Chief Justice appears to take shot across Gorsuch’s bow

[sharenow]

By Kevin Daley, DCNF

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to take a veiled jab at his new colleague Justice Neil Gorsuch during a conference in Pennsylvania this week, where he reiterated his longstanding aversion to solo opinions.

The comments suggest a hint of tension between the chief and the junior justice.

In remarks given at a judicial conference in Pennsylvania this week, Roberts reiterated his long-held view that the Court should speak with one voice wherever possible — that is to say, he supports a consensus-driven approach to opinion writing in which the justices strive for unanimity and avoid writing their own concurrences or dissents. In doing so, he appeared to rebuke Gorsuch, who has flashed a propensity for writing on his own in his first months as a justice.

“There’s a different level of collegiality though and that is to appreciate you are acting as a court, not as an individual,” he said.

Roberts went on to explain that, when drafting an opinion, it’s important for a justice to accommodate their colleagues by avoiding precedents, citations, or footnotes which may create conflict within the majority. He emphasized the importance of speaking as a court, instead of as individual jurists.

“You do have to take into account other people’s views,” he added. “It’s not just about you. You want to draft an opinion that reflects the views of the Court.”

In his first two months on the Court, Gorsuch has written his own concurring or dissenting opinions on seven occasions. By way of comparison, that’s as many times as Justice Elena Kagan wrote independently in her first two years on the Court. His aggressive approach has solicited both approving and detracting responses.

Linda Greenhouse, longtime Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, wrote Thursday that “unexpected daylight” has opened between Gorsuch and the chief.

“It now seems just as likely that Neil Gorsuch’s main effect on John Roberts will be to get on his nerves,” she said.

Follow Kevin on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

DONATE TO BIZPAC REVIEW

Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
[sharenow]

Comment

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles