Video: Roberts not exactly beloved by his colleagues

posted at 2:41 pm on July 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The biggest buzz from yesterday’s talk shows didn’t come from the politicians, but from CBS’ Jan Crawford and her report on bruised feelings at the Supreme Court in the wake of the decision to uphold ObamaCare.  In a continuing series of leaks from behind perhaps the heretofore most secure institution in Washington, Crawford reports that conservatives on the court are “furious” with Chief Justice John Roberts over what they see as betrayal, and it’s not just the conservatives who are unhappy with Roberts, either:

Conservatives feel a sense of betrayal. They feel that Roberts changed his mind for the wrong reasons.

If Roberts had been with the liberals from the beginning, sources tell me that would have been one thing; but switching his position – and relatively late in the process – infuriated the conservatives. …

When he changed his mind and joined with the liberals to uphold the law instead, he tried furiously – with a fair amount of “arm twisting” – to get Justice Anthony Kennedy to come along. Kennedy sometimes breaks with conservatives, so Roberts likely saw him as his best hope.

But on this issue of federal power, Kennedy was firm. The conservatives refused to even engage with Roberts on joining his opinion to uphold the law. They set out writing their own opinion – they wrote it to look like a majority decision, according to sources, because they hoped Roberts would rejoin them to strike down the mandate. Kennedy relentlessly lobbied Roberts until the end to come back. Of course he did not, and the conservatives’ decision became a dissent.

Now this conflict has been brewing for some time. You can trace it back to the first full term of the new Roberts Court. That term had several controversial cases, including school busing and abortion. Liberal justices thought Roberts had signaled he would be open to compromise and be more moderate. But he sided with conservatives that year, making the liberals feel misled. They were furious. As one said at the time: “He talks the talk, but won’t walk the walk.”

Conservatives were angry at Roberts, too – they thought he gave the liberals false hope. He ended up just pushing them further away.

Having conflict between justices on the court probably isn’t anything new.  Having these kind of leaks about it is.  That seems to speak to the depth of the anger from the conservative wing of the court, and perhaps to the erosion of comity and commitment to professional courtesy.  It’s one thing to have people engage in reading tea leaves based on the wording of the opinions from various cases, but it’s something new to have people on the inside talking so freely about interpersonal conflicts at the Supreme Court, and so soon after the end of the session.

It sounds like the summer vacation couldn’t come soon enough, and that Roberts couldn’t get far enough away from everyone else.  Malta may be too close, at least for the first few weeks.  Clearly, someone wants to go after Roberts in public, and we’ll see if any of the justices themselves address this in public speeches between now and the start of the next session.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Sucks to be Roger Taney. :(

lorien1973 on July 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM

All for the love of the New York Times…

(vomit)

Seven Percent Solution on July 9, 2012 at 2:47 PM

The Rulers always dole out the Rules.

… o’er the land of the free

Uh huh, … o’er the land of the free

They really should just re-write, or abandon, The Star Spangled Banner.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 9, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Cowards deserve all the derision they have heaped upon themselves. A man lacking conviction is not a man.

Skwor on July 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Well, at least Chris Matthews and Jeffrey Toobin love him.

SouthernGent on July 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM

That seems to speak to the depth of the anger from the conservative wing of the court, and perhaps to the erosion of comity and commitment to professional courtesy. It’s one thing to have people engage in reading tea leaves based on the wording of the opinions from various cases, but it’s something new to have people on the inside talking so freely about interpersonal conflicts at the Supreme Court, and so soon after the end of the session.

I think it speaks volumes about the level of character of the two most recent appointees.

CycloneCDB on July 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

So he tried to be cute and straddle the middle and ended up irritating everyone. You’d think that a professional at this stage and of this status would have learned to at least be straight up or at least work it properly. Wow. The Peter Principle in high definition.

Just means that conservatives will have to “budget” around him.

kim roy on July 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM

OT:

DOJ ANNOUNCES INDICTMENTS IN BRIAN TERRY MURDER

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I think it speaks volumes about the level of character of the two most recent appointees.

CycloneCDB on July 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Or at least one of them.

I agree completely – the only thing that has changed is that we now have a mole who is willing to talk. Who believes that mole is conservative? I don’t.

These leaks have been orchestrated to demoralize the right. Their veracity cannot be confirmed; thus I believe they ought to be completely ignored.

Missy on July 9, 2012 at 2:53 PM

He should try Guam, unless it’s tipped over already.

Or the Maldives, unless Argentina and Britain are in active conflict over them.

