Obviously Chief Justice John Roberts was going to take a hit in the polls after his ObamaCare decision — but a 40-point drop among Republicans? There’s no way he ever bounces back from this, right?
A Gallup poll released Monday found that Roberts’s favorables dropped 11 percentage points among all Americans since the last survey in September 2005. The most recent polling showed Roberts with 39 percent of national adults having a favorable opinion of him. In 2005, the same poll found that 50 percent of adults had a favorable view of the chief justice.
Among Republicans, Roberts’s drop has been more drastic. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans had a favorable view of Roberts in 2005, a figure which plummets 40 points to 27 percent in the 2012 survey. Four percent had an unfavorable view of the chief justice in 2005, jumping to 44 percent in the new poll.
Roberts’s betrayal wouldn’t have been as gut-wrenching if his decision had been based on principled arguments, even if they were wrong. The elevation of politics over principle made it much worse. He wasn’t just mistaken; he sold out his own side for political expediency. Americans have come to expect that from politicians, but not from the Supreme Court.
Republicans aren’t going to forgive Roberts anytime soon. But what about the other conservative justices on the Supreme Court who were reportedly furious with him?
Time heals all wounds, as the saying goes, and according to a couple of justices, the rancor at the U.S. Supreme Court in the wake of the Affordable Care Act decision probably won’t survive the summer.
“Everyone here does have the sense the institution is so much more important than the nine who are here at any point in time and we should not do anything to leave it in worse shape than it was in when we came on board,