Chief Justice John Roberts Says Supreme Court Must Have ‘Independence from the Political Branches’

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., left, answers a student’s question following his conversation with Professor Robert A. Stein Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis. (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)

Chief Justice John Roberts referenced current events in an appearance on Tuesday night, specifically alluding to the bitter and partisan confirmation battle surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and stressing that the judiciary “requires independence from the political branches.”

“I will not criticize the political branches,” Roberts said in a speech in Minnesota, but added that the judicial branch “must be very different.”

“I have great respect for our public officials, after all they speak for the people and that commands a certain degree of humility from those of us in the judicial branch who do not,” he said. “But we speak for the Constitution — our role is very clear. We are to interpret the laws and Constitution of the United States and ensure that the political branches act within them.”

“That job obviously requires independence from the political branches,” he said.

He spoke of the importance of judicial independence and acknowledged the court has “erred greatly” in the past “from time to time” when it “yielded to political pressure.” He specifically cited the Korematsu case, which he said “shamefully” upheld the internment of Japanese American citizens during World War II.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ariane de Vogue