Report: “Deep, personal discord” at Supreme Court after Roberts’s switch
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.
Of course it’s unclear why he switched. He may have been focused solely on the law. But that is not what some of his colleagues believe…
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.