The top of the Yahoo home page on Friday asked "Did Chief Justice Roberts save the Supreme Court?” That’s channeling the incessant spin of ABC Nightline anchor Terry Moran, who announced on Yahoo's web show Top Line: “Roberts rode to the rescue of the Obama health care plan, and maybe rode to the rescue of the Supreme Court, a little bit, as well.”
"We live in an era of punditry and hyper-partisanship where everybody’s on one side or the other and screaming,” complained Moran. “And here’s the Court, and John Roberts in particular, saying ‘We do this job. You guys do the rest.’”
Moran seemed to confuse unhappiness on the Left with public opinion in general: "They’ve seen the esteem for the Court diminish over these hyperpartisan years, since Bush vs. Gore. Polls show Americans feel less confident in the Court. The Court has no way to enforce its decisions except in the confidence of the people."
Top Line host and Yahoo! News Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian reminded viewers, "We know from the Obama administration, they were ready to pounce on this Court, and attack it for political partisanship if it went the other way. They’re not under that attack right now from the Left, but do you think that kind of thing weighs on the Chief Justice’s mind?"
Moran replied: “There’s no evidence in the opinion that it does, but knowing John Roberts, I think it does. The prestige of the court is the source of its authority, and justices can’t be happy if it’s just another football in the political wars.”
But if Roberts shifted his opinion to assuage Team Obama, isn't he just tossing them the football to spike?
Moran also suggested it was “much better” for the Supreme Court to stop resisting the New Deal in the 1930s, so there’s a historical pattern of left-wing pressure for the Court to submit to left-wing badgering.
Chalian asked if Roberts has been "Souterized" in the mind of conservatives, and Moran insultingly suggested the Court (and Clarence Thomas, hello?) had been a "pet" of conservatives: "The right is demoralized today, because in some ways, the Supreme Court had become their pet. Scalia is their hero, Thomas is a hero. Alito and Roberts, there was a a sense they would to the, carry out the agenda on the Supreme Court. So it’s possible. But John Roberts is a conservative, and there’ll be plenty of opinions where he makes liberals mad, because deep down, he is a conservative jurist."
Chalian implied that the Court's prestige rests entirely on the approval of liberals and leftists: “It is amazing, this could have been a real Bush vs. Gore kind of moment, right? And it just immediately, that dissipated, the notion of the ruling being seen that way, even if Republicans are indeed disappointed.”
Moran said Roberts made "the country" happy: “That sense that the Court stands in a different position is essential to the authority of the Court and in some ways, to the happiness of the country. Isn’t it nice that there’s one place where there’s not hollering at each other?"
[Hat tip: Mrs. Graham]