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Chief Justice Roberts is the new Swing Vote, or worse

Chief Justice Roberts is the new Swing Vote, or worse

Roberts joins liberal Justices in denying Trump request for stay of lower court ruling halting new asylum process. An ominous sign.

This is an ominous sign.

Chief Justice Roberts has been sensitive to political criticism of the Supreme Court.

It was widely reported in 2012 that Roberts succumbed to a public pressure campaign from Obama and Democrats that the Court would lose its legitimacy if it overturned Obamacare. Roberts reportedly changed his vote to uphold the Obamacare mandate as a tax, to the fury of the four conservative Justices who wrote a dissent that sounded like it had once been the majority opinion.

Roberts also saw fit to make a public pronouncement after Trump criticized a San Francisco federal judge for a decision enjoining Trump’s new policy on processing asylum claims, which held that people who illegally crossed the border could not apply for asylum. After Trump referred to the Judge as an Obama Judge, Roberts issued this statement to AP:

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Chief Justice Roberts told the Associated Press.

“What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

The injunction against the new asylum rules was upheld by the 9th Circuit, and the government sought an emergency stay. In a 5-4 Order released today, the Court rejected the stay, with Roberts joining the four liberal justices:

The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.

Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, Justice Gorsuch, and Justice Kavanaugh would grant the application for stay.
As an aside, Justice Ginsburg voted against the stay from the hospital, where she had a cancerous growth removed from her lung. She is determined to stay on the court until Trump no longer is president and can’t name her replacement.

The issue before the court was not only the correctness of the lower court ruling, but the use of a nationwide injunction by a district court judge. That practice has become commonplace in the age of Trump, where any district court judge anywhere can issue a nationwide injunction. That gives the legal Resistance to Trump almost endless possibilities. In the Travel Order cases, some judges rejected injunctions, but it didn’t matter because Trump opponents only needed to find one judge somewhere to side with them. Trump needed to win all cases, the Resistance needed to win just once.

I was hoping the Court would take up the nationwide injunction scourge in the Travel cases, but it didn’t. It passed up another opportunity in denying the stay in the asylum case, so the legal litigation terrorism will continue in the lower courts unabated.

When Justice Kennedy retired, and was replaced by Brett Kavanaugh after a brutal nomination fight, it was widely predicted that Roberts would step in as the new swing vote. Thats the role Kennedy played for the last decade or more. Many of the most important Supreme Court decisions, particularly on social issues, turned on how Kennedy voted. It was a Court of One.

The decision to side with the liberals on the asylum stay is a bad omen. Like Kennedy, Roberts probably will continue to vote with the conservatives on the mundane (but often important) legal issues. But on the highly political issues, the ones that will get him and the Court skewered by liberal media screaming that the legitimacy of the Court is on the line — well, I don’t have high expectations.

Let’s hope that he doesn’t go full Souter.


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No surprise here at all. Roberts main principle is convenience.

Liberalism is a viral infection that has spread all throughout society, there are none immune.

What a clown this man has turned out to be. I’d sure like to know what makes him tick. What is his deal? Moreover, what the heck was his reasoning here? The move he pulled with Obamacare, the first one, was breathtaking. He rewrote the law from the bench. But this? Where is the basis in the Constitution?

Calling him a disappointment is the least of it. I understand he has to follow the law, but he sure as hell is leaning left whenever he gets the chance. This man is allegedly a conservative? Or were we all hoodwinked?

Now Trump is going to lose with a “conservative” majority court? Good Lord.

I may have to tune our permanently on politics. I’m starting, really, to lose hope.

    regulus arcturus in reply to Titan28. | December 21, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    This isn’t following the law.

    The law, specifically

    gives the executive expansive authority to prevent entry including asylum into the US.

    Roberts is arguably committing sedition in this action.

    puhiawa in reply to Titan28. | December 22, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    He is following the praise of the crowd: to wit, a Justice that takes a decided liberal stance in a manner that subverts an originalist view of the Constitution receives plaudits from Law Reviews, the ABA and the major bar journals. This is legacy building. It is what keeps Ginsburg alive, the constant praise and worship of the liberal MSM.
    On a more important note, what this case was really about was the novel concept that a District Court Judge can make policy for the entire nation and order injunctions, including mandatory injunctions, effective throughout the nation. The concept is absurd and dangerous. This was what was to be addressed. Roberts is a fool to allow the practice.

      John Robert is boeher without the drunkedness.


