This is but a mere snapshot of the relationship between Roberts and the Bush family – one that appears close, consistent, and anything but ‘judicial’. To what extent, then, could the American people trust Roberts to remain independent and impartial in the event of an impeachment proceeding?
The second main area of concern relates to writing decisions for the majority. As a common law system the United States relies on judicial precedent in order to decide future cases with broadly analogous facts or questions of legal principle. Decisions of the Supreme Court therefore play a vital role in the legal system, and the political colours and ideology of Supreme Court judges, and particularly Chief Justices, is an important consideration. Throughout his career Roberts has lobbied for limitation of the judicial role and increased deference to governmental discretion, and particularly Presidential discretion. To this end he has, at various times, attempted to minimise the impact of Title IX, argued that the gender pay gap was ‘purported’ as opposed to factual, attempted to minimise federal involvement in cases around education and segregation, argued that Roe v Wade was “wrongly decided and should be overturned”, and been critical of ‘judicial activism’. Taking this history into account, and taking into account that all lower courts are bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court, to what extent might, or could, a Roberts Supreme Court backtrack on vital issues of individual rights?
This term the Supreme Court will face major questions relating to diability rights, gay rights and reproductive rights (for example): questions that exercise moral consciousness and challenge the true nature of Americanism. Whether you adorn your walls with pictures of elephants or donkeys should have no bearing on whether you support John Roberts as nominee for the position of Chief Justice. Rather your decision, and that of the President and Congress, should be based on his shown capacity, or incapacity, to exercise the precious judicial attributes of reasonableness, careful diligence, independence, objectivity and proportionality.
Do you think he can rise to the challenge?