BadgerHawk on July 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I think it’s likely he’ll be even more inclined to join the libs on cases. It’s clear his rep is tattered on the Right, so he may as well burnish it on the Left.

changer1701 on July 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Who is the Jan Crawford source for her reporting..?

d1carter on July 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Well, at least Chris Matthews and Jeffrey Toobin love him.

SouthernGent on July 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM

It won’t last.

thebrokenrattle on July 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I know some on the right have doubted these leaks from the court because they are being reported by CBS, but it should be pointed out that Jan has a legit “in” with part of the conservative wing of the Court, so there is good reason to believe this info.

McDuck on July 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I think the best polling in the land comes from watching MSM…start counting how many rats leave the ship…bragging rights are involved about who called it first…

just saying…

teejk on July 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

…so now we have three politicians instead of justices…he just joined the latest two.

KOOLAID2 on July 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

This may well not be settled once and for all until Romney appoints at least 2, perhaps 3 new Justices.

Roberts seems like a loose cannon. He has eroded the ability of the court to function and has, if nothing else, lost the trust of ALL of the other Justices. Its hard to see how he can fulfill the role of CHIEF JUSTICE when he has lost that trust from his fellow Justices.

thatsafactjack on July 9, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Sucks to be Roger Taney. :(

lorien1973 on July 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Sucks even worse to be one of the captured slaves.

Portia46 on July 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Clearly, someone wants to go after Roberts in public, and we’ll see if any of the justices themselves address this in public speeches between now and the start of the next session.

True, but not in the form of leaks. The leaks come directly from one of the justices, it’s true.

But the “someone wants to go after Roberts” is more like Obama, directly, or indirectly, having threatened Roberts, after he sided with the former majority, and it was leaked to Obama. Who leaked that? Either one of the 2 new ‘girls’ or a clerical plant from Obama.

Until proven otherwise Obama, via capos, threatened Roberts, to do him in, and then fill his position with an Obama appointee.

It’s entirely possible that the fear, of which we might never get to know in detail, drove Roberts to switch. He then desperately tried to convince Kennedy.

In the Russi-like saga, the thuggish reality of the USA today, Kennedy is the unsung hero.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Neve to underestimate or discard Jan Crawford, just because she’s at CBS.

She is the most connected to the workings of the SC and she’s very plausible. Her sources are steely.

Don’t be surprised if her source is Justice Kennedy.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

ED, DO YOU THINK ROBERTS MIGHT EVENTUALLY RESIGN OVER OBAMACARE DECISION ?

Rook on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

His tax reasoning was ridiculous. For him not to see the huge can of worms he’s opening up is amazing. It would have made more sense to just uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause than to pull this.

Rocks on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

OT:

DOJ ANNOUNCES INDICTMENTS IN BRIAN TERRY MURDER

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Notice there’s no “accessories” named in this indictment.

Portia46 on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Russia-like saga…if that happened, and Roberts or his family were threatened, the land is in a thuggish state.

Time, the fools, dedicated 15 pages at how “brilliant” Roberts was.

They were completely off the mark. He was scared.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

with a fair amount of “arm twisting” – to get Justice Anthony Kennedy to come along.

In the absence of political motives, why would Roberts care about Kennedy’s vote if he was already in the majority?

At least it’s now becoming widely accepted that the Court leaks. A liberal leaked the initial vote to the Regime which responded by intimidating Roberts into changing his vote – pretty much right out in public. Furious conservatives have since leaked further information. SCOTUS leaks, it’s subject to intimidation/lobbying, the Senate doesn’t pass budgets anymore, we’re printing bogus money, the media is in the service of the Regime, and the president attacks private citizens when he’s not busy threatening the Court. The old rules are gone and we’re living in a post-constitutional banana republic.

This is gonna be tough to fix.

forest on July 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Cowards deserve all the derision they have heaped upon themselves. A man lacking conviction is not a man.

Skwor on July 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM

says it all

DanMan on July 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Trying to get Kennedy to come along with him pretty much nails that this last minute switch by Roberts was PURELY political and he wanted someone else to come along to cover his own ass.

The Court is squarely in the hands of the left now…. RINO presidents pick RINO justices. Whooda thunk it.

lm10001 on July 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM

DOJ ANNOUNCES INDICTMENTS IN BRIAN TERRY MURDER

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Wow, surprising timing…Holder and his boss are thugs.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Liberal justices thought Roberts had signaled he would be open to compromise and be more moderate

.

At what point are the liberal justices supposed to be open to compromise and be more moderate?

I know, I know.

aunursa on July 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Which side will hate him after the upcoming gay marriage & affirmative action cases, I wonder?

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Going to be interesting seeing how Kennedy votes from here on out. If the liberals end up losing more future Kennedy votes than they pick up in Roberts votes it might be salvageable. Or maybe Ginsburg will respond to Roberts’ accommodations and start tiptoeing towards the middle on occasiona-ha ha, yeah.

