Vice President Mike Pence did not pull any punches with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts yesterday. As Pence called Roberts a “disappointment” to conservative voters.
“Look, we have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Pence told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody on Wednesday. “But Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives — whether it be the Obamacare decision, or whether it be a spate of recent decisions all the way through Calvary Chapel.”
The vice president’s criticism of the chief justice’s jurisprudence comes after Roberts sided with the high court’s Democratic appointees on several occasions in recent months, dealing the Trump administration defeats on issues including LGBT workplace discrimination, immigration and abortion.
Roberts, an appointee of President George W. Bush, also joined his Democratic-appointed colleagues two weeks ago when the court rejected a Nevada church’s request to block the state’s cap on attendees for religious services amid the covid-19 pandemic.
Pence argued that those decisions “are a reminder of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court.” Plus he added, “We remember the issue back in 2016, which I believe loomed large in voters’ decisions between Hillary Clinton and the man who would become president of the United States. And some people thought that it wouldn’t be as big an issue these days. But I think that’s all changed.”
More specifically, he cited the court’s ruling in June striking down a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. “That’s a very modest restriction on abortion providers, but a narrow majority in the Supreme Court still said it was unacceptable. And I think it’s been a wake-up call for pro-life voters around the country who understand, in a very real sense, the destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020.”
Tensions between top judicial and executive officials are now rising high.