        PersonofInterests in reply to | December 29, 2018 at 10:39 am

        I’ve been hearing radio advertisements to join John Boehner in his new job of selling the National Legalization of Marijuana. And aside from being just a drunk RINO that he reportedly was as Speaker, we never imagined that he may have been joining Barack’s Choom Gang gatherings as a user.

        No wonder Boehner never got around to getting much of anything done that was positive in stopping the policies and actions of America’s First (and Americ’s Worst).

        PersonofInterests in reply to | December 29, 2018 at 10:39 am

        I’ve been hearing radio advertisements to join John Boehner in his new job of selling the National Legalization of Marijuana. And aside from being just a drunk RINO that he reportedly was as Speaker, we never imagined that he may have been joining Barack’s Choom Gang gatherings as a user.

        No wonder Boehner never got around to getting much of anything done that was positive in stopping the policies and actions of America’s First (and Americ’s Worst).

America, Constitution, Americans, civil rights, second, third, selectively, opportunistically, in the mode of political congruence.

GOD bless this country. Thank you George Bush for this sickening Cheif Justice.

It’s probably that device they installed in his head.

“Roberts joins millions of adults who have had seizures for no apparent reason. The court said doctors had found no tumor, stroke or any other explanation.”

I really hate Roberts and Ruthie, this women has the constitution of a battle axe. I don’t even know how she can not recuse herself, or be forced to recuse herself from the Supreme Court, with her blatant antinTrump taunts.

regulus arcturus | December 21, 2018 at 7:55 pm

We knew Roberts was an idiot (Obamacare fiasco ruling), so now we know he’s corrupt as well.

Worse- the sorry SOB cannot adhere to the oath of office he swore to.

Chief Roberts wants the lefties to say they really really like him, and that he’s cool for a Republican.

    guyjones in reply to Sally MJ. | December 21, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Roberts is worried that he and wife won’t be invited to future dinner parties in Georgetown, if he rules to the displeasure of D.C.’s Leftist elites.

    What conservatives need is a Justice who doesn’t give a damn about his/her standing on the D.C. cocktail circuit, and, who is content to live a monastic social life, so long as the Constitution is followed and defended.

If Roberts fancies himself such a staunch defender of judicial independence against alleged political interference, then, why did he totally capitulate to the sainted Obama’s brazen and typically obnoxious and arrogant criticism of SCOTUS, twice — first, when Obama lambasted the Court during a State of the Union address (by misrepresenting the case’s facts and holding, of course), and, then, when he arrogantly issued a posturing fiat from on high, regarding the Obamacare case — a typically pompous and idiotic bit of tinpot dictator braggadocio, along the lines of, “I’m sure the Supreme Court wouldn’t take the unprecedented step of overturning a duly-enacted law of Congress.”

Obama’s behavior towards the judiciary was worse than anything that Trump has said, yet, Roberts never criticized him for his remarks, and, indeed, rewarded him by tossing him an election-saving prop, by lending SCOTUS’s imprimatur of legitimacy — however contrived out of thin air, and, however lacking were the precedential and legal supports — to Obamacare.

    guyjones in reply to guyjones. | December 21, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I refer to Citizens United, above, when Obama blasted the Court for its holding in that case.

    Well, we know for a fact that Obama weaponized numerous government agencies including the national security apparatus. If I had to guess, I’d say that ValJar has a copy of Roberts’ kiddie porn collection, or something equally appalling.

      Milwaukee in reply to Paul. | December 21, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      “…Obama weaponized numerous government agencies…”

      Some of those agencies were/are self-weaponizing. For example, the IRS knows the sugar train runs with Democrats: abuse the right people and money keeps on rolling their way. The right people to abuse are the small government people. The IRS would not need a lot of encouragement to wage war on small government advocates. Similarly, the EPA is all about power. So they would go after those who want to live free, free as a spotted owl or something. Except the EPA “loves” them critters more than they love us.

Contrarian view here…

The law in question says the government must allow any person on US soil to apply for asylum, even if they have not entered legally through a port of entry. The text of the law seems pretty clear.

Trump lost, but Trump was circumventing the law.

    Titan28 in reply to coolway. | December 21, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    I’m not saying you’re not right, but doesn’t that same law say asylum seekers must seek said asylum in the first country they set foot in, which in this case is Mexico?

