We should be grateful to Justice Roberts for his public rebuke of President Trump’s claim that there are Obama judges and Trump judges. Now the spotlight on this very real issue is out in the open and subject to public scrutiny and, hopefully, change.
First, there are obviously differences between leftist judges and conservative ones. After all, if there weren’t why would the Left be losing their minds and even committing crimes like perjury to stop Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court?
Of course, Roberts was appointed by a Republican president, but that president — George W. Bush — like Roberts himself, was an establishment conservative, and establishment conservatives resent President Trump’s 2016 election victory almost as much as Democrats do. Perhaps that helps explain the chief justice’s seemingly unprecedented attack on the president.
Two additional points are also worth noting. First, President Trump isn’t the only president, or future president, who has criticized a federal judge for making a political decision. Second, Chief Justice Roberts himself wrote one of the most political opinions in Supreme Court history.
The most significant example of a president or future president criticizing a ruling issued by a federal court is almost certainly Abraham Lincoln’s response to the 1857 decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that African Americans could not be citizens of the United States and could not sue in federal court, as Dred Scott, a Missouri slave, had done to gain his freedom after living briefly in Illinois and Wisconsin. Lincoln publicly condemned the decision, stating that blacks were entitled to the same freedom as whites. Lincoln was obviously correct in his criticism of the Court’s racist politics in the Dred Scott case and the nation became a better place because he criticized the court.
With respect to Roberts himself, in 2012 the chief justice joined with the four liberals on the Court to uphold Obamacare, and he invented out of whole cloth a new definition of taxation that contravened long-standing precedent to do so. As both the law’s opponents and the court’s dissenters pointed out, the so-called individual mandate that required most Americans to have a basic level of health insurance coverage or pay a fine was labeled a “penalty,” not a tax, in the statute; it was designed to encourage people to buy health insurance, not to raise revenue; and President Obama himself had rejected claims that the law was a tax when it was being considered by Congress.
But the chief justice did what he did for a political reason: he had made the calculation that he did not want a conservative Supreme Court being seen as having overturned, presumably on political grounds, the signature legislation of the Obama administration. (Congress reduced the individual mandate penalty to $0 effective in 2019 as part of tax reform legislation passed last December.)
In short, all President Trump did was state the obvious: it matters who the judges are. Indeed, the first question that every litigator asks is, who is the judge? President Trump isn’t a lawyer, but he was elected president of the United States in large part because he made it clear to the American people that he knows that it matters who gets to nominate the judges. “Obama judges” are different from “Trump judges,” and judges nominated by Hillary Clinton would have been different from Trump judges too.
So what is going on with Justice Roberts? There has a lot of speculation as to why Justice Roberts would cast the deciding vote to uphold the validity of Obamacare just before the 2012 election. Some claim he was blackmailed. Could it be out of some sense of guilt or other negative emotion that Roberts jumped when Trump uttered the words “Obama Judge”? One whistleblower has released evidence that Roberts was ‘hacked’ by Obama officials. More on that story HERE.
Source: Daily Caller