CBS, CNN Fret Over New Court Term: ‘Conservative,’ ‘Conservative,’ ‘Conservative’

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The keyword is “conservative.” CBS and CNN on Monday repeatedly fretted over the coming Supreme Court term, due to future cases on abortion, gun control and gay rights. Both networks repeatedly took time to warn viewers of a looming right turn. 

Jan Crawford on CBS This Morning described, “This is a different court. It's going to potentially be a more conservative court.” Highlighting the departure of Anthony Kennedy, she added, “Justice Kennedy was a conservative, but he would sometimes vote with liberals on some of those social issues, particularly gay rights but also abortion.” 

 

 

She continued: 

So the question is, is Justice Kavanaugh going to see those cases in a more conservative way that would shift the balance of the Court more to the right on some of these social issues? The Chief Justice, John Roberts, also someone that we're going to be looking at. Sometimes he's been willing to vote with the liberals on some of those big, controversial cases like, for example, ObamaCare. So will he move from that conservative camp? I mean, obviously it's still 5-4. You've got the five conservatives and the four liberals. But some of these cases, they'll go back and forth. 

Over on CNN's Newsroom, Monday, Ariane De Vogue continued the media obsession with a potential conservative turn, this time focusing on whether Chief Justice John Roberts will thwart it: 

And in the center of it all, Chief Justice Roberts. He’s going to decide how far and how fast this court goes. He has institutional concerns on one side. He doesn't want the Court with its new conservative majority to swerve too quickly to the right. But also, he's a conservative. And the right flank of this bench is going to want to hear these cases and decide them outright even if it comes in an election year. So a lot going on this term. 

Back in January of 2017, CBS announced the nomination of Neil Gorsuch by describing him as a “controversial” “conservative.” 

A transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more. Click "expand" to read more. 

CBS This Morning
10/7/19
8:03:10 to 8:05:25

ANTHONY MASON: Today is the first day of Supreme Court's new term. The justices are set to take on a series of controversial topics. Chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford is at the Supreme court. Jan, what are the big issues the courts are going to address this term? 

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I mean, Anthony, this is shaping up to be one of the most contentious Supreme Court terms in years. They are taking up almost every hot-button issue that's out there. You've got abortion, gay rights, gun rights, immigration. They're going to jump right into it starting tomorrow with a big case that looks at whether federal law protects gays, lesbians, transgender people, from discrimination on the job. And then, in the months to come, they'll going look at whether or not states can put more regulations on abortion clinics. Whether states can make it more difficult for legal gun owners to take their guns outside their homes. They're going to look at President Trump's efforts to end that Obama-era program that protects the so-called dreamers. Those people that came to the United States illegally as children. All of those cases. They're probably going to be decided right in the middle of this election year, early spring, early summer. 

MASON: Jan, you mentioned gay rights. This is the first time the courts can hear gay rights cases since the retirement of Justice Kennedy, who was the swing vote on this issue. So, who are you going to be looking at on the court at this point? 

CRAWFORD: Well, I mean, this is a different court. It's going to potentially be a more conservative court. We'll get a lot of clues this tomorrow because of the line of these cases. Like you said, Justice Bret Kavanaugh replacing Justice Kennedy. Justice Kennedy was a conservative, but he would sometimes vote with liberals on some of those social issues, particularly gay rights but also abortion. So the question is, is Justice Kavanaugh going to see those cases in a more conservative way that would shift the balance of the Court more to the right on some of these social issues? The Chief Justice, John Roberts, also someone that we're going to be looking at. Sometimes he's been willing to vote with the liberals on some of those big, controversial cases like, for example, ObamaCare. So will he move from that conservative camp? I mean, obviously it's still 5-4. You've got the five conservatives and the four liberals. But some of these cases, they'll go back and forth. This term will give us a lot of clues about what this Court is going to look like going forward. 

 

CNN Newsroom
10/7/19
10:51

ARIANE DE VOGUE (Supreme Court reporter): Only eight justices, Clarence Thomas is out with the flu. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who finished her fourth bout of cancer was there in her usual seat. She asked the first question wearing her lace collar. Poppy and Jim, it's hard to see how this court is going to stay outside of the political fray this year. The docket almost demands it. As you said, they're hearing LGBT rights, gun rights, DACA, and abortion. 

And in the center of it all, Chief Justice Roberts. He’s going to decide how far and how fast this court goes. He has institutional concerns on one side. He doesn't want the Court with its new conservative majority to swerve too quickly to the right. But also, he's a conservative. And the right flank of this bench is going to want to hear these cases and decide them outright even if it comes in an election year. So a lot going on this term. 

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