On July 19, 2005, following the retirement of Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts to fill her vacancy.
President Bush has managed to distance himself from the political scene.
One must wonder about his thoughts on appointing John Roberts to the Supreme Court is he has any whatsoever on the issue.
Roberts has been a major disappointment, particularly with his inexplicable ruling and vote on Obama’s failed health care program.
In some circles, it has been suggested that Justice Roberts was blackmailed.(Source)
Why else would he rule it a tax when the democrats promised us it wasn’t a tax?(Source)
WASHINGTON—Chief Justice John Roberts devoted his annual report on the judiciary to defending the work of federal district judges, capping a year when the judiciary was shocked by President-elect Donald Trump’s baseless attacks over the summer on a U.S. judge who presided over Trump University fraud litigation.
The annual summary, released Saturday, made no specific reference to Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was attacked over his Mexican descent by Mr. Trump on the campaign trail. But the chief justice devoted the report to praising the work of the federal trial bench across the board.
“The men and women across the country who today serve as district judges are generally not well known…but they deserve tremendous respect,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote.
“While the Supreme Court is often the focus of public attention, our system of justice depends fundamentally on the skill, hard work, and dedication of those outside the limelight.”
THE TRUMP TRANSITION
The chief justice linked today’s district judges to the 13 eminent individuals President George Washington first named to the district courts in 1789, among them several signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as “Francis Hopkinson of Pennsylvania, a poet and musician as well as a lawyer, [who] designed key precursors of the Great Seal of the United States and the United States flag famously attributed to Betsy Ross.”
“Since Washington made his first 13 appointments, each American generation has produced selfless, patriotic, and brave individuals who have stepped forward to serve their country with distinction as federal district judges,” he wrote.
Beyond the praise of district judges, Chief Justice Roberts’s report offered no hint of the political controversy engulfing the judiciary in 2016.
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The year saw an ideologically deadlocked Supreme Court at the center of a bitter partisan struggle following the February death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Six years ago, Chief Justice Roberts used his annual summary to denounce the politics that infects the judicial confirmation process.
“Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes,“ he wrote then, urging Congress and the president ”to find a long-term solution to this recurring problem.”
In 2016, Senate Republicans refused to consider President Barack Obama’s March nomination of U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. That blockade appears likely to provide Mr. Trump an opportunity to name a candidate more acceptable to conservative groups after taking office Jan. 20.
The chief justice’s report also included statistics on the court system’s workload, which apparently changed little over the year ending Sept. 30. But there were some notable trends.
Prisoner petitions in the district courts increased by 55%, Chief Justice Roberts noted, spurred by the Supreme Court’s April decision in Welch v. U.S., “which provided a new basis for certain prisoners convicted under the Armed Career Criminal Act to challenge their sentences.”
The federal government filed 19% fewer cases, the report said, as fewer cases involving defaulted student loans and forfeiture and penalty cases were filed.
Filings for personal bankruptcy fell 6%, while business petitions declined by 2%, continuing a trend of the past six years, the report said.