Vice President Mike Pence is “totally right” in his criticism of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as the court is once again a paramount issue for voters going to the polls in November, author and former Supreme Court clerk Carrie Severino told “Fox & Friends” Friday.
Pence tore into Roberts, calling him a “disappointment to conservatives,” during a discussion with Christian broadcaster CBN News on Thursday. His comments came in the wake of several cases in which Roberts, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, sided with the court’s liberals in majority opinions.
“Conservatives are deeply alarmed at this pattern of decisions that make Chief Justice Roberts look much more like a politician than a judge and that is not his job,” Severino said.
Severino is president of the Judicial Crisis Network and one of the people involved in putting together President Trump‘s new Supreme Court list.
“I’m not sure if that’s sort of an anti-Trump effect on his part,” Severino said, pointing out, “[Roberts] likes to say there are no Trump judges or Obama judges, but he seems to be an anti-Trump judge at this point.”
Pence pointed in particular to Roberts voting in 2012 to uphold ObamaCare, a more recent decision to uphold Nevada’s coronavirus-related limits on church gatherings, and a Louisiana case that determined whether abortion-clinic doctors should have admitting privileges at local hospitals, CBN reported, as “a reminder of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court.”
“What’s so disturbing is you see this pattern and even some of the dissents from his own colleagues suggesting that, perhaps pressure from outside the court is what is making him not want him to appear too conservative, so he seems to be trying to play both sides,” Severino said.
“Some of the most recent reporting from the court suggests in cases he has flipped his decision again, may be because he is concerned about the media backlash if the court rules certain ways,” she said. “But, you know what? Chief justice, that’s not your job. Your job isn’t to look at the opinion pages and figure out what’s going to make them put the court in the best light. Your job is to follow the Constitution and the law.”
Host Pete Hegseth asked if it could be part of a “Kavanaugh effect,” referencing the brutal confirmation process of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, which she said, “It could be playing some role.”
The former Supreme Court clerk did point out this is a “different era” with no filibuster and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leading the Senate.
“This is something that is going to be a hallmark of President Trump’s accomplishments,” Severino concluded.
“He has promised in 2016 and he has delivered with the help of the Republican Senate over 200 great judges who were explicitly chosen not just obviously for their talent and for their experience, but also for a history of standing up with courage when they were making decisions in their careers up to this point, and that’s what we are seeing so much is a real key to having good judges.”