The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the dangerous situation in which the Supreme Court currently sits. The Justices that sit on the Supreme Court should not be partial to either political party. They are to judge the law according to the Constitution and not use their position on the bench to support or weaken any politician or party.
There were great political fights about whether Judge Neil Gorsuch should be confirmed as a Justice for the Supreme Court. Republicans were forced to eliminate the filibuster in order to confirm him. Conservatives celebrated his confirmation, but Chief Justice John Roberts defined the “real danger” that the Supreme Court faces.
As reported by The Blaze and the Washington Post, Chief Justice Roberts held a “question-and-answer session at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute” and said that the “partisan hostility” that took place between the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch “threatens the sanctity of the court.” The Chief Justice said the following.
I want to point out one thing – that throughout this whole process, the Supreme Court has been quietly going about its business of deciding the cases before it, according to the Constitution, in a completely nonpartisan way. … We’ve done it for the past 14 months with one vacancy, and we’ll do it going in the future now that we have a full complement.
The Chief Justice continued his comments by stating his real concern about the partisanship that took place in the confirmation process.
It is a real danger that the partisan hostility that people see in the political branches will affect the nonpartisan activity of the judicial branch. It is very difficult I think for a member of the public to look at what goes on in confirmation hearings these days, which is a very sharp conflict in political terms between Democrats and Republicans, and not think that the person who comes out of that process must similarly share that partisan view of public issues and public life.
The Chief Justice showed his faith in the new Justice by saying that he is “confident” that Gorsuch will not be political in his rulings.
The new justice is not a Republican, not a Democrat – he is a member of the Supreme Court. But it is hard for people to understand that when they see the process that leads up to it.
The problem as described by the Chief Justice is not that the Justices will be partial to one party or the other, but that the people will think that the Justices are political in their judgments. We have witnessed several rulings in recent years – such as the rulings on Obamacare and same-sex marriage – that could look like they are political but maybe not.
I suppose that there can be differences between “liberal” rulings and “conservative” rulings without politics being involved, but I can see the danger outlined by the Chief Justice. There have been riots in the streets of the nations for the past six months, and some people are still claiming that Donald Trump is not the legitimate president. What would happen in the nation if unhappy groups of people decided that the Justices were not legitimate because they ruled against the interests of those people? I hate to envision the divisions that would form in the nation. We must insist that Congress take the politics out of the confirmation process and vote on the abilities of the judges. Gorsuch would have been confirmed with 100 percent of the votes, and the voting would have been done quickly!