Chief Justice John Roberts has conservatives in a real dither after siding with the court’s liberal justices on two key rulings. In a court with two Trump-appointed justices, conservative lawyers and pundits believed victory in these two decisions was certain.
But Roberts proved them wrong, Politico notes.
On Thursday, Roberts dashed President Donald Trump’s hopes by ruling against adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. He added further insult to injury by delivering the majority opinion. That must have been especially painful for conservatives because, in essence, it alleged Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross lied about his reasons for wanting to add the citizenship question.
“Altogether, the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the secretary gave for his decision,” Roberts wrote, supported by each of the court’s four liberals.
He criticized the government’s claims as being “contrived” and a “distraction.”
And just one day earlier, Roberts caused conservative consternation by being the only GOP appointee to side with the court’s liberal wing in a decision conservative lawyers were hoping would kick the administrative state in the gut by overturning decades of precedent that allowed federal agencies latitude in interpreting their own regulations, Politico notes.
This has put Trump-supporting conservatives in a real mood. And it’s not a good one. Many apparently feel this was a betrayal and their anger is rising. For some, it’s reminiscent of Robert’s 2012 decision to join with the court’s other liberal justices and ObamaCare’s individual mandate, even in the face of dissent by all of his Republican-appointed colleagues. With possible abortion-related cases looming on the horizon during the next term, Republicans are crying foul.
“I’m for impeaching the Chief justice for lying to all of us about his. He is responsible for robertscare and now he is angling for vast numbers of illegal residents to help dems hold congress,” thundered American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp in a tweet. “Enough deception from GOP justices on the constitution.”
I’m for impeaching the Chief Justice for lying to all of us about his support of the Constitution. He is responsible for Robertscare and now he is angling for vast numbers of illegal residents to help Dems hold Congress. Enough Deception from GOP judges on the Constitution.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) June 27, 2019
He also said:
“I want to impeach Roberts and Trump would get another pick. Sounds good to me. Chief justice john roberts “fixed” ObamaCare and now he found an I significant [sic] excuse to allow those here illegally to help dems keep the house majority. he lied to all of us and under oath in the senate. it’s perfectly legal to ask citizenship ? on census.”
Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka wasn’t any happier about this either and blasted Roberts.
“Chief justice roberts of the #scotus betrays US constitution again,” he fumed on twitter.
Chief Justice Roberts of the #SCOTUS betrays the US Constitution again. My take on the Supreme Court ruling & yesterday’s bilingual Democrat debate.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) June 27, 2019
Dan Bongino, a conservative pundit and former GOP Senate candidate also weighed in, parroting the usual Republican talking points that Roberts is hoping to be looked on favorably on the Washington dinner party circuit.
“John roberts is terrified of the liberal op-ed columnists. They know they hold him captive,” Bongino wrote. “They can easily sway his opinions by issuing their ‘warnings’ to him through their columns. He’s not a judge anymore, he’s a politician.”
But some Republicans were clearer-headed about the situation and weren’t so bothered by Robert’s census ruling.
Radio host Hugh Hewitt, a former Reagan White House lawyer noted on the same day that Roberts smacked down the census case, he supported the court’s conservatives with a 5-4 vote that ruled federal courts can’t police partisan Gerrymandering. And Roberts wrote the decision for this one to dismiss the idea that courts can decide such disputes.
Hewitt lauded Roberts for the Gerrymandering decision.
“Conservatives coiled to condemn chief justice over citizenship question need to focus on this incredibly important, far-reaching and absolutely correct decision,” he tweeted.
Conservatives coiled to condemn Chief Justice over citizenship question need to focus on this incredibly important, far reaching and absolutely correct decision. If #AGBarr sets to work, a citizenship question can be added w/ explicit rationale ASAP. https://t.co/hPoi872tJL
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) June 27, 2019
“Would anyone preferring that #scotus clearly upheld census question and at same time continue the decades of absurd ambiguity about the clearly-delegated-to-political-bodies re-districting power please raise their hands? I know you’d like both, but if you had to choose either?” he added.
With one stroke of the judicial pen, Roberts has in other words, done massive damage to voter’s rights in the U.S. And Hewitt and his ilk couldn’t be happier.
But in another instance, this one involving Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, Republicans acted typically…Republican.
Gorsuch acted with liberal justices late-term decisions earlier this year. These, however, weren’t high-profile, and it included the justice ruling in favor of criminal defendants. Including one who was convicted on child pornography charges. The ruling was in regards to sentencing, and by-and-large, Republicans ignored this one.
But are you really even remotely surprised about this?
Featured image courtesy of the above video