The Leaders Letter Series: The Honorable John Roberts

Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
The Honorable John Roberts
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Justice Roberts: 

You shocked the Tea Party world when you cast the deciding vote upholding the Affordable Care Act.  Didn’t they get the memo?  Scalia and Thomas may adhere to the antiquated and knee jerk views of the antebellum league but you and Alito are firmly planted in the corporate wing of the party. 

Without a clear corporate interest (insurance corporations and pharmacies on one side; the service industry on the other), the Roberts court could go either way.  By casting the decisive vote you became the most powerful member of your own court, a role that had been held almost exclusively by Anthony Kennedy. 

It will be fascinating to see how you rule on the excesses of the National Security Agency.  Without corporate interests (unless you consider the scope and depth of information gathered by private corporations or the role of contractors in government surveillance) we will soon discover whether or not there exists a constitutional right to privacy.  We will also learn whether or not the libertarian ideal still informs the so-called conservative judicial philosophy.  I have my doubts. 

The Supreme Court is supposed to be the ultimate defender of civil liberties.  At a time when both the executive and legislative branches cower before the gods of security, surprise us all by fulfilling your solemn duty. 

Jack Random

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