Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chief Justice Roberts on Obama's Criticism of The Court During The State of The Union

Chief Justice Roberts is spot on here, as is Glenn Reynolds except that the stories of if Supreme Court Justices show up will not just have the effect of Obama having stepped on his next speech but all subsequent ones as well.


"CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Obama’s State Of The Union Behavior “Very Troubling:”

Responding to a University of Alabama law student’s question, Roberts said anyone was free to criticize the court, and 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 troubling.” . . . Roberts told the students he wonders whether justices should attend the speeches.

“I’m not sure why we’re there,” said Roberts, a Republican nominee who joined the court in 2005.

Justice Antonin Scalia once said he no longer goes to the annual speech because the justices “sit there like bumps on a log” in an otherwise highly partisan atmosphere. Six of the nine justices attended Obama’s address.

It’ll be interesting to see how many show up next year. Meanwhile, it seems clear to me that had a Republican President behaved similarly, we’d be hearing loud cries of “Fascism!” from all the usual suspects.

UPDATE: Not only did Alito’s mouthed response overshadow Obama this year — next year, there will be lots of stories on whether the Supreme Court justices show up or not, and either way Obama will have stepped on his own speech a second time."

Past related posts:
Berman Post: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Berman Post: Justice Alito Shakes Head And Mouths "Not True" During Obama's State of The Union Address
Berman Post: Reason.tv on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Berman Post: Democrats Consider a Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election
Berman Post: Further Thoughts on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission


  1. Who cares if supreme court justices show up to state of the union? It's one of the most absurdly un-democratic institutions in the country , the notion that they are somehow above reproach in a public setting and outside the bounds of human reaction for their decisions is a pretty authoritarian view.

    I'm sure the mandarins on the supreme court would prefer to just hear what they want to hear there whole lives and be ensconced from reality in a star chamber somewhere... which they largely are.

    Glenn Reynolds is a fascist, so it makes sense he would have paranoid thoughts like "But ohhh a republican would be called a fascist from the "usual suspects" (who the hell is he talking about? the media and democratic party politicians mostly bought line hook and sinker every lie that the last republican president fed them.)

    he defines the "paranoid style".

  2. get a life

  3. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - the media will care, because the story line will be that Obama violated some norm or decorum and the Justices are protesting. Ultimately, while it may have no effect on the speech itself, it will distract from what ever message Obama will be trying to generate.

    As for Reynolds; I do not know him personally but I am almost positive he is a Libertarian and certainly is not a fascist.

  4. I mean if your point about this was to critisize how effectivley Obama could propagandize, then sure maybe that will be something the media will care about.

    He says he is a libertarian, he's mostly not though he's a fantatical hardliner


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Like what you read; Subscribe/Fan/Follow