Supreme Court nominations have become a hot topic ahead of the 2020 presidential election after Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal-leaning judges in several recent court cases.
The Washington Examiner reports that Republicans have become frustrated with positions Roberts has taken recently.
Last week, Vice President Mike Pence called Roberts a “disappointment to conservatives” during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted that Roberts “abandoned his oath.” Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican lawmaker from Arkansas, asked, “What happened to that judge?” on Twitter.
Roberts, who was put on the bench by President George W. Bush, voted on topics including LGBTQ rights, abortion, immigration and religious liberty that led to the Democrat appointees prevailing.
Pence called Roberts out for a “spate of recent decisions all the way through Calvary Chapel.”
President Donald Trump has touted his picks for the bench as a reason why evangelicals and social conservatives should back his reelection, the newspaper reports.
“We remember the issue back in 2016, which I believe loomed large in voters’ decisions between Hillary Clinton and the man who would become president of the United States,” Pence said. “And some people thought that it wouldn’t be as big an issue these days. But I think that’s all changed.”
Recent rulings show that some Republicans are concerned with Roberts.
Carrie Severino, president of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network and co-author of a book on the Brett Kavanaugh nomination fight, told the Examiner that Trump valued toughness and political courage in his judicial nominees more than Bush did.
“If you look at the trajectory, it’s stunning,” she said. “There’s incredible progress being made.”
Trump picked two justices, Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, during his first term. He could have a chance to appoint another justice if reelected.
According to the Examiner, Roberts has a goal of protecting the court’s reputation of remaining independent from partisan politics, especially when it comes to controversial topics that signal change.
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