One odd innovation during the most recent GOP presidential candidates debate was how many candidates trashed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Wasn’t he the savior for all conservatives some 10 years ago? Didn’t he trash the recent majority ruling on same-sex marriage in June?
Which is why I was interested to read a recent Los Angeles Times story on Roberts’ fall from grace, as it were.
Several publications ran similar 10th anniversary pieces on Roberts' ascent to the high court this past week. The chief justice, by the way, just turned 60, so his influence on the court should last at least another 20 years, if he sticks around as long as some of the current 80-something justices.
Here is a crucial section of the Los Angeles Times piece. Might there be a crucial element of his work and worldview missing?
When a divided Supreme Court handed down six major rulings in the last week of June, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. came down firmly on the conservative side in five of them.
He voted against gay marriage, in favor of weakening a federal law against racial bias in housing and for the Arizona Republicans who challenged the state’s independent panel that draws election districts. He joined 5-4 majorities to block an Obama administration clean-air rule and to uphold a state's use of substitute drugs to carry out lethal injections.
But as Roberts this week marks the 10th anniversary of becoming chief ustice, he finds himself in the cross hairs of right-leaning pundits and GOP presidential hopefuls who brand him a disappointment and openly question his conservative credentials because of the one case of the six in which he voted with the court’s liberals.