Chief Justice John Roberts Defends Steady Restraint

On Thursday, when Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. helped save the Affordable Care Act for a second time, conservatives accused him of everything short of treason. 

On Friday, when he dissented from a decision establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, liberals not too busy celebrating charged that he had tarnished his legacy and landed on the wrong side of history.

Now completing his 10th term as the leader of a deeply divided court, Chief Justice Roberts remains more apt to surprise than any of his colleagues, and therefore more likely to disappoint.

He seemed to anticipate the dueling critiques, and used this week’s opinions to cast himself as a steady practitioner of judicial modesty. Indeed, he employed very similar language to suggest that his votes were consistent and principled.

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Source: The New York Times | 

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