A leftist magazine has warned that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ popularity – his 60% support among Americans – is a problem.
“The consequences for … popular democracy could be dire,” the magazine recently warned.
And that prompted constitutional expert Jonathan Turley to issue his own warning.
About that mindset.
“Those ominous words from Eric Levitz in the New York Magazine are enough to chill one to the bone,” he explained, citing the “existential threat” Democrats fear from a new Gallup poll showing that Roberts “is the most popular political figure in public life.”
The poll actually showed Roberts led among 11 federal officials rated for their support from the American people.
Roberts had 60% approval among American adults in the Gallup survey, seven points above Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who was second.
Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris polled at 43% and 44% approval, respectively. While Harris’ approval was slightly higher than Biden’s, her disapproval was three points higher.
All four congressional leaders, the top Democrats and Republicans in each house, all were under water on their ratings.
But that support level for Roberts drew an “apoplectic response” from those in the media, with liberals asking “What’s wrong with you, America?” Turley noted.
Levitz charged, “If the court’s right-wing majority finds that it can continually push the boundaries of conservative judicial activism without undermining its own popular legitimacy, then the consequences for progressivism and popular democracy could be dire.”
“Unpack that line for a second,” Turley suggested. “First of all, Levitz is saying that the goals of the left would be scuttled if the court or its members are popular. For over a year, many in the media and Congress have launched unrelenting attacks on the court and pushed an agenda to pack the court to create an instant liberal majority. They know that court packing is widely detested by the public (as it once was by President Biden and many on the left). In order to achieve such a goal, the justices must be demonized like much else in our age of rage. But it is not working if 60 percent of the public actually like the chief justice.”
He said, “Levitz assumes that, if the justices or the institution were unpopular, it would compel different outcomes or changes on the court. Ethical jurists on both the left and the right reject that notion as the very antithesis of the rule of law.
“The left once celebrated the independence of the court in ordering relief that was denied or blocked in Congress like desegregation,” he said. “As in the 1960s, Democratic politicians are issuing direct warnings to the justices to rule ‘correctly,’ or face consequences. Professors have declared that ‘our Constitution isn’t working’ because they are not seeing the outcomes that they deem to be correct. Senators and commentators are now calling for ‘revolution’ and ‘rebellion’ to achieve what cannot be achieved in a system that has worked for over two centuries to preserve stability and freedom for our country.”
He wrote, “With the courts and the public not responding, it is hard to bring about the ‘revolution’ promised by members and commentators. You need an angry populace to tear down institutions that stand in the way. You need to destroy the legitimacy of the court itself. Levitz put it best: ‘In other words: Even if the court overreaches on abortion and forfeits its popular support, the conservative judicial project is likely to endure. And given Roberts’s current poll numbers, it’s not even clear that Roe’s invalidation will durably erode public reverence for the judiciary.'”
WND has reported on several Democrats who have taken to issuing open threats against he Supreme Court if the justices do not rule in alignment with the political party.
Most recently, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., “issued a warning” to the justices in light of oral arguments in a case that could end up overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that originally created abortion “rights” in America.
That ruling is in danger of falling because of the advance of scientific knowledge about the pregnancy and birth process, as even its author nearly 50 years ago admitted in that opinion that should the personhood of the unborn be established, the abortion rights case would collapse and the unborn would be protected by the Constitution.
Fox reported it was during a virtual event featuring New Hampshire’s entire House and Senate delegation that WMUR reporter Adam Sexton asked if public debate over abortion had “muted” due to many people in the U.S. only knowing life post-Roe v. Wade.
Shaheen charged that nothing would be muted about the reaction if that decision is reversed, a move that would not outlaw abortion but would turn its regulation back over to states.
“I hope the Supreme Court is listening to the people of the United States because – to go back to Adam Sexton’s question – I think if you want to see a revolution go ahead, outlaw Roe v. Wade and see what the response is of the public, particularly young people,” Shaheen said.
Shaheen said, “I’ve lived the consequences of the pre-Roe era – I had friends in college who were forced to seek dangerous back alley abortions because women across the country were denied access to critical family planning services. We cannot allow Republican lawmakers to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive health and rights, which is precisely what the Mississippi case seeks to do. It is time to sound the alarm. Roe v. Wade isn’t just a decision that impacts women, their health and their financial security – it also impacts generations of families.”
Earlier, during Supreme Court consideration of a separate abortion fight, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appeared at an abortion rights rally and screamed to the crowd: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Here are Schumer’s shouts, along with the commentary provided by CNN:
Schumer’s words prompted Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to rebuke the Democratic leader.
He said, “Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts warned. “All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”
WND reported, too, when another Democratic senator threatened the U.S. Supreme Court if its justices don’t vote the way he wants on abortion.
That was Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who told The Hill that if the justices do not vote the way he wants on abortion:
“It will inevitably fuel and drive an effort to expand the Supreme Court if this activist majority betrays fundamental constitutional principles. It’s already driving that movement. Chipping away at Roe v. Wade will precipitate a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court. It may not be expanding the Supreme Court, it may be making changes to its jurisdiction, or requiring a certain numbers of votes to strike down certain past precedents.”