(FiveNation.com)- Vice President Mike Pence believes Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is a “disappointment to conservatives.”
Those comments are part of a TV interview that is scheduled to air on Christian broadcast channel CBN News on Thursday. Roberts, who has been on the High Court since being appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2005, has drawn the ire of conservatives for breaking ranks in recent high-profile cases.
During the interview with David Brody of CBN, Pence said:
“We have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States, but Chief Justice Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives. I think several cases out of the Supreme Court are reminders of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court.”
Three specific cases were particularly concerning to Pence. The first was back in 2012, when Roberts voted to uphold ObamaCare. More recently, Roberts sided with the liberal justices to keep Nevada’s limits on the number of people who could attend church gatherings in place.
Perhaps most disturbing to Pence, though, was Roberts’ decision to vote against a Louisiana law that required doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The vice president called that decision a “wake-up call” for pro-lifers across the country.
As Pence explained:
“That’s a very modest restriction on abortion providers. But a narrow majority in the Supreme Court still said it was unacceptable. I think it’s been 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.”
The Louisiana law would’ve required doctors who perform abortions to have these admitting privileges at a hospital that is within 30 miles of their clinic. Those who challenged the law argued it would have forced two of the state’s three abortion providers to close down, since there are no hospitals within 30 miles of them.
Roberts’ decision to side with liberals was based on a Texas law that was struck down four years ago. In his own opinion, Roberts wrote:
“The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”
While there are no current openings on the Supreme Court, there has been a lot of talk about some justices retiring in the near future. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member of the court, is 87 years old and is dealing with a lot of health issues.
Other justices are getting up there in age, too, including Stephen Breyer (82 on August 15), Clarence Thomas (72) and Samuel Alito (70). Ginsburg and Breyer are considered liberal justices, while Thomas and Alito are conservatives.
Conservatives currently hold a 5-4 advantage on the court, meaning the next new appointee could swing the power considerably one way or the other.