden administration informed the court that it not only would refuse to defend the judgment below — and defend the federal statute — but was “confessing error” in the case.

The move by the Biden Administration was astonishing on a number of levels. Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar informed the Supreme Court in March, on the actual due date for the government’s brief. Oral argument was scheduled for April; the court was forced to reschedule the oral argument for a special sitting in May, a completely avoidable conflict the administration created by waiting a ridiculous two months to inform the court. The Biden Justice Department simply suggested in a letter that the Supreme Court find someone else to defend a federal law. Moreover, the Biden administration was confessing error in a case where the government was likely to win. In other words, it was refusing to make an argument with which many if not most of the justices would agree.

Instead, the Biden administration advanced an argument that was so weak that the justices referred to its arguments as a meritless “sleight of hand” to evade the clear, obvious meaning of the statute. They ruled unanimously against the administration and the defendant. Eight justices signed on to the opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas entirely, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor concurred with his interpretation of the First Step Act. So, the Biden Justice Department confessed error and abandoned an argument that, ultimately, garnered a unanimous vote of the Supreme Court.

While continually claiming to be a champion of “the rule of law” in public, the Biden administration has been found to be a transgressor in these cases. These losses constitute an inauspicious start for any administration.

In the early months of the Trump administration, I noted that “the White House gave the courts a target-rich environment in the first travel order, which was poorly drafted, poorly executed and poorly defended.” The same is true with the Biden administration; it has racked up losses for engaging in systemic racial and gender discrimination, exceeding its constitutional authority, and acting arbitrarily and capriciously in carrying out federal policy.

Of course, it still could prevail on appeal in some of these cases, as did Trump in his win on the travel ban before the Supreme Court. However, like the prior administration, the Biden administration has shown serious deficiencies in arguing these early cases in court.

President Biden has declared that “every country faces challenges to the rule of law, including my own.” His administration has, thus far, proven just how difficult that challenge can be.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

50 thoughts on “Biden’s Bad Run: Is The Biden Administration Doing Worse Than The Trump Administration In The Courts?”

  1. The Trump administration racked up 86 court losses with federal judges last November & December. Trump called the Supreme Court “a disgrace” & “an embarrassment to the USA.” A poll taken after Trump made those attacks on the Supreme Court showed that only 39% of Republicans now approve of the way the Supreme Court is handling their job. 53% of Republicans continue to believe Trump won the 2020 election & in doing so, refuse to accept the rulings of federal judges who shot down & summarily dismissed Trump’s 86 lawsuits alleging massive voter fraud.

    Trump & the majority of our country’s Republicans have definitely declared a war on “the rule of law.”

    1. A+ example of whataboutism and deflecting from the subject.

      Progressive translation: Trump’s bad behavior justifies and outweighs all bad Demonkraut behavior.

      Collect your $100 fee from your Demonkraut troll farm supervisor Lateezha.

  2. I am willing to bet this is not what is really going on. I personally think this is two fold. First: Biden certainly wants to get his agenda through without a doubt. He puts through as much as he can and let’s the chips fall where they may. If he gets it through, it is a win and if the Courts stop it for various reasons that leads to….

    Second: not all losses are equal. Biden can lose in the short term and win in the long run. He loses in Court and then proclaims that the courts are broken. It is a classic tactic used by both sides to push a political agenda. A way to fire up the base to vote a given political way. Demonize the other side to inflame passions.

    What is fascinating is that the press is not covering the losses as they would Trump. Could one imagine if Trump would have lost in court if he tried to give subsidies to only white farmers or men only? The press would had a field day. Not much of a peep when the Courts opinion that Biden White House used automatic discrimination against a particular group.

    President lose in court, that happens. I personally do not think Biden is a bigot. I think he is trying to do right, but going about it in the wrong way. It will be both interesting and entertaining to see if he tries again on these issues.

