Friday, November 27, 2020

Something To Watch For

     The Supreme Court’s recent 5 to 4 decision upholding the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion saw Chief Justice John Roberts in the minority. That’s right, SCOTUS fans: supposed Catholic and Constitutionalist Roberts voted against the protection of religious freedom. However, owing entirely to the timely nomination and confirmation of Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, religious freedom was upheld, albeit narrowly.

     This puts me in mind of another recent Supreme Court Chief Justice, one remembered fondly by very few–and no, I’m not one of the few: the late Warren Burger. Have a snippet from Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong’s excellent book on the Burger Court, The Brethren:

     The Chief [Justice Warren Burger] spread a large sheet of plain butcher paper in front of him on the desk. Across the top were listed the names of Justices. Down the left side were the names of the cases heard so far that term. The sheet was Burger’s most powerful tool in controlling the Court. It represented the workload of each Justice. By tradition, the senior Justice in the majority at conference selected the Justice who was to write the Court opinion for the majority. Since the Chief was considered senior to all the others, he made the assignments when he was in the majority. Burger was careful, in his first term, to make sure he was in the majority most of the time—even if he had to adjust his views. Leadership in the Court could not be exercised from a minority position, he felt. [Emphasis added by FWP.]

     Never mind why supposed Constitutionalist Roberts now votes with the Leftists most of the time. Just take it as written that he will continue to do so, whatever the reason. Now that the Barrett confirmation has put him and the “open” Leftists in the minority, Roberts will be tempted—possibly induced by outside pressure—to do as Burger did and “adjust his views” to vote with the five conservatives. That would allow him to assign the opinion in a case with a conservative majority to one of the Leftists, or to himself. That would enable him to vitiate a conservative decision with a Left-leaning opinion. If, as has been suggested elsewhere, Roberts is being controlled from outside the Court by blackmail threats, the addition of Barrett to the Court makes this a possibility to watch for.

     My sincerest-sounding apologies for giving you something new to worry about while you’re still digesting your Thanksgiving dinner, Gentle Reader. The stuffing was really good this year, wasn’t it? Just the thing to soothe a troubled stomach. Warm up a little for lunch, maybe with some of the leftover gravy or cranberry sauce. After that it will be time to inventory the ammo once more.



There is a LOT of supposition that The Left has "something" on Roberts. I've seen rumors and supposed pictures of him being on the flight logs of Epstein's Lolita Express.

As I understand it, citing one example, he was in the middle of drafting what would have been a majority opinion to strike down Obamacare and cast it into the fire, destroying it, when suddenly he did a 180. As I recall from the article I read, this so angered the Conservative Justices they refused to speak with him.

A Reader said...

I wondered which side of this Chief Just-us Roberts supported. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Roberts is the living rebuttal of the "Vote GOP, even the moderates, to get conservative judges" argument.

Andy Texan said...

Roberts is not a constitutionalist or an honest man. He is a worm and should be squashed.

Linda Fox said...

I remember that tactic of Burger's - can't remember where I read about it, but it was well-known, and accounted for his getting opinions 'shaded' towards his intended ends.
Not as dumb as he was assumed.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Oh, he wasn't dumb at all, Linda. He was a conniver of the first water. Some of his machinations astounded the other members of the Court. Byron White, in particular, was often incensed by Burger's tactics.



I remember reading, in Sowell's "Vision of the Anointed", that multiple Leftist SCOTUS judges were of the same bent: verdict first that matches their societal vision, and argumentation after - argumentation that supports their predetermined conclusion. Who was it, IIRC the Notorious RBG, who said they would not look to the US Constitution in drafting a new one? And of course they cherry pick from foreign court rulings to rationalize their own imprimatur they are stamping on their decisions.

A former co-worker once said "Any data set can be tortured until it confesses". The same for legal arguments.