Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Democrats vs Chief Justice Roberts

Things have been (rightfully) tense between Democrats and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court since the Court's controversial decision on corporate campaign finance.

Most famously President Obama chastised the Court for its decision during his State of the Union Address. On Tuesday, Roberts responded by saying the scene at President Obama's first State of the Union address was "very
troubling" and that the annual speech to Congress has "degenerated into a
political pep rally."

From Huffington Post:
Roberts said anyone is free to criticize the court and that some have an
obligation to do so because of their positions.

"So I have no problems with that," he said. "On the other hand, there is the
issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum. The image of having the
members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the
Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court – according the
requirements of protocol – has to sit there expressionless, I think is very


Today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hit back with remarks of his own.

Also from Huffington Post:

On Wednesday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he was "so
disappointed" with the Court's swing vote -- Justice Anthony M. Kennedy -- for
enabling the court's rightward, corporatist tilt. As for Chief Justice John
Roberts, the majority leader castigated him as being out of touch and completely
detached from political reality.

"Do you think John Roberts knows or cares how people get elected?" he said,
referring to the role the chief justice played in crafting the court's Citizens
United decision.

Insisting that the court was engaged in "activism" for allowing corporations
to spend unlimited amounts of money on congressional campaigns, the Nevada
Democrat insisted that the time had come to stop appointing judges to the bench.

"I think we've had enough of them," he said. "I think what we need are people on
that bench who have been legislators, people who are lawyers, people who are
academics. You look at our Supreme Court and all these people, all they know is
working with people in black robes. We have got to change that."

President Obama's remarks on the Court's decision during his State of the Union Address

The full article on Chief Robert's comments

The full article on Senator Reid's comments