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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Deep Discord at Supreme Court?



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According to CBS’s Jan Crawford, “Discord at the Supreme Court is deep and personal after Chief Justice John Roberts’ surprise decision to side with the liberal justices in upholding a large portion of the president’s health care plan.” By her account—which, alas, I have no reason to doubt—the bitter discord is between the Chief Justice and the other “conservatives” on the Court (in whose number Crawford includes Justice Kennedy), and it “has been brewing for some time,” all the way back to the Chief’s first term.

I have as little interest in taking sides in (or even commenting on the details of) this conflict as I would have in taking sides in a marital spat between friends. Once the passions subside, the justices on both sides need to recognize that they have a common interest in reconciling as much as possible and in moving forward cooperatively.



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