    1. It will be “entertaining”? The law in our country specifies that the state act impartially with respect to race, gender, and religion. When the state intentionally harms you or withholds resources on the basis of your skin color the word you use to describe the experience usually has a little more gravitas than “entertaining.” What possible difference does it make whether you think Biden is a bigot? In fact, what difference does it make if he is one or isn’t one? We’re trying to maintain a country of laws here, not men.

  3. What: Turley Blog Commenters Summer Party Series- First Party of the Season
    Where: Long Branch Beach, NJ
    When: Saturday June 21

    Over 1,000 members of the Turley blog commenters community met last weekend at Long Branch Beach in New Jersey for the first installment of our 2021 Summer Party Series. It was great to meet so many of our fellow commenters and their families to share views, dinner and drinks on a sunny summer Saturday at the shore. A good time was had by all. Not to be outdone, a few of our fellow posters gathered up the courage to show off a little of their wild side!

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    Hold your calendars: July 10 @ Pioneer Square in Portland, sponsored by the Turley Blog Commenters Pacific Northwest Chapter. Stay tuned, more details to come!

  4. Turley is wrong. Biden told the absolute truth when he promised to support “the rule of law.” He just meant “jungle law,” “woke law” and/or “laws DEMONKRAUTZ make up in their very wittle teensy drug addled progressive non-brains.”

  5. Why should we be surprised that the policies of the Biden administration are being found to be unconstitutional? With all their heart they declared that Trump was a danger to our nation founded on the constitution. It seems that now that they are in power that silly old constitution that they defended to their last dying breath just gets in their way. In addressing the attacks on the Author of this blog by those referencing his prejudice because he appears on Fox News I provide the following link to better represent his appearances in the media. Please note paragraph three.
    We have a poster named Natacha who has given us a detailed psychoanalysis of Donald Trump. She has never detailed the University where she studied to earn a doctorate that would qualify her to make such a diagnosis. She read them big Doctor words and said yup yup this is Trump. Henceforth we should all address her as Doctor F. Natacha. What does the “F” stand for you ask? According to the dictionary, A person who acts unwisely or imprudently.

  6. I am not sure how much difference it will make.

    Early in 1789 in France someone remarked that the situation might be getting beyond the courts.

    Is that happening here to a degree? Who trusts the courts and prosecutor in Portland? Los Angeles?. What if you have a business in New York?

    St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Baltimore and others are anarchic and all the officials want to do is defund or prosecute the police.

    Leftists used to say nobody needs guns because we have police. Now they say we don’t need police. The result has been record gun sales throughout the country. Basically, the politicians have been saying ‘You are on your own’. And the people lock and load.

    The courts are becoming an afterthought in the chaos. They wanted to be politicians; now they are.

  7. You trolls are a sad lot. Your comments always begin, rather than with anything concerning the subject of the posts, with invectives against their author. I guess what you fail to realize is that the majority of us here on this blog are older than millennials or gen z, and in spite of your own personal ages/experience, that preying upon emotions and any accompanying base hatred in the face of fact and logic, just isn’t going to work. Pretty much period. It’s the same thing you fail to recognize about the world and society at large. If you all are being paid they may as well have flushed that money down the toilet. Your comments simply take up space, are generally scrolled past, and are quickly ignored. This is not being obtuse or biased; rather it is based on much history with each of you and the assessment based on that history that you are not worth the time or energy. Poof!

  8. JT is that great legal navigator that knows he’s over the target when he’s taking flak.

  9. “Biden’s Bad Run: Is The Biden Administration Doing Worse Than The Trump Administration In The Courts?”

    – Professor Turley


    Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

    Congress has the power to tax only for “…general Welfare…,” cannot regulate anything but money, commerce and land and naval Forces, and cannot “claim or exercise [any degree of] dominion” over private property. The judicial branch cannot legislate. Biden cannot have done any of the unconstitutional communist acts in his bad run. The entire communist American welfare state is unconstitutional. The Constitution gave the freedom to individuals, not to self-governance – self-governance exists only to facilitate the freedom of individuals.

    Someone ring up the Supreme Court.

