Roberts Rules Disorder
“Run away!” is the chief justice’s battle cry.


Deroy Murdock

Conversely, if President Obama is reelected and replaces a Court conservative with a liberal jurist, the resulting 5–4 center-left majority will not mean that those justices dance on puppet strings pulled by Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. This is just the way the robes flow when judges of that ideological persuasion compose a majority. (Let’s see if liberals excoriate such a center-left majority as Democratic partisan hacks or enshrine them as the quintessence of divinely inspired truth and beauty.)

This is one more reason to elect presidents who will choose federal judges and Supreme Court justices who largely see the world as they do.

There is nothing unusual about any of this, as Roberts calmly, intelligently, and firmly should have explained. He should have written about this for the Wall Street Journal editorial page and other print outlets. He should have developed these themes on Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday. On these topics, he also should have addressed well-respected, high-profile organizations such as the Manhattan Institute, which invited Supreme Court justices Alito and Thomas to deliver the prestigious Wriston Lecture in 2010 and 2008, respectively. Alito’s and Thomas’s observations were well received by appreciative audiences full of national leaders in journalism, academics, philanthropy, and commerce.

Instead of bolstering himself and his institution, however, Roberts flitted off for a fortnight in the Mediterranean.

“Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress,” Roberts said. “It seemed like a good idea.”

Even more than the Weltanschauung of President G. W. Bush, who selected Roberts, the chief justice’s Maltese escape perfectly embodies the Bushes’ unmanly, borderline-effeminate tendency to capitulate to critics rather than buttress themselves, their followers, and their policies. (Bush, for instance, was too spineless to fight for such judicial nominees as Miguel Estrada and Charles Pickering; nor did he unleash them to combat the Left’s vulgar, baseless lies about — respectively — their supposed Hispanic inauthenticity and anti-black bigotry.) In this sense, Roberts fits the Bushian mold far too well.

“Run away! Run away!” is a hilarious line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also is the new, feeble battle cry of the reputed leader of one of America’s separate and coequal branches of government.

— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a Fox News Contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.