Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. enters his second decade at the helm of the Supreme Court with his legacy very much in debate, as conservatives who had championed him now question whether their trust was misplaced.
The court begins its session Monday facing a series of cases over the next nine months that will test the chief justice and his eight associates on issues such as affirmative action, the death penalty, Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate and the intersection of voting rights and illegal immigration.
It will all happen with the additional scrutiny of a presidential campaign, where contenders in the Republican primary are already making the chief justice a punching bag, saying he has been a disappointment chiefly for two cases — one in which he upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare and the other in which he rejected a challenge that argued the White House was breaking the terms of the law itself.
Indeed, one conservative group has run an ad that pressures candidates to declare the kinds of nominees they would pick for the court and attacks Chief Justice Roberts as a traitor to their cause, along the lines of former Justice David H. Souter and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, appointed by Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, respectively.
Read more at the Washington Times…