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-   -   John Roberts and the course of the US (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=872645)

KarlGauss 03-18-2019 07:47 PM

John Roberts and the course of the US
 
Recently, a biography of SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts was released - Joan Biskupic's The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts. Although it sounds like a fabulous read, there is too much that is too distracting for me today to make me likely to pick it up.

Still, I've read a couple of its reviews and, in each, much emphasis is placed on his likely pivotal role over the next few years, one that may be unique in US history. He is not only the Chief, he is the deciding vote in a 4-4 court rent like seldom before, at a time in the nation's history that some are already terming a form of civil war.

A great deal can be made regarding how he 'saved Obamacare' and how his actions in the Affordable Care Act may signal that he is much more malleable in his beliefs than many of his critics would have had you believe.

Emphasis is also placed on his fealty to the Court as an institution ("There are no Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges") and how will not sacrifice it and all that it stands for, especially for a pretender like Trump. Will he be the great saviour, the defender of the faith in law and of the Constitution?

Or will he, as Obama is quoted in the NYT review as saying at the time of Roberts' Senate confirmation vote, "(use) his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak"?

Whatever you believe he'll do (or won't), his vote and influence will be major factors in determining the future of the US. I find it more than a bit ironic that one person, a judge, might wield such ungoverned power.

Bryan Ekers 03-19-2019 09:23 AM

I've heard Ann Coulter call his appointment a mistake, which suggests he's doing a good, or at least rational job.

Velocity 03-19-2019 12:08 PM

He's simply the new Anthony Kennedy.

KarlGauss 03-19-2019 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21545902)
He's simply the new Anthony Kennedy.

Yes and no.

Yes, he is definitely THE swing vote. But, unlike Kennedy, he is the Chief and that means he can influence others (eg. Brett K) as well as steer questions and decisions to (or away from) areas he'd rather the Court avoid. And that can work in a number of ways.

FlikTheBlue 03-19-2019 01:19 PM

I think that going forward he will, more often than previously, end up siding with the liberal justices in the 5-4 decisions. I think this will be even more likely if it comes down to a case where itís the Democratic House vs. the Trump administration such as a matter of requests for documents, producing witnesses to testify at hearings, etc. Of course none of that matters if Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, or Kagan (or Roberts himself) should die while a Republican is POTUS.

KarlGauss 05-14-2019 05:47 PM

The events of the last weeks - the blanket stonewalling of the Executive in response to Congressional oversight - have made me bump this thread because I am now even more interested to hear your opinions on Roberts' likely role in the next while. For better or worse (for reasons I mentioned in the OP), I think he's about to play one of the most critical roles ever in US Constitutional jurisprudence. He could author a Marbury.

Am I being sensational?

A link from the NYT noting the apparent inevitability of SCOTUS involvement.

KarlGauss 05-14-2019 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 21642677)
The events of the last weeks - the blanket stonewalling of the Executive in response to Congressional oversight - have made me bump this thread because I am now even more interested to hear your opinions on Roberts' likely role in the next while. For better or worse (for reasons I mentioned in the OP), I think he's about to play one of the most critical roles ever in US Constitutional jurisprudence. He could author a Marbury.

Am I being sensational?

A link from the NYT noting the apparent inevitability of SCOTUS involvement.

I should have added that I wonder whether he will find a way to beat down Trump's case but on extremely narrow or technical grounds. That way he reasserts the Court's independence, stops Trump, doesn't piss off Republicans too much, and pleases Democrats.


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