...“I still haven’t fully psychologically accepted the truth about Roberts,” said Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice in an interview.
“He may in his heart think he’s a conservative, but he’s not going to be what conservatives want and liberals fear. … With each passing year — maybe this doesn’t happen every year, but we’ve seen enough of it, we kind of have to accept he’s roughly another Kennedy,” Levey said, referring to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Reagan appointee who dismayed conservatives by upholding abortion rights and leading the court to declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
Levey said the political polarization in the country may be prodding Roberts to go further than he otherwise would in trying to ensure that the court is viewed as moderate and not being buffeted by the political winds. Last November, when President Donald Trump made derisive comments about “Obama judges,” Roberts shot back with a statement declaring “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. ... What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”
“At the end of the day, Roberts wants the court to be well-respected,” Levey said, calling the chief justice “a compromiser and people pleaser.”
“I think the hysteria on the left about an ‘arch conservative’ court is having an effect,” the legal activist said. “At the end of the day, [Roberts] wants the court to be well respected and a highly divided nation is a threat to the legitimacy of the court because with every decision the half the public is convinced the court is acting for political reasons.”...
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