'The rule of law lost': Legendary constitutional trial lawyer flays Supreme Court for running interference for Trump
President Donald Trump shakes hands with US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. (POOL/AFP/File / JIM LO SCALZO)

In a letter to the New York Times, a constitutional trial attorney once lauded by the late Justice William Brennan for his work on First Amendment cases accused the current conservative-dominated Supreme Court of sticking its nose in lower court cases that have not gone President Donald Trump's way and questioned their loyalty to following the law.

According to attorney Martin Garbus --who has represented Nelson Mandela, Andrei Sakharov, Václav Havel, Samuel Beckett,  and Daniel Ellsberg among others -- "The rule of law lost" when the nation's highest court intervened in the cases and holding them up as the president faces impeachment.

As Garbus wrote to the Times, "Linda Greenhouse’s fine essay “The Supreme Court’s Loyalty Test” (Sunday Review, Dec. 22) describes the significance of the court’s ultimate decisions in the three Trump-related cases it just agreed to review. Those decisions, she says, will “give the country much-needed clarity” about whether the court is more loyal to President Trump than to the rule of law, before adding, "But the fact that the court decided to review the cases tells us that it is more loyal to Mr. Trump. The court has failed the loyalty test."

As Garbus sees it, the lower court decisions against the president were strong enough that no high court review should have been necessary.

"There was no good reason for the Supreme Court to review the rulings of the three federal circuit courts that rendered decisions against Mr. Trump. If those rulings had been left to stand, the documents (tax returns, financial returns, records of conversations) and testimony that would damage this president, perhaps fatally, would have immediately been produced. And the Democrats’ claim that witnesses and additional documents should be part of the Senate impeachment trial would have added substance," he wrote. "There are reasons a Supreme Court should take a case. Those reasons do not exist here. All the court’s action does is delay until the middle of next year — perhaps after the Senate trial — the production of documents and people that the public is entitled to see and hear from. That delay may well save Mr. Trump his presidency."

He then bluntly offered up his own verdict: "Mr. Trump won. The rule of law lost."

You can read the letter here.