Two Views on John Roberts’ Complaints About The Justices Attending the State of the Union Address

George Will and Ruth Marcus provide contrasting views on the complaints of John Roberts about the Supreme Court having to attend the Sate of the Union address.  Funny: we did not hear from Roberts about the political “pep rally” when the cheerleader-in-chief was one George W. Bush.

First of all, the Supreme Court justices are not required to go to the speech.  Justice Scalia sits out these speech opportunities.  I think Marcus is correct:  Justice Roberts is a “cry-baby” and if it is too much for him to hear criticisms of this Court, maybe he should stay home.

Finally, we all know, too, that the Supreme Court is completely divorced from any political c0nsideration, so why should they go the SOTU address?


P.S. Love this photo of the “ever-dignified” Justice Scalia


Filed under U. S. Supreme Court

11 responses to “Two Views on John Roberts’ Complaints About The Justices Attending the State of the Union Address

  1. fnord

    The Supreme Court is just a group of people; they are not gods. Roberts is crying over the loss of his mentor, bush the lessor. Plus, he knows it’s highly likely President Obama, over the next seven years, will appoint two more Justices, swinging the balance of the court to the left.

    • fnord

      It’s possible President Obama could appoint two more justices within the next three years. 🙂

      • indypendent

        John Roberts is a very young man and could be on the Court for many, many years.

        Hopefully, Obama will get the chance to nominate several more justices. If for nothing else, I would like to see Obama get the chance just to watch all these Republicans’ heads explode when they are displaying their so-called moral outrage.

    • fnord

      Clarification about swinging the balance of the Court — the next two most likely to be replaced are Liberal-leaning Justices. That’s ‘most-likely’ because of their age and ‘signs’ they have given. But no one knows for sure they will be next, no one knows for sure they will be the only Justices that step down over the next few years.

      The members of the Supreme Court, by age:

      * John Paul Stevens, 88
      * Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75
      * Antonin Scalia, 72
      * Anthony Kennedy, 71
      * Stephen Breyer, 69
      * Clarence Thomas, 60
      * Samuel Alito, 58
      * Sonia Sotomayor, 55
      * John Roberts, 53

      The last 10 justices to leave the Supreme Court, with their age and date of retirement:

      * David Souter, 70, June 29, 2009
      * Sandra Day O’Connor, 75, Jan. 31, 2006
      * William Rehnquist, 80, Sept. 3, 2005*
      * Harry Blackmun, 85, Aug. 3, 1994
      * Byron White, 76, June 28, 1993
      * Thurgood Marshall, 83, Oct. 1, 1991
      * William Brennan, 84, July 20, 1990
      * Lewis Powell, 79, June 26, 1987
      * Warren Burger, 79, Sept. 26, 1986
      * Potter Stewart, 66, July 3, 1981
      * William Douglas, 77, Nov. 12, 1975

      *Died while chief justice

  2. fnord

    As Justice Stephens said in dissent, “We may never know who really won the election in 2000 but we do know who lost; the US Supreme Court lost the respect of the people.”

  3. fnord

    Is Roberts not smart enough to realize he cannot condemn the President for being “political” without being “political” himself?

  4. indypendent

    Where does it say that Supreme Court Justices have to attend the State of the Union Address?

    This publicity stunt by John Roberts is nothing more than to get all the Tea party Republicans riled up again over Obama having the guts to tell the Justices straight to their faces what he thought of their corporate lobbying decision.

    BTW – wasn’t that decision 5-4? Not exactly an overwhelming majority voted to give corporations personhood – was it?

  5. Zippy

    What planet has Roberts been on? The SOTU has always been political, and knocking the courts in general–something that should bother anyone in a robe–has been a staple of them since as least Reagan.

    What Roberts is also dishonestly avoiding: Obama neither attacked the Court or the majority personally (a standard right-wing approach), but the decision itself.

    And the fact that decorum robs those in attendance of the right not to shout at the speaker (like with, say, “you lie!”), when no one is forced to attend, doesn’t somehow make it improper to raise an issue of that fundamental to democracy, and precedent.

    When has it ever been proper to yell at a speaker during a speech, president or not?

  6. Zippy

    Indy, yep it was 5-4, and the line-up was predictable. The right-wing likes to harp of the Kelo eminent domain case since, among other things, the majority was a different lineup.

    Upshot: Any controversial, or, conversely, surprising sane majority decision will include Anthony Kennedy. While there are and will be exceptions to that rule, by and large, except the 4-justice “conservative” block to support an overreaching corporate state with disdain for the Bill of Rights, the 4 moderates (they are only “liberal” by media convenience) to hold the line, and Kennedy as the conservative swing vote.