RUSH: The Politico has a story today warning John Roberts: “You can be lionized and be the biggest hero in this town, or we can make your life miserable. It’s up to you.” Now, those are my words, but that’s the point of the Politico story: You can be the biggest, most prominent, most loved and revered chief justice in the history of chief justices, or you can be dirt. It’s up to you, Judge. He’s supposed to swing Obamacare. Exactly right. I’ve got that story in the Stack here. I’m getting way ahead of myself here. I had this stuff all laid out.
“John Roberts’s Big Moment — Chief Justice John Roberts pledged during his Supreme Court hearings to be a mere umpire of the law. But as a legacy-defining decision nears, Roberts is emerging as the courtÂ’s most intriguing player. Justices are expected to rule Thursday — during their final public sitting of the term — on the fate of President Barack ObamaÂ’s signature health law. While much of the early attention focused on swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, many court watchers predict Roberts will be the architect of the ruling.
“To a great extent, the decision will shape the way history views RobertsÂ’s stewardship of the high court. The chief justice may not hold the key vote to what the court does on the pivotal case, but he could be in a position to dictate how the court does it. ‘The health care case will undoubtedly define his chief justiceship,’ said Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University … ‘The scope of the law, the amount of people affected, the fact that itÂ’s the centerpiece of the presidentÂ’s domestic agenda, all make it as politically charged as imaginable.’ …
“Even if the 57-year-old chief justice does write the opinion, thereÂ’s considerable uncertainty about what side he would take. At stake is not only RobertsÂ’s own legacy but also the courtÂ’s reputation as an impartial arbiter of the law.” So you see, Roberts was supposed to get up and read this today. And if he votes to strip the mandate or rules the whole thing unconstitutional or whatever, he’s no longer “an impartial arbiter of the law,” and his legacy … is mud. “Would he uphold the individual mandate and the law on a 6-3 vote, joining with Kennedy and the liberals for a ruling that crosses ideological and political boundaries?”
Folks, I tell you, I am so damn sick of this. You know, there hasn’t been a single story — I checked this. Not a single story, not one reference to the possibility that one of the four liberals might vote in some other way. But there are reams and reams of paper and published data about the conservative justices and which one of them will “grow” and be “mature” and do the “right” thing. And it always brings me back to this notion that we hear constantly, there must be compromise. And we must cross the aisle and work with one another.
There’s not one thought even given to the fact that a liberal judge might side with America. There’s not one story, not one reference, to one of the liberal judges going against his or her ideology. Now, during the oral arguments, there was some shock and dismay over some of the questions that were asked by Sotomayor, but I’m talking about stories like this. You don’t see a story like this that’s written for Roberts about Ginsburg or Breyer, or Kagan. You don’t see any ever, any stories like this about the liberal judges. Only the so-called conservative judges.
And they’re always framed in this silly notion that a judge is only decent and good and worthy of acclaim if he abandons whatever it is assumed his right-wing ideology to be. All of this is predictable. It’s just The Politico, not the Washington Post Style Section, but still. It’s predictable. But The Politico, they’re letting Roberts know: “It’s up to you, pal. You want to like living in this town from Friday on, or are you going to regret the day you came out of the womb? It’s up to you.”
That’s what they may as well be saying.