Sandra Day O’Connor: Conservatives show ‘lack of understanding’ of court system
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Wednesday said that it was “unfortunate” that some Republicans had called Chief Justice John Roberts a traitor to conservatives after he voted to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on civics education, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) noted that attacks on judges could be a “threat to judicial independence.”
“I am concerned about some of the rhetoric about the chief justice,” Leahy told O’Connor. “He’s been called everything from a traitor to having betrayed President George W. Bush.”
“It’s unfortunate,” O’Connor agreed. “Because I think comments like that demonstrate only too well a lack of understanding that some of our citizens have about the role of the judicial branch.”
“I think the framers of our federal Constitution did a great job in understanding themselves that the judicial branch needed to be able to make independent decisions and the legitimacy — the lawfulness — of actions at the state and federal lever,” she added.
Watch this video from the C-SPAN, broadcast July 25, 2012.