Chief Justice Roberts Responds to Democrat Attacks on Court's Legitimacy

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

During his first public appearance since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts had some choice words for Democrats who have criticized the Supreme Court in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and sending the power to regulate abortion back to the states.


“If the court doesn’t retain its legitimate function of interpreting the Constitution, I’m not sure who would take up that mantle. You don’t want the political branches telling you what the law is, and you don’t want public opinion to be the guide about what the appropriate decision is,” Roberts said in a speech delivered Friday night.

Related: Is the Current Supreme Court an ‘Activist Court’?

It is worth noting, however, that Americans actually agree with the principles of the Dobbs decision. Polling shows Americans support abortion being regulated by the states, not the federal government. Also, while Americans generally believe abortion should be legal, support for abortion goes down significantly with each trimester.

Roberts did not address the leak of the draft opinion, but Justice Neil Gorsuch did earlier this week.

“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said during the 10th Circuit Bench & Bar Conference at the Broadmoor resort in Colorado. “That committee has been busy, and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope, soon.”




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