JeremiahJohnson on July 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

The old rules are gone and we’re living in a post-constitutional banana republic.

This is gonna be tough to fix.

forest on July 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

…and you have blackouts…welcome to Zimbabwe.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

At the time that she was nominated, Elena Kagan was said to be chosen not only because she was a young lesbian liberal, but also because she was a great consensus builder who would maybe be able to sway Kennedy into adopting some liberal views. It looks like she maybe had some success with Roberts instead.

mydh12 on July 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM

DOJ ANNOUNCES INDICTMENTS IN BRIAN TERRY MURDER

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

After a poll is released that says Holder is a thug. Gotta love that timing.

JPeterman on July 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Who is the Jan Crawford source for her reporting..?

d1carter

I’d go with a clerk for Kennedy. I cant imagine all that “arm-twisting” was in front of the other 7 justices. If it was even more reason to hate him.

Zaggs on July 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Roberts earned a place in history. Probably not the one he imagined, though.

Cicero43 on July 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

I think it speaks volumes about the level of character of the two most recent appointees.

CycloneCDB on July 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Kagan and Sotomayor?

Esthier on July 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

I, for one, think we citizens SHOULD be privy to the why’s and
wherefore’s of the court’s decision making process.

Their job is to protect and uphold the constitution. Now, I am
not an intellectual, however, believe that if plain language is
spoken/written I could understand what led each of them to
their conclusions.

It is time for the Suprior Court Justices to be knocked off
their pedestals. They may be more educated in a certain arena
than most of us, however, I can pretty much guarantee they are
not smarter than many of us.

All this intellectual double speak is nonsense. Pages and pages
of gobblygook just to tell us common folks how smart THEY are.

My take is they don’t want us to know that they aren’t as smart
as they want us to believe they are. And these shennanigans
recently prove it.

Amjean on July 9, 2012 at 3:09 PM

We should expect as much transparency from the SCOTUS as we do from every other branch of government.

gwelf on July 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM

IF the Justices are that ‘furious’, I wonder if they might decide to make a statement TOGETHER, perhaps including Kennedy, rather than one Justice deciding to speak publicly regarding the issue this summer.

Its strikes me that since Roberts finagled a means to write BOTH the majority decision AND the dissent that it appears that he essentially rendered the other 8 Justices redundant. Its more than just ‘Roberts talking out of both sides of his mouth’ as some analysts have suggested. It lends the appearance that not only is he Chief Justice, but that he’s the ONLY Justice whose opinion matters. This lends a whole new meaning to “The Roberts Court” and leads right to the apex of the point at which we consider the action tipping into legislating from the bench.

thatsafactjack on July 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Like someone said, the decision was 4-1-4.

slickwillie2001 on July 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

DOJ ANNOUNCES INDICTMENTS IN BRIAN TERRY MURDER

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Unfortunately, one of them was not for the idiot Eric Holder.

slickwillie2001 on July 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

So he tried to be cute and straddle the middle and ended up irritating everyone. You’d think that a professional at this stage and of this status would have learned to at least be straight up or at least work it properly. Wow. The Peter Principle in high definition.

Just means that conservatives will have to “budget” around him.

kim roy on July 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM

And Romney needs to campaign on appointing SCOTUS Justices like Scalia and Alito, who won’t legislate from the bench.

It sounds like the summer vacation couldn’t come soon enough, and that Roberts couldn’t get far enough away from everyone else. Malta may be too close, at least for the first few weeks.

Is Roberts the new Maltese Falcon? At the end of the movie, Sam Spade tells his lady-friend, “All you have in your defense is maybe you love me and maybe I love you”. The New York Times is probably telling Roberts the same thing. And to #3!! with the American people…

Steve Z on July 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Zaggs on July 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

this is no clerk. this is the kinda leak that would end a clerks career, dead stop. this is from a justice, personally i think more than one. roberts is toast and the court is worse off because he tried to play politics. he has shown himself to be an ineffectual leader and neither side will ever respect him. people talk about kennedy being fickle at times but never has anyone suspected him of adopting a position because of outside pressure.

chasdal on July 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Can’t say I feel much sympathy for him.

Ukiah on July 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Roberts was threatened to be removed and replaced by an Obama appointee. Think about such impact.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Which side will hate him after the upcoming gay marriage & affirmative action cases, I wonder?

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

I think Roberts will split these. He’ll support gay marriage, but he’ll side with those who have been arguing that 40 or so years of AA is enough. After all, AA got us Obama–that’s reason enough to end it.

