Pence calls conservative Chief Justice John Roberts a 'disappointment'


Republicans haven't always looked so favorably on criticizing the Supreme Court.

Mike Pence criticized a sitting Supreme Court justice by name on Wednesday in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody.

"Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives," Pence said in the interview, which is set to air on Thursday.

Roberts — who is one of five justices on the Court appointed by Republican presidents — ruled against the Trump administration on a handful of important cases over the last Supreme Court term.

Roberts joined the liberal justices to block Donald Trump from canceling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and to strike down an anti-abortion law in Louisiana that would have shuttered almost all of the state's abortion clinics.

Roberts was also part of the majority to rule that LGBTQ workers are protected by civil rights law that bans employment discrimination. And he ruled that Trump is not immune from turning over his financial records as part of investigations.

Republicans were angered by those decisions, with a number of members of Congress calling him a "disappointment" and a "disaster."

However, Roberts has a conservative record, despite the anger from Republicans.

He's overseen a court that has moved sharply to the right, with narrow 5-4 rulings on things like upholding Trump's Muslim ban to helping kill off public unions. Roberts also ruled in favor of partisan gerrymandering — a practice that Republicans have used to draw congressional and state legislative districts that expressly benefit the GOP to help keep the party in power.

Still, any time Roberts does not rule in favor of the Republican-backed position, Republicans jump to criticize him.

Direct criticism of the Supreme Court from the White House has not always been viewed favorably by Republicans.

Back in 2010, former President Barack Obama faced a torrent of criticism when he said in his State of the Union address that the court's Citizen's United case was was wrongly decided.

At the time, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) called Obama's comment at the State of the Union "over the top."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.