Skip to comments.Roberts: Scene at State of Union `very troubling'
Posted on 03/09/2010 3:06:36 PM PST by reaganaut1
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday the scene at President Obama's State of the Union address was "very troubling" and the annual speech has "degenerated to a political pep rally."
Obama chided the court, with the justices seated before him in their black robes, for its decision on a campaign finance case.
Responding to a University of Alabama law student's question, Roberts said anyone was free to criticize the court, and some have an obligation to do so because of their positions.
"So I have no problems with that," he said. "On the other hand, there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum.
"The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court according the requirements of protocol has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."
Breaking from tradition, Obama criticized the court's decision that allows corporations and unions to freely spend money to run political ads for or against specific candidates.
"With all due deference to the separation of powers the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections," Obama said in January.
Justice Samuel Alito was the only justice to respond at the time, shaking his head and mouthing the words "not true" as Obama continued.
Roberts told the students he wonders whether justices should attend the speeches.
"I'm not sure why we're there," said Roberts, a Republican nominee who joined the court in 2005.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
When Joe Wilson made his famous “You lie!” remark during a previous Obama speech to Congress, the democrats got enraged. Their rationale was that the President is an invited guest of Congress, and that it is rude to invite a guest into your home then insult him. Ok, fine. The Supreme Court justices are invited guests as well of Congress then. If you invite a guest into your home and they take the opportunity to insult the other guest that you have invited into your home, isn’t that just as wrong? I wish more GOP members of Congress would have made this point: “President Obama was a guest of Congress. It is entirely inappropriate for him to use that opportunity as a platform to insult our other guests, the Supreme Court of the United States. Joe Wilson was criticized for insulting President Obama in a previous address to Congress and what the President did tonight was just as offensive. I’m sure Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi will be bringing a vote to the floor of the House to allow us to put on the record our displeasure with the President’s insult of our other guests.”
Roberts is right, but it’s nothing new. The SOTU update was probably originally intended to be either entirely in writing or, if oral, very apolitical, not unlike The Queen’s Speech. (The President here is both head of state, like the Queen, and head of government, like the PM. But the Speech is of course by the head of state, hence largely apolitical.)
Over time, SOTU has devolved into just another big political speech. The Justices should politely decline to attend such affairs, just as they should avoid any other nakedly politically contentious speeches.
Yes, Chief Justice Roberts, when the Dems occupy the WH, just say 'no' to the question of 'whether justices should attend the speeches'.
That would work for me, too. But I think Roberts is too much of a class act to set precedent in this manner. Imagine what would have happened with the liberal justices during Bush's SOTU speeches.
I think it’s just amazing that there don’t seem to be ANY Democrats anywhere instructing Barry & Michelle on proper protocol. It’s so bad, that I occasionally wonder if they are being intentionally sabotaged.
After 0bama made his snarky remark the Justices should have stood up and walked out.
I get upset every time I see the First Woman coming down the stairs of OUR plane.
I disagree. I don’t think they planned on one term..they plan on a permanent term...as in dictator in chief Hugo style.
Not only that, I get upset seeing the Resident walking around the WH grounds, in the Rose Garden, in the East Room, in the Mural Room..I get upset knowing he and the lot of them are not under the jail.
The justices should have walked out. I said it at the time and still believe it. Watching the halfrican dress them down before congress and the nation, as though they were just b*****s in his harem, was painful.
Of course permanent term - but they do it through beureaucracy & government programs. It’s going to seem like an eternity to us, but they know they can’t do the Hugo thing in America.
I find no problem with Roberts boycotting the rest of the Obama State of the Union addresses.
His absence can speak for him.
Supremes: Don’t go for the next three years.
Heh. That would've been priceless.
That said... I wonder why they're there in the first place? As far as I know the Constitution merely requires that the President make such a report to Congress. It could be in writing-- or email for that matter. There's no requirement that it be a speech, and as far as I know there's no requirement that anybody attend, let alone that people outside Congress and the Executive branches really have any point in attending at all.
It would be interesting if he decided that the Judiciary doesn't attend next year. Cite "separation of powers" or something.
Come on, Roberts. Don’t hold such high expecatations of barack’s capacity for class. barack is trash.
I believe that Justice Thomas was absent.
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