BuckeyeSam on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Portia46 on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

They have been trying to cover up the involvement of an FBI informant. Still trying to cover up the involvement of the “accessories”.

OT:

DOJ ANNOUNCES INDICTMENTS IN BRIAN TERRY MURDER

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Wow, surprising timing…Holder and his boss are thugs.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Issa has already criticized the timing. He is asking why these indictments weren’t handed down a year ago, and the Terry family given the information.

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Those of you not listening to the video have no idea what you are missing.

The land is in way deeper thuggery than is known.

This is one of the best reports in a long time.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Roberts was threatened to be removed and replaced by an Obama appointee. Think about such impact.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

where’s a link for this?

chasdal on July 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

The biggest scandal here is not the leaks, not the discord, and not that Roberts may have changed his mind. It’s that Kagan didn’t recuse herself. That’s where any “arm twisting” from the other justices should have been. She was more involved in ObamaCare than Arizona, yet she recused herself there. There’s no reason not to believe that she was appointed specifically for this vote.

parteagirl on July 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

they must have gotten a repub to write the indictments/press release since none of them dems can seem to get terry’s name right.

chasdal on July 9, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Roberts was threatened to be removed and replaced by an Obama appointee. Think about such impact.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Removed how? Link, please.

parteagirl on July 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM

The biggest tragedy is witnessing the self-destruction of Roberts. When he switched sides mid-stream the conservatives felt betrayed. Perhaps he felt the need to accommodate the liberal jurists; but in the end though he lost the respect of even those he was appeasing. Now the vultures will circle around and peck at the man sensing his timidity as a weakness. Not a good spot to be in.

OliverB on July 9, 2012 at 3:20 PM

chasdal on July 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

parteagirl on July 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Meh, in front of your eyes.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Great job there, Mr. I’m-Going-To-Protect-The-Reputation-Of-The-Court. Not only have you sullied the reputation of the court beyond anything you feared when you wimped out, you’ve made enemies of former allies, while those whom you sought to ingratiate yourself with don’t really like you to begin with and now see you as a sap who can be intimidated into doing their bidding. Moreover, you have disgraced your own reputation in one fell swoop.

Way to go. Next time, try sticking with principle and let the chips fall where they may.

Or better yet, just resign.

thirteen28 on July 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

but never has anyone suspected him of adopting a position because of outside pressure.

chasdal on July 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I’m sure some have made the argument that he wants to please the lib elites at DC cocktail parties, but I’ve definitely never heard anyone argue that he believed a ruling should go one way and then completely changed his mind because of some outside pressure.

I’m not a historian, but I’d like to think this accusation is unprecedented. And if true, I would like to think it’s grounds for removal. As I understand it, we’ve specifically given them lifetime appointments without elections just so that they will show integrity in their rulings. If Roberts cannot do that (not saying this is certain proof that he can’t – these leaks might not be true), then he has no business wearing that robe.

Esthier on July 9, 2012 at 3:22 PM

parteagirl on July 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

In that case Thomas was asked to recuse himself, because his wife is actively against the former Obama’care’, now ObamaTax.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:22 PM

T]here are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don’t know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know, we don’t know.”

—United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

This is gonna be tough to fix.

forest on July 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I agree with all of what you said. It’s as if the public is accepting all this as normal now.

At what point are the liberal justices supposed to be open to compromise and be more moderate?

I know, I know.

aunursa on July 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

This has never ceased to baffle me. It’s just a given that the liberals will not compromise…(or put another way, actually read the constitution)

jjjdad on July 9, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Esthier on July 9, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Indeed. The video covers that too, that it would have been more accepted if he’d have sided with the insane ones from the start.

It all smells and looks fishy, and therefore it is.

This cadaver will not stop to smell, you can be assured of it.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Issa has already criticized the timing. He is asking why these indictments weren’t handed down a year ago, and the Terry family given the information.

novaculus on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Subtle.

And people wonder why Romney is just sitting around and waiting until Obama, et all, are done shooting their feet off. Why waste ammunition when the opposition will do the heavy lifting for you?

What a total gong show the Obama regime is.

kim roy on July 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

There’s no reason not to believe that she was appointed specifically for this vote.

parteagirl on July 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Of course she was. I’m sure Harriet Miers was picked specifically because Bush knew how she’d vote too. And if Obama had picked someone besides Kagan, that Justice would likewise have voted to uphold the law in some form or fashion.

I don’t really see a reason to make a big deal of Kagan’s vote.

Esthier on July 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

IF the Justices are that ‘furious’, I wonder if they might decide to make a statement TOGETHER, perhaps including Kennedy, rather than one Justice deciding to speak publicly regarding the issue this summer.

thatsafactjack on July 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Can they do that? Has it ever been done before?

