Chief Justice Roberts is terrible as a jurist, worse as any kind of constitutionalist, but as an institutional leader, he’s doing pretty well, as the latest Gallup poll shows.
Chief Justice John Roberts earns the highest job approval rating of 11 U.S. leaders rated in a Dec. 1-16 Gallup poll with 60% approving of how he is handling his role…
Roberts is the only one of the leaders rated this year who receives majority approval from Republicans (57%) and Democrats (55%) in addition to political independents (64%). Most of the other leaders are viewed positively by two-thirds or more of one party versus less than a quarter of the other.
From Roberts’ perspective, this is exactly what he set out to do, preserve the institutional authority of the Supreme Court. He accomplished this by shredding the Constitution to side with the Left on key issues while offering softer conservative wins in other areas (even while weakening and undermining the scope of those moves.) It’s classic RINOism institutionalized into the judiciary.
This is how a generation of Republicans tried to do things. Roberts, who is much closer culturally to that era than he is to the conservative jurists who preceded and succeeded him, is just following in those footsteps. Culturally, it’s pretty clear that he agrees with lefties on social issues like gay marriage or illegal migration. His “conservatism” is purely procedural and he’s willing to set it aside when an identity politics issue is compelling enough.
But Roberts, like most government officials, is concerned with preserving institutional power. And he’s played all the sides well enough that he can sit back and grin at his bipartisan rating. It wouldn’t be a good number in 1960, but these days it’s a good number.
It’s a bad number for the Constitution, but a good one for Roberts. Like most RINOs, Roberts hasn’t considered how quickly he would be purged if the Left developed the power to do so.