Analysis: Chief Justice Roberts Is Not The Centrist He Purports To Be
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is not remotely the centrist Americans perceive him to be, the organization Take Back the Court argued in a recent op-ed.
To the contrary, Roberts’ record shows he has toed the Republican Party line time and again, despite making public remarks touting his “respect for precedent, even-handedness, predictability, stability.”
Take Back the Court’s polling data show “that Democrats have a positive view of Chief Justice John Roberts, who has expressed regard for precedent and concern for the court’s legitimacy, encouraging a view that he will step in to prevent partisan excess.”
But an analysis of Roberts’ decisions over the past 14 years paint a different picture altogether.
While the justice prides himself in public on his affinity for precedent, Roberts “has presided in 21 such cases and voted to overturn precedent in 17, or 81 percent, making him the second behind only Justice Clarence Thomas as the most frequent member of a precedent-overturning majority over the last 14 years.”
In 15 cases with partisan implications, Take Back the Court found that Roberts voted for conservative outcomes 93 percent of the time.
“In all 42 split-decision cases that the chief justice has presided over involving racial minorities, immigrants, workers and abortion,” the group found, “he voted for conservative outcomes 100 percent of the time.”
The organization “relied on the methodology used by the Supreme Court Database, maintained by the law school at Washington University in St. Louis” in making its determinations of Roberts’ record.