Just my dumb immigrant question of the day.

JPeterman on July 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Note that no one talks about the leftists’ recalcitrance, not even in the ObamaTax case.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Can they do that? Has it ever been done before?

Just my dumb immigrant question of the day.

JPeterman on July 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Nothing but precedence stops them…but since all other taboos are broken, why not?

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Really? Some here think that Mr. Roberts voted as he did because his life was threatened? Hey, anything is possible, I guess and Washington would be way more exciting if it looked like an episode of ‘The Sopranos every now and then.

If John Roberts, the unlikely swing vote this go-round, was in fear for his/his family’s life, why would he go out of his way to:

a) Create his tax absurdity opinion out of whole cloth, when he could have looked to his liberal cohorts and written, “Yeah what they said.”?

b) Try so hard to drag Justice Kennedy over, when Mr. Roberts’ vote already clinched it for the left?

No, Chief Justice John Roberts may have felt pressure, but I’d wager that it was overwhelmingly internal i.e. ‘How do I make my mark? What will history say about The Roberts Court? How can I make what I want to happen look lawful?’

Simplest explanation; works for me.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Indeed. The video covers that too, that it would have been more accepted if he’d have sided with the insane ones from the start.

It all smells and looks fishy, and therefore it is.

This cadaver will not stop to smell, you can be assured of it.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Honestly, I’m still a little stunned over all of it. I had high hopes for Roberts (could not have been more impressed by his confirmation hearings), but right now, the most charitable thing I can say is that I hope his decision was principled even though I highly doubt it.

Esthier on July 9, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Note:

That seems to speak to the depth of the anger from the conservative wing of the court, and perhaps to the erosion of comity and commitment to professional courtesy.

Morrissey’s only spoken fault / blame is re the conservatives. Not Roberts. Not the Liberals/progressives on the court.

rayra on July 9, 2012 at 3:34 PM

This fresh air on the court is LONG overdue.

This is supposed to be a representative republic, and I am WAY past tired of closed door deals ala municipal “executive sessions” wherein you get the very real feeling the fix is in, and the rules will be re-written midstream for political concerns in a way that the average person could never benefit from or hope to do for his own benefit. Law, supposedly CERTAIN and CLEAR, is anything but.

In this day and age, it is pathetic that the reading of the opinion by the SCOTUS isn’t broadcast live on tv ala a Presidential address. That way, when Roberts bumbles through his tortured logic, the people at home (the ones affected by his genius) can sit there and be just as dumbfounded as those of us that seek out the info. As it was, we relied on media coverage of the verdict which at first, got it “wrong”. I shouldn’t have to go through the media, we should hear it from the horse’s mouth. No more “issue the opinion and split” crap.

As for the leaks, great, keep them coming. You don’t get to shaft the nation to this degree and whistle off to vacation. The absurdity of Roberts’ reasoning is something no legal expert actually saw coming, and can’t even explain without people rolling their eyes at said absurdity. I would like to know why he spun a clear penalty into a tax to such a degree that the right-leaning justices ripped him in a new one in their dissent. Why the hard feelings? Because a disagreement over LAW that reasonable minds can have? Hardly – something else went down, something rank, and that’s why the leaks are happening. Roberts was swayed by some concern OTHER than the law, and now his judgment is highly questionable.

No more ‘the court is above it all” b.s. It isn’t. If the court wants to be political, let them answer to the people they subjugate, if not via elections, then via shortened 10 year terms. It’s always a good idea to change the bedsheets regularly, especially if their black (robes).

Saltyron on July 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

the SCOTUS is supposed to interpret that constitution thing…we are a couple hundred years past that (shredded as it is but still readable)…

fear should not have entered into the equation.

teejk on July 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

The Supreme Court is a very EXCLUSIVE club. Nine Justices.

Of course, as in any group, there is seniority and even among these personalities some are bound to be stronger than others.

That being said, I can’t help thinking that when Roberts led the conservative Justices to believe that he was voting with them, right up until the last possible moment, and then changed his vote, thus enabling himself to write BOTH the majority opinion AND the dissent, that the other Justices must have felt as if he had manipulated them all in a calculated and cynical fashion.

This is not the first time that Roberts had treated the other Justices in a similar fashion, having led the liberal Justices to believe that he would be voting with them on certain issues and then, instead, voted with the conservatives. This caused anger and consternation among the liberals in the court, similar to the anger and consternation now among the conservatives. Roberts has now abused the trust of ALL of the other Justices. This damages their ability to work together, and in particular, to work with him. His actions have undoubtedly been injurious to the Court and its ability to function.

