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July 03, 2012

Roberts the Coward

If he wanted to demonstrate the Supreme Court was apolitical, he shouldn't have bowed to political pressure. Right?

Last Friday on NPR, liberal columnist E.J. Dionne said something very revealing about why Chief Justice John Roberts decided to affirm the constitutionality of ObamaCare. The remarks proved even more enlightening when we learned for a certainty from peerless Supreme Court reporter Jan Crawford that Roberts did indeed change his mind a month after voting it down with the conservative bloc.

“I think Justice Roberts in this case saw . . . the attacks that [the high court] was facing from lots of people — including me, I should say — were just going to escalate,” Dionne said. This was a problem for Roberts, the pundit surmised, because Dionne & Co. were raising doubts about “the legitimacy of the court, which has already been called into question by decisions from Bush v. Gore through Citizens United.”

This rhetorical assault against the court “was going to escalate further,” Dionne said. “And I think he was trying to avoid that.”

And Crawford's report at CBS suggest that's exactly what happened. After first voting to strike down the mandate...

“[O]ver the next six weeks, as Roberts began to craft the decision striking down the mandate, the external pressure began to grow.”

This mattered, says Crawford, because “Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As chief justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the court, and he also is sensitive to how the court is perceived by the public. There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the court — and to Roberts’ reputation — if the court were to strike down the mandate.”

And so, sources told Crawford, Roberts got “wobbly.”


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posted by Ace at 01:08 PM

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