(RightWing.org) – Since the first Obamacare Supreme Court ruling in 2012, The “Roberts” court, as it’s commonly referred to, wavers very little when it comes to overturning precedents by previous courts. After former President Donald Trump appointed three conservative justices over his four years in office, conservatives hoped the court would move more decisively right. While it did, it’s not enough for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who is taking it upon himself to call out his conservative colleagues on the court.
What could be behind the court’s penchant for narrowly ruling on cases it could more broadly impact? Democrats love to demagogue the nation’s highest court. They often allege that the conservative justices are dangerous for America, among other heated rhetoric. Democrats regularly threaten to pack the court if justices rule against their far-left causes regardless of whether they are Constitutional or not. Could these threats be getting to the justices and, in turn, impacting their rulings?
In 2019, Roberts shot back against the notion that the courts are guided primarily by their partisan affiliations. Over the years, he’s mentioned it so frequently that one must wonder if that’s behind the court’s unwillingness to shift it more conservatively. In the 2020-2021 term, the court refused to issue broad rulings that could overturn liberal precedents. Instead, Roberts often issued narrowly tailored rulings. The majority of conservative justices backed him.
Justice Alito Scolds Conservative Colleagues
Staunch conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is not known to hold back his thoughts. With a decisive 6-3 conservative majority on the court, there isn’t a need to tailor rulings to get moderate or left-wing justices to agree. In mid-June, the court issued two rulings that really got the ire of Alito. One involved a narrow ruling involving a Catholic charity. The other spared Obamacare once again.
Alito appears to be upset that the court is doing exactly what Roberts claimed it doesn’t do – compromise rulings based on politics. In the case involving a Catholic adoption charity sued by the City of Philadelphia for refusing to work with gay couples, justices ruled unanimously for the religious organization. However, Alito expressed conservative worries in a 77-page blistering concurrence, writing that the court didn’t go far enough to protect against religious liberty disputes as Barrett and Kavanaugh agreed with Robert’s position.
Regarding Obamacare, it was the first time a conservative majority could hear the case. However, conservatives agreed to punt and dismissed the case. Again, Alito piped up and criticized the conservatives for not allowing the plaintiffs to raise a constitutional challenge. He accused Roberts of crafting “novel rationales to preserve Obamacare” and blasted the court’s willingness to defend the controversial health care law. He stated, “So a tax that does not tax is allowed to stand and support one of the biggest Government programs in our Nation’s history. Fans of judicial inventiveness will applaud once again.”
Alito is on to something. He may be diplomatically exposing that liberals are in the heads of the conservative justices. If that’s the case, then Democrats should feel emboldened. Don’t expect the attacks against the court to stop until the court starts standing for the Constitution.
That’s its duty and responsibility. It’s the safest ground. While the court is ruling conservatively, it could go further.
Perhaps Alito can influence the two newest members of the court to stand firm.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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