It is essential, not only for the benefit and welfare of the Supreme Court but for the welfare of the nation, that the Supreme Court be able to function efficiently and effectively.

Is it possible, that for the good of the institution of the Supreme Court and the rule of law, in order ensure Its ability to function, that the majority of the other 8 Justices might call for Roberts to step down as Chief Justice and elect, from among themselves, another Chief Justice, thus nullifying the ability of Roberts to act in a way that is injurious to the Court? Since Roberts actions have obviously fomented division, distrust, and strife among the Justices can he be forced to step down as Chief Justice, rendering him once again simply one vote of nine?

thatsafactjack on July 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I think Roberts will split these. He’ll support gay marriage, but he’ll side with those who have been arguing that 40 or so years of AA is enough. After all, AA got us Obama–that’s reason enough to end it.

BuckeyeSam on July 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Hey, I resemble (1/2) of that remark!

;)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM

i wonder how much of this is really true. exactly in whose interest is this?

i would say it is in the interest of the Left. Leahy, and the legions of leftists in the media (plus obama) would LUV to intimidate scotus.

that’s what the left is all about, throwing a wrench into things, demoralizing the right, creating a sense a chaos, throwing their weight around, threatening people (i’m the only person that stands between you and the mobs with pitchforks)

so the left would love for this to be true…and the media is left, and i’m sure there’s more than a few left law clerks

r keller on July 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Well, at least Chris Matthews and Jeffrey Toobin love him.

SouthernGent on July 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM
It won’t last.

thebrokenrattle on July 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM

No kidding. Rarely has a man given up so much, for so little. Roberts compromised his principles to appease the same liberals who’ll be calling him a right-wing radical and questioning the “legitimacy” of the Roberts’ SCOTUS as soon as they get another opinion that doesn’t go their way (which will happen in a matter of months). And the people who once respected Roberts will never look at him the same way.

What a waste.

AZCoyote on July 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM

T]here are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don’t know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know, we don’t know.”

—United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Good one. I’ve got one, too: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”.

Kinda hard to follow the law when you have to wait for the SCOTUS to re-write it on the fly.

Saltyron on July 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Kinda hard to follow the law when you have to wait for the SCOTUS to re-write it on the fly.

Saltyron on July 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Indeed, whatever happened he was a coward extraordinaire and is now in the category of Obama and Holder, the constitution be damned.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Morrissey’s only spoken fault / blame is re the conservatives. Not Roberts. Not the Liberals/progressives on the court.

rayra on July 9, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Yeah, I noticed that too. Sorry Ed, I don’t think “erosion of comity and commitment to professional courtesy” is the biggest of our problems here. More like “erosion of constitutionality/certainty and commitment to governmental checks and balances.”
I don’t want left in the dark as to why Roberts did it. His opinion is nonsensical to anyone living in the real world, and begs for elaboration from the author himself. Short of that, leaks will do.

Saltyron on July 9, 2012 at 3:50 PM

forest, you summed it up nicely. The macro picture is hard to believe, and appalling – the behavior/demeanor/actions of the president, his allies, towards the SCOTUS, towards the electorate, are truly “unprecedented” – all in a bad way.

But to focus on the court for a second. The intellectual level of the most of the court’s justices – as revealed in their decisions, opinions, interviews – is jaw-droppingly low. The work product is, largely, crap. Heard just a snippet of an old interview Hugh Hewitt did with Breyer – wow. He sounded (like the president, so much of his admin., and his type on the Hill) like a dumb college sophomore, nothing more. He babbled about how the Founders did not anticipate the internet. WTF? He came off as utterly superficial, unintelligent, sort of a New Yorker mag/NPR level of intellect. Fashionable, glib, and stupid. Oh – and smug beyond words.

And don’t romanticize Kennedy (I know this crowd is unlikely too, but some newly aware of the collapse of the rule of law might). I’ve whined about this before, but look at his absurd holding in the Hamdan case, concerning military tribunals. He nicely usurped the treaty power from the executive, and pretended to believe the plain language of the Geneva Conventions meant the exact opposite of what they say (and completely contradicted the negotiating record, equivalent to the legislative history in Congress, in doing so). His opinion was so ridiculous, and so destructive, that Roberts himself used amazingly harsh, even alarmist language in denouncing it in dissent.

And what’s with the lobbying and politicking on the court? I don’t want a single justice ever responding to anything other than the law, reason, legislative history, and common sense – THAT is their obligation. All this crap about “working majorities” and factions and trade-offs and trends and positioning is insane and unbelievable. That most of these people can’t resist social pressure, at the office or outside, speaks very poorly of their intellect and character.