  10. Fact: Voters for Obama were robbed of about 100 federal judge picks and a U.S. Supreme Court pick. Then once Trump came into office, Mitch McConnell rammed through judges and justices at breakneck speed.

    This happened after similar so-called “Conservative” judges created the “Citizens United” ruling. This was the extremely liberal constitutional theory (invented by Conservatives) that “corporate-persons” have MORE constitutional rights than “human-persons”. Human-persons of course are penalized or jailed for breaking laws, unlike corporate-persons.

    Most voters in 2021, likely view this as a Carnival Game where the House always wins. It’s just a joke to many of us.

    1. I think the Biden family is doing quit well in court. None of these grifters have been convicted of anything yet.

    2. Your alleged “conservative” John Roberts, in split votes, voted with the libs almost 100% of the time.

    3. Demonkrautz whataboutism to the max! Superb deflection, NOT!

      Collect $25 from your Demonkrautz troll farm supervisor Tawanda.


    Professor Turley claims the media played up Trump court losses while playing down Biden’s. But ‘what’ media is Turley referring to? As a regular reader of the NYT and WaPo, I was familiar with all these court losses.

    It seems that Turley is locked in permanent What-About mode. It’s a common affliction among Trump apologists.

    1. What is plainly Turley pointing out media hypocrisy you call whataboutism solely to defend progressive hypocrisy, a common affliction among TDS victims.

    2. Anonymous at 12:34. Please link to the articles by the Washington Post and the N.Y Times that tell us of the Biden court losses. If you can’t find them the only conclusion we can come to is that you must be defined once again as a prevaricator. Much easier to find would be their latest retractions. Did you miss those?

    3. To progressives esp. those posting here, anyone, esp. Turley whom reports on any bad progressive behavior IS the problem. Progressives project their own bad behavior onto anyone whom reports on the subject.

      It’s so predictable, so phony, and if it wasn’t so awful, disgusting and hypocritcal it’d be entertaining.

  12. Turley: today’s piece exposes another of your missions as an agent of the Hate Network: attempts to legitimize Trump and attack Biden, all to feed red meat to the deplorables. If you want to consider genuine reasons for embarrassment, take a look at the MOTIVATIONS behind the two presidents. Trump was motivated by hate, rage, xenophobia and racism. Biden is motivated by compassion and attempting to right wrongs, and therein lies the big difference. The orange election cheater you are employed to defend enacted a travel ban against those of the Muslim faith for no reason other than xenophobia. During his campaign, he would stand before the disciples and tell them that no Muslims would be allowed into the United States, to elicit the cheers his fragile ego depends on. For what reason? All ALL Muslims terrorists? Well, actually, the real terrorists in this country are the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Q Anon, and White Supremacists, all Trump disciples. Then, you claim:”Biden also lost a critical immigration fight when a federal court enjoined his 100-day moratorium on deportations.” You know damn good and well than an injunction is NOT a final ruling, so this is not a “critical” ruling. What were the reasons behind his temporary ban on deportations? Time to sort things out. One hundred days isn’t very long.

    Then, there’s the criminal defendant who argued for leniency based on the “First Step Act”, which your orange client fought against. Instead of discussing the actual merits of the controversy, and why the Biden Administration did not want to proceed, you turn attack dog once again. Why not discuss the merits of the law and reasons behind leniency? You won’t, so long as you have a chance to get in digs at the Biden Administration and a chance to try to defend Trump. You claim that the Biden Administration engaged in discrimination by attempting to benefit black farmers with relief programs. Again, what is the motivation behind this? Hatred? Racism? Quite the reverse.

    Then, there’s the eviction moratorium. Why was this enacted? If the pandemic hadn’t been allowed to spiral out of control, maybe it wouldn’t have been necessary. People were unemployed through no fault of their own, so they should be homeless, too? And, as you casually observe, courts are split on this issue, so why attack Biden? Oh, that’s right. You are paid to do so.

