We’re talking about U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts today. Here are some of the thoughts about Roberts from opinion pieces around the web:
Time Magazine’s David Von Drehle on how Roberts gave “the liberals their long-cherished dream of government-led reform while giving his fellow conservatives new doctrine to limit congressional power, which they have been seeking since the New Deal:”
He didn’t seek some nonexistent middle ground halfway between irreconcilable poles. He didn’t listen to one side saying no and the other saying yes and write an opinion saying maybe, or blend black and white to make gray. He found a means of giving both sides just enough of what they wanted that he was able to avert a crisis. In the superheated conflict mill that is American politics these days, it’s good to have someone in a position of authority willing to try.
Howard Kurtz expressed in The Daily Beast his amazement at how quickly the mainstream media changed its assessment of the Chief Justice:
One moment he is the bête noire of the left, a right-wing legal hack who lied about being a neutral umpire, and the next he is a profile in courage, rising above petty partisanship to do the right thing.
Is this a classic case of what many on the right carp about–that conservatives are depicted as having “grown” and “evolved” only when they move to the left?
Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker reminds us all that Roberts’ legacy is not set:
It is tempting to see, in the Chief Justice’s work in the health-care case, the possibility of some very long-range thinking. By siding with the liberals, Roberts insulates himself from charges of partisanship for the foreseeable future. This may be worth remembering next year, when the Court, led by the Chief Justice, is likely to strike down both the use of affirmative action in college admissions and the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And if, in the same year, the Justices uphold the noxious Defense of Marriage Act, many will deem Roberts’s motives beyond reproach.
–Stephanie Curtis, social media host