    Also: is this an actual American law or an agreement the US signed at the U?

      coolway in reply to Titan28. | December 21, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      [quote]8 U.S. Code § 1158 – Asylum
      (a) Authority to apply for asylum
      (1) In general
      Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.[/quote]

      This is the relevant portion of law, as cited by the lower court. Paragraph two lists exceptions, including a ‘Safe Third Country’ provision…

      [quote](2) Exceptions
      (A) Safe third country
      Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the Attorney General determines that the alien may be removed, pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement, to a country (other than the country of the alien’s nationality or, in the case of an alien having no nationality, the country of the alien’s last habitual residence) in which the alien’s life or freedom would not be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and where the alien would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection, unless the Attorney General finds that it is in the public interest for the alien to receive asylum in the United States.[/quote]

      I’m not an immigration lawyer, so I’m not sure just what to make of this provision, but it surely does not say than an asylum applicant must first apply in whatever country they first traveled through. If it did, then the issues with the caravan would be moot.

        snopercod in reply to coolway. | December 22, 2018 at 7:51 am

        Thanks for posting that. Here’s the link to 8 U.S. Code § 1158 – Asylum. Get this:

        (3) Limitation on judicial review

        No court shall have jurisdiction to review any determination of the Attorney General under paragraph (2).

        Paragraph(2) lists the exceptions and if we had had a real Attorney General rather than Sessionzzzzzz, he could have placed this entire issue out of the reach of the judicial branch. Doesn’t anyone in government actually read the U.S. code?

          Remember, people in Government make up the Law as they go along.

          puhiawa in reply to snopercod. | December 22, 2018 at 1:56 pm

          No. Since Clinton the DOJ/FBI believe themselves beyond the law. And they have many willing participants among the judiciary to ensure the same. The half-assed memorandums by the DOJ seem to indicate but a token effort.

Most likely explanation is roberts was in charge of a corrupt FISC. The FISC allowed the doj/fbi to use a work of fiction to spy on American citizens. Think about that. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States allowed the judicial branch to sign off on a bogus FISA warrant to spy on a political campaign. This is so much worse than Watergate it’s unbelievable. From the looks of it, this wasn’t the FISC’s and robert’s first rodeo. They had likely been usurping the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights for years. roberts has to do everything he can to make Preident Donald J. Trump look bad so he is not re-elected and investigations into the corrupt doj/fbi/fisc come to a stop.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges.”

No politics, huh?

[RGB] is determined to stay on the court until Trump no longer is president and can’t name her replacement.

Well, OK, maybe she’s a teensie bit political. But otherwise, nope, nothing to see here . . .

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges…”

Well, now we know why he was so sensitive, turns out Roberts is an Obama judge even though he was appointed by Bush.

    Mike H. in reply to stablesort. | December 22, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    A sleeper.

      txvet2 in reply to Mike H.. | December 22, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      And not the first, or last. We’ve still got to see about Kavanaugh.

      PersonofInterests in reply to Mike H.. | December 29, 2018 at 11:28 am

      I’m convinced that it comes from being indoctrinated by lefty Law Professors at Yale and Harvard and perhaps a characteristic of being like Hollywood Actors who can fake being anything and being anybody to accomodate a role little different from a lawyer who can reperesent either side of a case supposedly concealing their real face/personal beliefs.

      Aside from putting a stop to a 3rd Term for Obama by electing Clinton, President Trump has done a wonderful job revealing the forces at work in our Country from the Liberal Media Complex, Liberal Activist Judicial Courts, and Establishment Uniparty of Professional Politicians to impoverish and destroy our Country without firing a shot as USSR Nikita Khrushchev promised. Even when we elect the right man to represent us and the Country, we can’t seem to break the hold that the Establishment and their Puppet Masters have.

Sigh, another reminder of what I hated about the Bush administrations. The first nomination for Jr. was not a bold choice but a “super duper secret stealth” – John Roberts. Sadly, only Ann Coulter (and a few us supporters) reacted very badly to the nomination as another possible disaster, as with Souter’s stealthy nomination as an object lesson ignored.

Well, it took a while but Roberts was a blunder. Never an originalist Roberts invariably drifts towards accommodation to politics. And when your realize the great alito was only appointed by Bush because of a grassroots revolt against Meirs, we dodged another blunder.

So many chances, so many shamefull betrayals by our leaders on the right.

Roberts’ nevertrumper slip is showing under his robe.

Perhaps Roberts is just part of the swamp’s administrative class. The ruling class will take care of him if he acts as instructed. Look at the larger picture and the pattern is clear. Roberts has been and remains part of the swamp. He faked out the conservatives. Get ready for more such faux conservatives in the future. They are sleepers.

Does this mean they will have to hear this case and make a ruling?

Could it actually be a good thing in the long run to get a decision that helps a duly elected President?

    Edward in reply to Merlin01. | December 28, 2018 at 9:50 am

    The current President may not get a decision from the SCOTUS, given the “speed” which often is the case with the Federal Court system’s processing of cases. It may be possible, though perhaps improbable, that the final decision isn’t rendered until after the next Inauguration Day.

