And he told attendees at a discussion being held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute the following:
- “…the partisan battle over nominees to the high court that both Democratic and Republican presidents have nominated in the past 14 months to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia poses a “real danger” for the integrity of the highest court.”
- “It is a real danger that the partisan hostility that people see in the political branches will affect the nonpartisan activity of the judicial branch.”
This, from the Chief Justice who unarguably saddled our nation with Obamacare by “legislating from the bench” in regards to the individual mandate, by calling it a “tax”.
What integrity Justice Roberts? Did anybody attending the discussion ask him this one?
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday warned that the partisan battle over nominees to the high court that both Democratic and Republican presidents have nominated in the past 14 months to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia poses a “real danger” for the integrity of the highest court.
While Roberts told those attending a discussion at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that the eight-person court has “been quietly going about its business of deciding cases … for the past 14 months with one vacancy,” most of Washington experienced a political frenzy during both nomination processes.
“It is a real danger that the partisan hostility that people see in the political branches will affect the nonpartisan activity of the judicial branch. It is very difficult, I think, for a member of the public to look at what goes on in confirmation hearings these days, which is a very sharp conflict in political terms between Democrats and Republicans, and not think that the person who comes out of that process must similarly share that partisan view of public issues and public life,” Roberts said.
When former President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland last spring, Senate Republicans — who controlled the upper chamber — said they would not hold hearings for the judge because it was an election year. This year, following President Trump’s selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate Democrats said they would do as the Republicans had done a year earlier and block the pick. Ultimately, Republicans used the “nuclear option” to push Gorsuch past the Democrats’ filibuster and lower the vote threshold needed for approval to 51 votes instead of 60. Gorsuch was confirmed 54-45.
However, the drama surrounding both nominations further politicized the process. Roberts remained adamant that Gorsuch, though appointed by a conservative president, knows his true identity as a justice, not a partisan.
“The new justice is not a Republican, not a Democrat, he is a member of the Supreme Court,” Roberts said, according to a report. “But it is hard for people to understand that when they see the process that leads up to it.”