“Depending on what happens with the rest of confirmation process, the court might feel kind of battered and like it needs to take things more slowly,” Nicole Saharsky, a partner at the D.C. firm Gibson Dunn, said this week at a Georgetown Law panel discussion…

“I think he would be concerned that a series of 5-4 rulings, in which the five are Republican-appointed justices and the four are Democrat-appointed justices, would threaten to destroy that perception of the court,” he told The Hill in an email.

“I don’t think the Chief Justice wants to be remembered as the Chief Justice who presided over the court at the time that the public lost faith in the court, and began to regard it as just another partisan institution,” Gornstein added.