Yes, the Beltway is infested with people of marginal capabilities, and appallingly weak and small character – much worse than it ever was in recent history. But the SCOTUS has ceased to be a serious institution, other than being a serious threat to freedom and law. This won’t be “fixed” with a few appointments – not really.

IceCold on July 9, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I have been suprised that the written and verbal disappointment with the Chief Justice’s ObamaCare opinion, and the leaks from the Court concerning same, seem never to mention that it was the Chief Justice who was primarily responsible for giving Justice Kagan cover for her failure to recuse herself from even sitting on the case. Not only did the Chief Justice forswear the mere calling of balls and strikes in favor of completely reconfiguring the strike zone, he also let one of the players assume the chest protector of the umpire.

Mongo Mere Pawn on July 9, 2012 at 3:56 PM

If the decision had gone the other way — if Roberts had stayed with his first decision, the one he came to as a jurist, based upon Constitutional law and the facts of the case — the liberal wing of the court would have been angry, but angry because they disagreed with his legal arguments. As it stands, though, the conservative wing is angry not because of Roberts’s legal arguments, but because they know that Roberts himself doesn’t believe a word of it. His decision was political, not legal, not Constitutional, and he did it for himself, not for the court. His actions have diminished all sitting judges, humiliated the profession, tarnished the court, even if it meant his invites (and those for his wife, which I believe was the real issue here) to tony Georgetown parties hosted by liberals would keep coming. It’s unforgivable, really. I don’t see how he stays as chief justice. In any case, the court now has a 5-4 liberal majority. Roberts has burned any conservative bridges he had behind him. He’ll be punishing Kennedy for not joining with him every chance he gets, Time will name him “Man of the Year,” and it will all have been worth it in his insular world. And his wife will be happy.

Rational Thought on July 9, 2012 at 4:05 PM

And his wife will be happy.

Rational Thought on July 9, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Except fairytails are just in the books/movies/etc.

May he suffer for every single sick and dying person he will hurt. And may he suffer immeasurably for the hurt he caused the Constitution. He will get his.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 4:10 PM

S/b fairytales, alas

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM

My friends say I might be over reacting by putting Robert’s photo at the center of my dart board, but it’s not just that he shocked us because we trusted his conservatism, it was just a wrong-headed decision for the reasons the dissenters gave and I know he was smart enough to see it.

Judge Napolitano sees clearly http://bit.ly/R64Rub

Got to elect Romney to get some conservative justices, preferably like Napolitano.

Chessplayer on July 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I’m no particular fan of Beck, but if he were smart he would hire Jan Crawford to run a Sunday morning show for his Blaze site. She was in line to take over on Face the Nation until CBS hired that moron-of-morons Norah O’Donnell as the new sit in host. I would say NBC should hire her to take over MTP but that’s going to Tapper.

AmeriCuda on July 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Obviously he was either threatened or paid off it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

KMC1 on July 9, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I think this is just another part of the political fight we are going through – are we a nation of laws or a nation of men (and men of questionable character to boot)?

I believe there is a crisis of some sort coming that will force us in one direction or another. The absolute belief in the progressive welfare democratic state is being challenged, those who espouse its supposed advantages are not going to go away quietly. The anger from the conservative wing of the court suggests that Roberts is with the statist wing. DC corrupts all. Make it smaller now!

Zomcon JEM on July 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM

I happened upon a link to WND this morning and it was an article by Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch. He has a legal way to go after Roberts over this and he is proceeding. I can’t find it yet, but will post it when I do.

silvernana on July 9, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Found the link.
http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/john-roberts-bribery-or-blackmail/

silvernana on July 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Roberts occupies the lonely space of the indecisive man who lacks the courage to take a stand who thusly stands with no one.

He occupies the space of the people pleaser who in an effort to please his opponents and enemies and escape their criticism and wrath alienates his friends and allies, diminishes himself in their eyes, and loses their trust.

I hope he his happy in his chosen place because he cannot escape it. He made in irreversible decision to put himself there.

farsighted on July 9, 2012 at 4:43 PM

It’s one thing to have people engage in reading tea leaves based on the wording of the opinions from various cases, but it’s something new to have people on the inside talking so freely about interpersonal conflicts at the Supreme Court, and so soon after the end of the session.

Roberts’ hopes — in making his “unique” ruling — of preserving respect for and the dignity of the Court have been completely dashed. His plan has totally backfired.

farsighted on July 9, 2012 at 4:49 PM

If the decision had gone the other way — if Roberts had stayed with his first decision, the one he came to as a jurist, based upon Constitutional law and the facts of the case — the liberal wing of the court would have been angry, but angry because they disagreed with his legal arguments. As it stands, though, the conservative wing is angry not because of Roberts’s legal arguments, but because they know that Roberts himself doesn’t believe a word of it. His decision was political, not legal, not Constitutional, and he did it for himself, not for the court. His actions have diminished all sitting judges, humiliated the profession, tarnished the court, even if it meant his invites (and those for his wife, which I believe was the real issue here) to tony Georgetown parties hosted by liberals would keep coming. It’s unforgivable, really.

