(TWO columns on June 29)

1. Roberts aborts conservative jurisprudence.

Chief Justice John Roberts has put another shiv in the ribs of judicial conservatives, again abandoning intellectual consistency while doing the bidding of social liberals.

By concurring in a ruling that a Louisiana abortion regulation is unconstitutional, Roberts contradicted his own stance from a case just four years earlier.

In Monday’s case, June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, the four consistently liberal judges ruled that Louisiana may not, as a health precaution, require that abortionists possess “admitting privileges” to a nearly hospital in case something goes wrong with the operation. The four generally conservative justices dissented, saying the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals was correct in ruling that the Louisiana law was constitutionally acceptable.

Roberts, in a separate concurring opinion, broke the tie in the liberals’ favor. He did so not because he agreed with his liberal colleagues on substance, but because he was (he said) upholding the doctrine of “stare decisis,” roughly meaning, “Let it stand as decided.”… [The full column is here.]

2. Roberts found yet another way to contradict himself.

A second intellectual inconsistency mars Chief Justice John Roberts’s decision in the Louisiana abortion case released on Monday.

Earlier, I explained how Roberts has a bizarre and intellectually untenable habit of honoring the legal principle known as “stare decisis” sometimes but ignoring it at other times. Concomitantly, let’s see how Roberts picks and chooses when and when not to show “deference” to elected legislative bodies. Hint: Roberts defers more to liberal legislative actions than to conservative ones….

In sum, Roberts treated the Louisiana legislature’s carefully expressed intent with far less deference than he treated what he merely imagined to be Congress’s implied or secret intent….

[It can’t be stressed enough: What’s wrong with Roberts’ jurisprudence isn’t the policy outcomes, but the convoluted sophistry of the reasoning. The full column is at this link.]



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