On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts took the highly unusual step of publicly criticizing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for his speech warning Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh that they “will pay the price” if they rule against women’s rights — a move that was all the more notable because Roberts failed to say anything when President Donald Trump attacked Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor a week ago.
This was not lost on many social media commentators, who reacted with outrage at Roberts’ apparent decision to pick sides:
This after dead silence when Trump attacked Sotomayor and Ginsberg by name. The hypocrisy is breathtaking, as is the selective primness in which it's cloaked. https://t.co/IYGTE5pOpM
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) March 4, 2020
Whether you think Schumer’s comments were warranted or not, for Chief Justice Roberts to reprimand him, after permitting so much from Trump to go unacknowledged, will damage public faith in the neutrality of the Court he leads. This feels like a misstep. https://t.co/RAGLUUPSv9
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 4, 2020
It’s the height of hypocrisy for Roberts to reprimand Schumer like this, based on a deliberate misinterpretation of Schumer’s comment, after saying absolutely nothing about the MANY times Donald Trump has attacked and threatened the judiciary in much worse terms. https://t.co/vJMKWYIMMG
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) March 4, 2020
Why would Chief Justice Roberts get involved in this but fail to do so two weeks ago when the current occupant of the White House attacked some of the justices. Chief Justice Roberts ought to be publicly consistent, or keep his opinions out of this.https://t.co/8EUtbWWN9k
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) March 4, 2020
Oh? Well maybe Senator Schumer should call those justices a "terrible, costly and dangerous disgrace," like Trump said about the 9th Circuit. Or maybe talk about how their heritage makes them biased, like Trump did about Judge Curiel. Roberts was fine with those. 👨⚖️🤷♂️ https://t.co/hrf73A6eCe
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) March 4, 2020
Oh, did I miss Roberts chastising Trump for threatening judges, juries, and witnesses? No? Then he can stuff it. https://t.co/DX7IsINrQX
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) March 4, 2020
Trump has spent years threatening the safety of too many government officials to list, and John Roberts has said nothing.
But now that Chuck Schumer said something mean about the two worst Supreme Court Justices, NOW John Roberts has something to say? Give me a break!
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) March 4, 2020
I’m grateful to John Roberts for letting the mask slip and reminding everyone he’s nothing but a cheap GOP operative.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) March 4, 2020
Every reporter who covers the Supreme Court knows that John Roberts was silent in the face of Trump’s attacks on Sotomayor & RBG last week.
The honest ones will make that a central part of their coverage of Roberts’ criticism of Schumer.
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) March 4, 2020
Schumer's comment was out of line. But the point stands that Roberts choose to explicitly and forcefully condemn Schumer's rhetoric and not Trump's. Saying "there are no Obama judges or Bush judges" etc and reaffirming independent judiciary is a veiled rebuke. This is different.
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) March 4, 2020
The fact that we should be nice and kind to a guy who gutted the voting rights act and voted in favor of the government in Trump v Hawaii for purposes of "civility", when they've never graced us with such a luxury, is laughable.
— Anand Mehta (@anandmehtanyc) March 4, 2020
John Roberts says nothing when Trump attacks the courts, but he’s outraged when Democrats criticize Republican justices.
We need a Chief Justice who cares about protecting the rule of law. We’ve got one who cares about protecting Trump’s Republican Party. pic.twitter.com/CfsHjboNon
— Demand Justice (@WeDemandJustice) March 4, 2020