Insights

Whither the Chief Justice?

The Supreme Court of the United States has been precariously balanced with four progressive justices; four conservative (translatable as “extreme right wing”) and one swing justice, Justice Kennedy.

The edge of the precipice concern is what would happen if the present president of the United States got to appoint another justice in place of one of the existing progressives. (Cross the road carefully, Justice Bader Ginsburg.)

This interesting piece by Linda Greenhouse, published in the New York Times, raises the thought, albeit, on scarce evidence, that Chief Justice John Roberts (to the left of Justice Stephen Breyer in the photograph, below) might already be moving his judicial position closer to the centre: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/01/opinion/chief-justice-roberts-middle.html.

The Chief Justice’s position on crucial votes will be worth watching both in the near future and in the longer term.