The Corner

Did Roberts Cave to Left-Wing Media Pressure?

As Daniel and Pat mention below, CBS’ Jan Crawford is reporting that John Roberts switched his vote in the Obamacare case, much as Anthony Kennedy did in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey abortion case. Crawford has come out with a more detailed report, whose key points include:

  • Anthony Kennedy took the lead, and was “relentless,” in trying to get Roberts to re-join the conservative bloc.

     

  • The conservatives found Roberts’s reasoning so flawed that they refused to join, or even acknowledge, his opinion, even in the areas where they agreed (such as the limits to the Commerce Clause).

     

  • Roberts’ change of heart was driven by left-wing media anger around the possibility that the law would be overturned. Roberts reads the papers, and is very concerned about the Court’s image.

     

  • Roberts tried to lobby Kennedy to join him and leave the other conservatives, but Kennedy refused.

     

  • The conservative dissent was not originally written as a majority opinion, as some have speculated, but reads strangely because the conservatives refused to acknowledge Roberts’s opinion.

     

Perhaps, the next time a Republican president nominates a Supreme Court justice, he should make the candidate swear to never pick up a newspaper.

The bottom line, if Jan Crawford is right, is that conservative justices can be blackmailed by left-wing editorialists. It’s not a pretty picture.

Avik Roy is author of The Apothecary, the Forbes blog on health-care and entitlement reform. He is a member of Mitt Romney’s Health Care Policy Advisory Group. You can follow him on Twitter at @aviksaroy.

Avik Roy — Avik Roy is the President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP.org), a non-partisan, non-profit think tank.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Strzok by a Farce

An investigation is one of two things: a search for the truth, or a farce. The House is conducting a farce. That fact was on full display during ten hours of testimony by Peter Strzok, the logorrheic lawman who steered the FBI’s Clinton-emails and Trump–Russia probes. The principal question before the ... Read More
Elections

Democrats Are Dumping Moderates

The activist base of the Democratic party is lurching left fast enough that everyone should pay attention. Activists matter because their turnout in low-turnout primaries and caucuses almost propelled leftist Bernie Sanders to victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated New ... Read More
Film & TV

Stalin at the Movies

Toward the end of The Death of Stalin, two Communist Party bosses size up Joseph Stalin’s immediate successor, Georgy Malenkov. “Can we trust him?” one asks. “Can you ever really trust a weak man?” his comrade answers. Good question. Last week brought the news that the head of Shambhala ... Read More
World

‘The Warning Lights Are Blinking Red Again’

One of President Trump’s outstanding appointments has been Dan Coats, his director of national intelligence. Coats is a former House member, former senator, and former ambassador to Germany. He is a Hoosier (i.e., from Indiana). Whether he plays basketball, I don’t know. At Wheaton College, he played soccer. ... Read More