A remarkable moment in the President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts relationship
Amid all the tittering anticipation of and reaction to today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, a remarkable development is that Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, joined with the four liberal justices to mostly uphold President Obama's hallmark legislation.
It is an interesting moment in the broader public relationship between the two men.
That started in 2005, when the future president, Sen. Barack Obama, voted against Presient Bush's nominee for chief Justice. ABC News offers a flashback to the thinking of the man who would be asking Senators to deem his own justice nominees qualified. Sen. Obama said:
The bottom line is this: I will be voting against John Roberts’ nomination. I do so with considerable reticence. I hope that I am wrong. I hope that this reticence on my part proves unjustified and that Judge Roberts will show himself to not only be an outstanding legal thinker but also someone who upholds the Court’s historic role as a check on the majoritarian impulses of the executive branch and the legislative branch. I hope that he will recognize who the weak are and who the strong are in our society. I hope that his jurisprudence is one that stands up to the bullies of all ideological stripes.”
Later, Chief Justice Roberts flubbed President Obama's oath of office and redid it a couple of days later.
In his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama broke with tradition and specifially called out what he deemed was flawed reasoning of the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which allowed corporations and unions to get move involved in financing elections.
Democratic lawmakers around the sitting justices leapt to their feet in agreement with the president, while the justices attending sat quietly. Chief Justice Roberts later criticized the state of the union as having degenerated into a "political pep rally."
Now, Roberts has surprised folks, probably including the man who would have denied him his seat on the high court, with saving the Obama's hallmark law.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics