Chief Justice John Roberts’ latest votes aligning with the Supreme Court docket’s liberal wing have raised questions on whether or not a broadly anticipated “conservative revolution” on the nation’s highest court docket will materialize anytime quickly.
On Wednesday, Roberts sided with a 5-Three majority determination to ship a case regarding a demise row inmate again to a decrease court docket. In February, Roberts was the important thing vote in quickly blocking a Louisiana regulation that might have positioned restrictions on abortion clinics.
And in December, Roberts voted to dam President Trump from rejecting asylum to any immigrants who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
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The controversial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy was broadly anticipated to be the start of a extra rightward shift for the court docket. However Roberts’ latest voting sample appears to point in any other case.
Nominated in 2005 by President George W. Bush, Roberts, 64, rapidly established himself as a solidly conservative decide. From his nomination by the 2016-17 time period, Roberts sided together with his liberal colleagues solely 4 instances – most notably in upholding the Inexpensive Care Act in 2012.
Nonetheless a proponent of defending the institutional integrity of the court docket, Roberts rebuked President Trump’s description of a decide in November who dominated towards Trump’s new migrant asylum coverage as an “Obama decide.”
“We wouldn’t have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts mentioned after Trump’s comment. “What now we have is a rare group of devoted judges doing their stage greatest to do equal proper to these showing earlier than them.”
Roberts added: “That unbiased judiciary is one thing we must always all be glad about.”
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Erwin Chemerinsky, a regulation professor on the College of California at Berkeley, advised Bloomberg that Roberts’ latest voting document could point out that he’s taking his function because the median justice “very critically” and that the latest interval was “maybe the start of his being the swing justice.”
“However I might not come to that conclusion too rapidly,” Chemerinsky added.