Supreme Court a notable non-issue

2012-09-08  

If it was the intention of Chief Justice John Roberts to get the Supreme Court out of the line of fire with his health care ruling, he sure succeeded. The Republican and Democratic conventions are over, and I do not recall a single mention of the critical importance of future Supreme Court nominations.

2012 Republican National Convention

2012 Republican National Convention | (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) / SA

It was refreshing to see, of course, that the Democrats finally embraced their health care law, rather than being scared of their own courage, as they usually appear. President Barack Obama indeed used the narrow chance that Roberts’ ruling had offered him.

Still, I was surprised that Obama did not even indirectly refer to the need for occupying the White House in order to avoid losing the Supreme Court.

After all, many on the left seem disappointed with Obama’s lack of ideological purity, and the resulting lack of voter turnout can be a decisive factor in the election. One of the few reasons for these people to still wish for Obama’s victory should be the horrors that a solidified conservative majority on the Supreme Court would mean to them.

The Republicans, too, refrained from any Supreme Court agitation. Branding Roberts as a left-wing traitor and pointing to the need to appoint more severe conservatives is apparently not considered opportune. Or maybe the prospect of four more years of an Obama administration causes enough horror to energize the Republican base.

So it appears that people get all worked up when the Supreme Court makes decisions they don’t like. But when it comes to electing a president who decides the court’s future, they are more concerned about the proper treatment of the candidate’s dog than about which people he would appoint to the court.

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Roberts’ Supreme Court legacy: Men, not laws

2012-07-10  

September 5, 2005: President George W. Bush announces the nomination of John Roberts for chief justice of the Supreme Court | Paul Morse

Some assert that a formidable jurist like Chief Justice John Roberts would never be guided by anything but his constitutional scholarship. That is, after all, what we expect from a Supreme Court justice. But more plentiful and more thrilling, of course, were the opinions on the health care ruling that had Roberts in turn furthering, fearing, or sabotaging a liberal, conservative, or neutrality agenda. | More →

Oh the humanity: A political Supreme Court

2012-07-05  

The Authority of Law

The Authority of Law by James Earle Fraser, guarding the west side of the United States Supreme Court building | Matt H. Wade

Last week’s health care ruling by the United States Supreme Court had many commentators arguing whether the decision was a proper discharge of judicial authority, or if it had been tainted by political considerations.

This question, laced with speculation of court intrigue and outside pressure, seems rooted in an eternal concern Americans have with their Supreme Court. | More →