    Then we have the cruise ship ruling. Why did the CDC enact rules for cruise ships? To hurt people or to harm the cruise ship industry? You know the answer to that one, Turley. And…what is the political party of the Florida judge?

    You offhandedly admit at the end of your attack piece that the Biden Administration might win these battles eventually. Your piece barely admits that most of these rulings are not final rulings. But, you won’t let that stop you from tossing red meat to the disciples, most of whom don’t know any better.

    1. Turley could save himself a lot of time by just writing…..Biden Bad…..Trump Good…..and it would go over just as well with the cult.

      1. Progressive definition of the problem: anyone whom disagrees with progressive agendas IS the problem. Do better, loser.

    2. “Biden is motivated by compassion and attempting to right wrongs”

      No, he is not.

      Biden is a corrupt politician motivated by power, money, fame, and GREED for himself and his family as they all shamelessly continue cashing in on his political office. It’s disgusting to most American people when they realize what a corrupt sellout Joe Biden really is. Joe Biden is for sale, his family is for sale, his political office is his family’s cash cow and the whole world knows it.

      Now Hunter Biden is selling his paintings for up to $500k a painting with the buyers remaining anonymous. You know another name for that? Money laundering. Joe Biden knows exactly what his son Hunter and the rest of his greedy corrupt sleezeball family are doing. Joe Biden is a liar.

      Biden is also weak and motivated by fear of his own “handlers” which is why he is always saying odd shit like, “I’m gonna be in trouble”…..and he defers to his “handlers” and his “scripts” and his “cue cards” and “cheat sheets” all telling him what to say.

      Besides, how do YOU know what motivates Biden or Trump?

      We can help you with that answer. You don’t know. And you are wrong, as usual.

      1. Trump is motivated by his mental illness known as “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. The DSM-IV* describes a Narcissistic Personality Disorder as: “A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated (by some of the following)”: a grandiose sense of self-importance; is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; believes that he is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people”, requires excessive admiration, has a sense of entitlement, is interpersonally exploitative [e.g. “grab ’em by the pussy”], lacks empathy, is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him; and shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes. These characteristics fit Trump to a “T”.

        Trump would and will say or do anything to pander to his “base” of white, mostly non college educated males who deeply resented the successful presidency of Barak Obama as well as the successes of educated women and minorities because they fear losing what they believe to be their white privilege. His fragile ego requires cheering, praise and attention. That explains the Musllim travel ban, calling Mexicans “criminals, murderers, rapists and breeders”, promising to make Mexico pay for a 2,000 mile border wall, saying that White Supremacists are “fine people”, and all of his other hateful un-American rhetoric. His narcissism explains why he will never concede that he lost. He DOES know the truth, even if his disciples don’t.

        Biden, on the other hand, has always had a reputation for integrity, congenial personality, someone who seeks compromise rather than division and empathy for others. This good reputation was earned by decades in Congress and dealings with America’s allies over the years. Contrast that with Trump’s reputation for cheating in business, proven by thousands of lawsuits filed against him for refusing to pay his bills and race discrimination lawsuits he lost. Biden is a devout Catholic, but does not try to force Catholic dogma on others. Trump is on his third marriage, and has publicly cheated on his current wife with a porn star that he paid off to keep quiet. What, exactly, has Biden done that is “corrupt”? What, exactly, did Biden “sell”? What has Biden lied about? Name something specific that you didn’t hear on alt-right media. And, attacks against Hunter Biden don’t count, and neither do the unproven claims of money laundering spewed by alt-right media.

        *”Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” published by the American Psychiatric Association.

        1. “Biden, on the other hand, has always had a reputation for integrity, congenial personality, someone who seeks compromise rather than division and empathy for others.”

          Biden’s reputation has always been what??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          1. Biden is well known for being an entitled, short-fused, backstabbing, lying SOB.

          2. Yeah, and Biden said at his inauguration he’d patch everything up between us and be the POTUS for all of us.

            Hahahahahahaha…..He just omitted that “us” refers to “all of us Progressive dim wit wokester DEMONKRAUTZ.”

