Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts waits for President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the US Congress, February 4, 2020. Photo credit: © Leah Millis/CNP via ZUMA Wire

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts acquitted himself very well when an activist tried to get him to say controversial things in an undercover recording.

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There certainly are good reasons to criticize Chief Justice John Roberts… primarily for allowing the impartiality of the Supreme Court to be questioned in the wake of a series of scandals involving Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

In other areas, he has certainly tried.

Prior to Donald Trump appointing three new justices, he was often able to balance out the court to ensure its decisions would not change the country too radically. Now, however, with six GOP appointees on the bench, he alone can no longer do so if the other five stick together. 

Although Roberts was maligned by the left when he was initially nominated, he has overall been a pleasant surprise… certainly compared to some of the other conservatives on the high court. 

He once again proved that last week when liberal activist and documentary filmmaker Lauren Wilson tried to get him to say controversial things that would call into question his impartiality. 

Roberts passed that test with flying colors… Samuel Alito did not

First, the chief justice agrees with Windsor’s contention that the country finds itself in especially tumultuous times right now. He challenges her to “tell me when the non-tumultuous time has been.”

“I mean, you look at the court, at what the court was doing in the ‘60s, what the court was doing during the New Deal, what the court was doing, you know, after Dred Scott and all this, it’s kind of a regular thing,” Roberts said. “People think it’s so different and special. It’s been pretty tumultuous for a long time.”

He added that it’s nothing new that the court finds itself in the middle of tumultuous times. 

Roberts also disagreed with Windsor’s assertion that polarization is especially extreme right now, and he pointed to the Civil war as an example or the era of the Vietnam War. 

“People with their own perspective think this is so extraordinary, eh, I don’t know,” he added. 

Next up, the activist asked Roberts whether the Supreme Court should play a role in guiding the country on a more moral path. 

“No, I think the role for the court is deciding cases,” he said. “If I start… Would you want me to be in charge of guiding us toward a more moral path?” 

Instead, he suggests that is a job “for the people we elect. That’s not for lawyers.”

Finally, Windsor tried to prompt the chief justice to say that the US is “a Christian nation and that the Supreme Court should be guiding us in that path.”

Roberts wouldn’t have it. 

“I don’t know if that’s true,” he said. “I don’t know if we live in a Christian nation. I know a lot of Jewish and Muslim friends who would say ‘Maybe not,’ and it’s not our job to do that. It’s our job to decide the cases as best as we can.” 

Chief Justice Roberts really acquitted himself very well here… as opposed to Alito, who once again showed that he does not belong on the bench.


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