Vice President Mike Pence criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for a handful of recent decisions in disputes to come before the Supreme Court, calling him a "disappointment to conservatives."
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network set to air Thursday, Pence said the cases in which Roberts has joined with the liberal wing of the bench underscore the importance of the upcoming election for the future of the Supreme Court.
"We have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States, but Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives, whether it be the Obamacare decision or whether it be a spate of recent decisions," Pence said.
The vice president specifically cited Roberts' vote in a dispute over a Louisiana law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, in which he joined the court's four liberal justices in striking down the law. Robert also joined the liberal majority in denying a request from a Nevada church to block enforcement of the state's 50-person limit at places of worship due to the coronavirus.
Pence said the recent action from the high court was "a wake-up call for pro-life voters around the country who understand in a very real sense the destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020," he said.
The vice president told CBN that while some voters believed the Supreme Court wouldn't be as big of an issue in the 2020 election as it was in 2016, "that's all changed."
"I think several cases out of the Supreme Court are a reminder just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court," Pence said.
In addition to voting to strike down Louisiana's abortion restriction, Roberts joined the Supreme Court's liberal bloc in blocking the Trump administration's efforts to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, ruling its attempt to do so was unlawful. Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was appointed to the high court by President Trump, helped form a 6-3 majority in extending federal workplace protections to LGBTQ workers.
But Roberts has also helped deliver rulings this term deemed to be victories for conservatives. He was in the 7-2 majority of a decision upholding the Trump administration's broad exemptions to employers who raise religious and moral objections to Obamacare's contraceptive mandate, as well as in a 7-2 ruling that found federal employment laws don't apply to teachers at religious schools whose duties include religious education.
Roberts and the court's conservative wing also formed a 5-4 majority in finding states cannot disqualify private religious schools from receiving public money.
First published on August 6, 2020 / 10:27 AM
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