John Roberts (Justice)
Since the 1980s, the well-worn liberal playbook is to claim that Republican appointees to the Supreme Court should be voted down as ideologues who are outside the judicial mainstream. The establishment media aids this tactic by often tagging GOP nominees as “conservative,” while ignoring — or even disputing — the liberal bent of Democratic nominees to the Court. True to form, ABC, CBS and NBC’s morning and evening broadcasts branded Judge Brett Kavanaugh a “conservative” a total of eleven times in the first 24 hours since his nomination by President Trump.
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." Appearing as a guest on Sunday's MSNBC Live, 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.
President Trump won’t officially announce his latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court until this evening, but it’s already easy to predict the liberal media’s spin. As with all recent Republican nominees, reporters will repeatedly label them as “conservative,” which will nicely reinforce the Democrats’ strategy to paint them as outside “the mainstream.” But when Democratic Presidents announce their Supreme Court nominees, those same reporters can’t find the words to call those choices “liberal.”
The announced retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy has thrown the left even further into angry confusion. Amid all the doomsaying and rending of garments, some in the media are attempting to label Anthony Kennedy as a “traditional conservative.”
With Wednesdsay's retirement news from Justice Anthony Kennedy, the liberal media was in a tailspin thinking of all the horrors President Trump would unleash on America with yet another Supreme Court nomination. On ABC’s World News Tonight, they were fearful for the future of Roe v. Wade and were hopefully speculating Chief Justice John Roberts would become the new swing vote for the sake of the court.
Perhaps it was the way he arched an eyebrow. Or maybe it was the momentary twitch of his nose. Could it have been that barely seen curl of the lip?
Somehow, somehow, we must see that Chief Justice John Roberts was critical of President Donald Trump in his commencement address for ninth grade graduates at Cardigan Mountain School even though his name was not mentioned nor was there anything that could be remotely interpreted as the slightest reference to him. Such desperation to discern criticism where none existed of Trump by the Chief Justice came from Los Angeles Times editorial writer Michael McGough in his July 3 opinion piece, A Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. speech that should make Trump's ears burn.
An MRC analysis of labels used on ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows during the 24 hours after each of the past six Supreme Court nominations demonstrates the pattern. GOP nominees John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were labeled by reporters as “conservative” a total of 36 times, while Democratic nominees Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Merrick Garland were called “liberal” a mere seven times — all on CBS. In fact, there were more occasions (10) when reporters either denied that a Democratic nominee was liberal, or labeled them “centrist” or “moderate.” Republican nominees were never described as “centrist” or “moderate.”
When it comes to Supreme Court justices and their views of the Constitution, on the one hand there’s Clarence Thomas, and on the other there’s everyone else in the 227-year history of the Court, suggested CNN and New Yorker legal analyst Toobin in a Tuesday piece. Toobin called Thomas, who just marked a quarter-century as a SCOTUS justice, “not a conservative but, rather, a radical” who’s driven to advance “his own idiosyncratic interpretation of the Constitution.” Thomas’s jurisprudence is, in Toobin’s words, “reactionary” and “antediluvian.”
Eight Is Enough was a popular television series in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Dahlia Lithwick hinted in a Saturday article that a show about Republicans’ sour attitude toward the current Supreme Court situation might be called Eight’s Not Enough, with the key role played in absentia by Antonin Scalia.
Lithwick theorized that for Republicans, “the 2016 term was meant to be the Supreme Court’s year to destroy Obama…Had [Scalia] lived until July the docket was full of poisoned pills and silent time bombs that would have exploded in President Obama’s face this summer…GOP senators aren’t just angry about losing Justice Scalia’s seat. They are angry because the court as the weapon of choice to screw the president has been taken from them, and they want it back.”
Whomever Barack Obama selects to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia expect the liberal media to worry the selection isn’t progressive enough. As might be expected, journalists criticize the Supreme Court appointments made by Republican presidents as “hardline” and “very conservative.” But even the nominees elevated by recent Democratic presidents have been challenged as not liberal enough for the media’s taste.
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin took part in the network’s post-Republican debate panel Saturday night and used the occasion to lecture the GOP candidates for all having “bad moments” in “a raucous screamfest” and rallied to the defense of Chief Justice John Roberts to lament the direction of the party he doesn’t even belong to. Further, liberal CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley proclaimed that “Donald Trump won the debate” by being “bombastic” and prepared “to rumble” with the five other candidates.
As the Supreme Court term begins, NPR court correspondent Nina Totenberg played dumb on Monday’s Morning Edition, much like Adam Liptak at The New York Times. Why would conservatives dislike “consistently conservative” chief justice John Roberts?
Desperately employing rickety rationales twice to uphold Obamacare somehow doesn’t undermine “consistency.” Totenberg forgot Roberts being hailed by Time magazine in 2012 as similar to Beethoven, Willie Mays, and King Solomon: “Not since King Solomon offered to split the baby has a judge engineered a slicker solution to a bitterly divisive dispute.”