Geof Stone on Conservative Criticism of Chief Justice Roberts

Savaging Roberts: Conservatives Run Amok
Geoffrey R. Stone
The Huffington Post
July 3, 2012

In an op-ed published seven years ago, shortly after President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts to serve on the Supreme Court, I chided my fellow liberals for threatening to oppose Roberts. Although Bush had promised to appoint Supreme Court justices like those he most admired -- Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas -- I argued that, "in nominating John Roberts, Bush has broken that promise, to the great good fortune of the American people."

I conceded that Roberts would not have been "my choice for the Court." He was, after all, "a dyed-in-the-wool conservative" whose confirmation would clearly "move the Court even further to the 'right.'" But I opined that everything about Roberts suggests "a principled, pragmatic justice who will act cautiously and with a healthy respect for precedent." I predicted that he will decide cases "in an open-minded, rigorous, intellectually honest manner, rather than as an ideologue whose constitutional principles derive more from fiction and faith than from legal reason."

For the past