Bitterlyclinging | December 22, 2018 at 9:26 am

Twas Robert’s one fingered salute to one President Donald J Trump.

The SCOTUS has become as political if not more political than the other branches. So why not just go ahead and succumb. Propose amending The Constitution and simply place them “in office” for terms by national vote. They behave as it anyway.

There’s a reason that I refer to him as “John Roberts the Traitor.”

That being said, this running to the Supreme Court to bypass injunctions by Federal Judges is getting OLD fast. One of these days, the Trump Administration is simply going to give the finger to one of these Left-Coast Courts and say “Ok, Mr. District Judge and Mr/Mrs 9th Circus Judges. You’ve made your ruling, now YOU can try to enforce it.”

On the other hand, this type of national prominence of District Judge action authority DID just kill Obamacare DEAD. The 5th Circuit WILL uphold the reasoning, and the SCOTUS will have to take it up, and then they will be able to kill it dead (unless John Roberts the Traitor manages to rewrite the law from the Bench AGAIN, at which point he will have shown himself NOT to be a Textualist OR an Originalist).

The legitimacy of the court and respect for its ruling is in the hands of the justices. Only they have the power to destroy respect for their rulings or jeopardize the legitimacy of the court.

    PersonofInterests in reply to TeeJaw. | December 29, 2018 at 11:39 am

    While that may be the case, We the People in the meantime deserve the objective and unbiased judgements that being appointed for life without accountability by way of elections, require.

    If they are going to behave like politicians, then by God the need to be elected and held to account by elections like politicians. Otherwise, we should expect the kind of Judicial Systmes seen in Nazi Germany, Saddam’s Iraq, and more than a few other examples of politicized and weaponized tyrannical governments

Bush could have picked J. Michael Luttig.

Is this a non-issue? According to this article,, her health is BAD. REALLY BAD. Metastatic Cancer is death sentence for most patients. And the older and weaker a patient is, the less likely it is that they can fight it off with chemo-therapy. Now there is a new Immuno-therapy that is VERY EFFECTIVE against Cancer, but it requires concurrent Steroid IV therapy to prevent the patient from fatal swelling of the brain. She may not be strong enough to do this type of therapy either.

If what Dr. Joondeph writes is true, I’d suspect that Trump will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the infamous RBG. Then it will be game on. Forget anything that you’ve ever known about how dirty the Democrats will be in trying to stop an origionalist woman judge: They will pull out “all of the stops” trying to defeat her. But once she’s confirmed by a Republican Majority Senate (sorry Chuck, You Lose!), a squishy to liberal Chief Justice Roberts will have effectively been NEUTERED.

    That depends on those who suspect Kavanaugh having a tendency to follow Robert’s lead being entirely wrong. He may be a firm originalist vote, or he may decide he should try and “buy off” the future attacks on himself and family by sucking up to the Socialist-Democrats. It generally never works, certainly not beyond a few nice comments, but he might try. Time will tell.

We saw Roberts being highlighted on camera during this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. He was smiling like a kid in a candy store during the tribute to Cher. It was obvious by his exhibited mirth that he is much too comfortable in the DC environment.

PersonofInterests | December 27, 2018 at 9:50 am

John Roberts is without a doubt another Republican President mistake. You may recall that Geroge W. Bush, choosing to take the Easy Path by nominating Roberts as Chief Justice in order to only have one confirmation fight instead of two, didn’t nominate Scalia to be the Chief and Roberts to be an associate.

President Trump will likely get another nomination when Ruth Buzzy dozes off for the last time and hopefully he will pick a clone of Neal Gorsuch and not Kavenaugh who already seems to be following Roberts.

Watch Roberts and Kavenaugh when eventually the decision by Federal Judge Reed that Obamacare is unconstitutional, gets to the SCOTUS. You won’t see these Activist Judges choosing to NOT hear case as they just did that Planned Parenthood Case.

    Presumably Judge Reed’s decision will survive the scrutiny of the Fifth Circuit, even if an en banc rehearing is necessary. But if the SCOTUS refuses to take up an appeal of what we would consider a “positive” decision in the Fifth Circuit, under normal circumstances that would leave Obamacare ruled unconstitutional in the Fifth Circuit, not the entire nation.

    With Federal District Judges, at least those in the Ninth Circus, making national rulings being a “new thing”, I think we would have a real problem with some other circuits (e.g. 4th and 9th) refusing to accept the 5th decision as applying nationally.

    What a mess!!