Rational Thought on July 9, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Hear, hear.

farsighted on July 9, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Okay, here’s my take. First, it’s CBS…the same Dan Rather phoney story CBS. So I take it with a huge boulder of salt.
And second, shouldn’t we all be concerned that the one branch of government we thought was safe from leaks is leaking like a sieve? If that is the case, that is.
All this he said anonymous sources crap proves very little if anything. Roberts made his decision and we’re stuck with it. Now it’s up to Congress and the voters.
Sorry, I don’t care what C”BS” has to say.

Deanna on July 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Things Jan Crawford said that people seem to be ignoring (parenthetical insertions by me):

-No one knows why the chief justice switched sides. His colleagues “feel” or “believe” he switched for the wrong reasons. (I’m guessing they don’t have evidence or else they would be using stronger words than “feel” and “believe.”) But suggestions that he caved to pressure are just guesses. No one knows.

-This decision does not mean that the Court will now be left-leaning. Despite this decision, John Roberts was, is, and will be solidly conservative on most cases. (Pretty much her exact words.)

And…color me skeptical about the leaks. The stories floating around are starting to contradict each other:

-The chief justice wrote the minority opinion (which was the majority opinion before he switched) and the majority opinion. The minority decided to use his opinion as their own to drive home the point that he switched sides (and betrayed them!!!!). Oops…no, the chief justice only wrote the majority opinion. The justices in the minority divided up the duty of writing the minority opinion.

-The chief justice “strong-armed” Justice Kennedy to try to get him to join the liberals. Wait…Justice Kennedy pressured the chief justice until the very end to rejoin the conservatives. (Both are possible, I guess, but the [scary word] “strong-arming” must not have been that strong if it not only failed to sway Justice Kennedy but also failed to deter Kennedy’s efforts to convince the chief justice to change his mind.)

Also, yes, I agree:

Okay, here’s my take. First, it’s CBS…the same Dan Rather phoney story CBS. So I take it with a huge boulder of salt.
And second, shouldn’t we all be concerned that the one branch of government we thought was safe from leaks is leaking like a sieve? If that is the case, that is.
All this he said anonymous sources crap proves very little if anything. Roberts made his decision and we’re stuck with it. Now it’s up to Congress and the voters.
Sorry, I don’t care what C”BS” has to say.

Deanna on July 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM

I have a bad feeling that emotions are running so high over the decision that people are accepting unnamed sources, media spin, and wild innuendo to an extent they otherwise would not.

butterflies and puppies on July 9, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Don’t be surprised if her source is Justice Kennedy.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

That makes sense.

Trying to get Kennedy to come along with him pretty much nails that this last minute switch by Roberts was PURELY political and he wanted someone else to come along to cover his own ass.

The Court is squarely in the hands of the left now…. RINO presidents pick RINO justices. Whooda thunk it.

lm10001 on July 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Yes, because then Kennedy would have borne the brunt.

Can they do that? Has it ever been done before?

Just my dumb immigrant question of the day.

JPeterman on July 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

I don’t remember even this amount of leaks after a case.

INC on July 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Roberts has lost the confidence of those on the court who care about the Constitution. If Romney is elected, he should resign at the first opportunity.

WannabeAnglican on July 9, 2012 at 8:13 PM

If a man doesn’t have his integrety, he has nothing. Roberts has nothing.

whbates on July 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

This isn’t personal so much as it is that Roberts violated his oath and sold out the country. No one wants to sit on the same court as a traitor.

Romney should ask Roberts to step down so that he can be replaced with a more rational person who doesn’t have the sensibilities and desire to please of a 13 year old girl. Roberts committed treason for no other reason than that he was afraid the law professors would change their relationship status with him on Facebook.

He is a small minded, unprincipled man who has no business sitting on any court let alone the supreme court of the land and if he was worried about the legitimacy of his court he need not be any longer. He has shown that he will cave to pressure so it is our duty to put pressure on him.

But he will NEVER remove the taint he has put on himself and he will die knowing that he is held in nearly universal contempt by those who love liberty. He should be, and will be, an example to all who follow.

Voluble on July 9, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Roberts not exactly beloved by his colleagues

Robert legislated from the bench when he, in effect, rewrote the ObamaCare legislation. He should expect to be treated like a slimy lefty politician when he acts like one.

RJL on July 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

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