On Sunday's MSNBC Live, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg again showed her blatant double standard in being quick to label conservative justices as "very conservative" but painting liberal justices as being more "centrist." Totenberg claimed that three of the current U.S. Supreme Court justices are "very hardcore people," "hard core to the right." She also claimed that Chief Justice John Roberts was viewed as "very, very conservative" until he was "savaged by the far right" over his ObamaCare vote.
But, earlier in the day on CNN's Reliable Sources, she called former liberal Justice David Souter "more centrist" than expected before admitting he was "liberal."
Appearing shortly after 5:00 p.m. Eastern on MSNBC, Totenberg described President Donald Trump's prospective picks to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy as "very conservative" in legal ideology and "personally very conservative." She then recalled that "There are three very hardcore people now on this court -- hard core to the right."
She then predicted that Chief Justice John Roberts would be relatively in the center of the Court and recalled that he had alienated the "far right" in recent years:
And in the center now will be, in all likelihood, the chief justice, John Roberts, who until -- I would say the presidential election of 2016 was considered a very, very conservative justice. But because during the debates -- the presidential debates -- and since, he has been roundly attacked for basically one vote -- his vote to uphold the ACA, the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare.
Based on that one vote, he has been just savaged by the far right and disavowed in many instances. And so he becomes now the center of the Court. Well, that means that the center of the Court is very far to the right of what it was -- will be very far to the right of where it was last year, the year before, certainly way far to the right of where it was 10 and 15 years ago.
By contrast, earlier in the day on CNN, she refrained from placing a "very liberal" label on former Justice Souter as she recalled that he turned out not to be the conservative he was expected to be:
On the occasions where there have been surprises, the principle one being David Souter who was George H.W. Bush's pick -- he was a surprise, but they also had a confirmation problem. So it was probably a wise choice for them at the time, and they were assuring the right it'll be fine. Well, he was far more centrist -- or liberal, if you want -- and they were furious.