U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday brushed off accusations of the Supreme Court becoming politicized, instead blaming the criticism “on a misperception of the court.”
“When you live in a polarized political environment, people tend to see everything in those terms. That’s not how we at the court function and the results in our cases do not suggest otherwise,” Mr. Roberts said during a speaking engagement at Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center.
Democrats have accused the Supreme Court of being motivated by politics. President Trump has also criticized federal courts that have blocked his policies.
While the court has a 5-4 conservative majority, Justice Roberts — who has become the frequent ideological swing vote following former Justice Anthony Kennedy’s departure — pointed out only seven of the court’s 19 5-4 rulings fell on ideological lines.
The criticisms of the court’s conservative majority have worried some about landmark decisions possibly being overturned, such as pro-choice activists fighting to keep the abortion protections allowed in Roe v. Wade.
Justice Roberts dismissed those fears, saying he has a respect for precedent, and there is “no reason to suppose that I and my eight colleagues are any better at discerning the meaning of the Constitution than members of the courts that went before us.”
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