        2. “What, exactly, has Biden done that is “corrupt”? What, exactly, did Biden “sell”? What has Biden lied about? Name something specific that you didn’t hear on alt-right media. And, attacks against Hunter Biden don’t count, and neither do the unproven claims of money laundering spewed by alt-right media.”


          We can sum it up like this:

          “Systemic corruption” exists IN the Biden family (there are *obvious felonies* that have been overlooked for years).

          Hunter Biden’s wheeling and dealing very much “counts” as a target for investigations, attacks, inquiries, examination.

          “Systemic racism” exists IN the Biden family (there are *obvious examples of this being glossed over by the corrupt media).

          “Systemic double standards” exist IN the government. (aka “institutionalized federal double standards”)

          “Systemic double standards” is just another name for the Democrat Party and their Propaganda media allies.

        3. “What, exactly, did Biden “sell”? ”

          His political office.

          Joe’s family has been profiting off the Biden name and Joe’s political office for 50 years. It’s the ‘family business.’

          We know Hunter has been hustling deals on a global scale selling the Biden family influence for years (aka ‘Clinton-esque’ pay-for-play schemes)

          We know Joe is the “Big Guy” getting his slice of the pie.

          1. Joe doesn’t ask, he just moves in too close where he sniffs, touches, ogles, mutters uncomfortable inappropriate comments, and violates personal boundaries of girls and women like the perv he is The guy is a perv.

    3. It’s disgusting to most American people when they realize what a corrupt sellout Joe Biden really is.

      Joe Biden is for sale, his family is for sale, his political office is his family’s cash cow and the whole world knows it.

      Now Hunter Biden is selling his paintings for up to $500k a painting with the buyers remaining anonymous. You know another name for that? Money laundering.

      Joe Biden knows exactly what his son Hunter and the rest of his greedy corrupt sleezeball family are doing.

      Joe Biden is a liar.

      Joe Biden is a racist. Joe Biden has always been a racist. HIs own vice president called him a racist!

      Joe Biden doesn’t have a compassionate bone in his body. He is a backstabbing, corrupt, lying, plagiarizing, sellout who cheated and lied his way into the White House.

      Joe Biden is an illegitimate president.

      Joe Biden will never be a legitimate president.

    4. the pandemic hadn’t been allowed to spiral out of control

      Are you one of those people that believe you have the power to “control” nature? You can dial in the “average” global temperature of the planet to within tenths of a degrees Celsius? Just like you can stop a virus by closing all the shoe stores and churches.

  13. Off topic. Is there even a tiny bit of gold in a Bitcoin?
    No silver?
    How about an underlying product like GE stock had?
    Should call them nada coins.
    Get the hell out if you are in.

  14. It is a continuation of an interesting pattern where Democrats are adopting the very rationales that they once denounced.

    Well, that’s one way to put it. The Cambridge dictionary defines this as: a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time:

    Or we could just cut to the chase and call it what it is: Hypocrisy,

  15. i”ll be interested in the legal beagles analysis, of the somewhat subjective rating of which administration is have the worse judicial outcomes.

    I’m willing to wager however, that no judge so far, has stated for the record, they would have ruled in the opposite, it there were a different President. That is what set apart the Democrat appointed Judges. There state task of advance Democrat agenda items the Democrats could never attain through legislation.

  16. Typical of the mendacity prevalent in both Washington and the media.

    Why we have to have alternate news sources.

    Now watch the Lefty bloggers post about Trump and demand that Turley denounce Fox News.

    Lefties lie to us and themselves.

  17. BIDEN’s Admin. Court Problems is simple they ignore the Constitution and are trying their on version of Woke Law/Executive Orders which one by one are being over ruled by the Courts. Even the cases they are appealing they will loooose. But, it is going to be interesting how they try their next Big Legal challenges the Election Law and Election Recounts that re going on and they have opposed. They will lose these Election Recount cases for they are going against the Constitution, Laws, and previous election court case law.

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