An Open Letter to Chief Justice John Roberts
Chief Justice Roberts made news recently by commenting on one of President Trump’s tweets. It was surprising and also inappropriate. This is a letter addressed to Justice Roberts. I hope he takes my message to heart. I am just an average citizen. I did support the appointment of Roberts to the Supreme court by then President GW Bush. I wrote a letter to Time Magazine and it was published. Justice Roberts has served with distinction until the ACA. His majority opinion supporting this bill was inexplicable. Now, he has done it again.
- Nov. 2018
My Letter - Nov. 23, 2018
Dear Chief Justice Roberts:
My name is Jack Lee. I am a retired engineer living in Westchester County NY. I supported your appointment as a conservative justice. I believe in our Constitution and an originalist Interpretation. You have served with distinction under difficult circumstances in an evenly divided court. However, your recent foray into the tweet by President Trump was in poor judgement. Let me explain why it was damaging far beyond you realize.
Our country is at a crossroad. Every since the year 2000, our country seems to be evenly divided. Many elections are decided by a small margin. This is not a good sign. We lack leaders that can unify us and give our country a new direction. Unfortunately, our political system lends itself to reelecting the same people by a huge margin. It is up to the courts to play the role of referee.
Your comment criticizing President Trump just added fuel to the fire. It may not have been your intention but you did just that. It gave the media and the opposition ammunition against an outspoken President Trump. His tweet spoke the truth about our courts. You may be naive to think our judges are all independent free thinkers.
Here is what President Trump said. “"You cannot win if you’re us, a case in the Ninth Circuit, and I think it’s a disgrace when people file, every case gets filed in the Ninth Circuit," Trump said. "That’s not law. That’s not what this country stands for. Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit, we get beaten and then we end up having to go the Supreme Court."
Your response - “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” the chief justice said in a Thanksgiving eve statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
It may sound good as a campaign speech but that is wishful thinking and not based on reality. In truth, we do have biased judges. We have them among your own colleagues on the Supreme Court.
Why do you think there was such a nasty debate over the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh? By all standards, Judge Kavanaugh is well qualified to serve but they attacked him and smeared his reputation as they did with Clarence Thomas because they disagreed with his judicial philosophy.
I am a citizen concerned about the future of our nation. Many of our recent court cases were settled by a 5 to 4 decision. This is clearly a bad omen. In some cases, the judges did not do their duty to rule on the constitutionality of the case.
A recent example is the case you presided over the ACA and you wrote the deciding opinion. It was a poorly written monstrosity of legislation. Pieces of the ACA were clearly good for the American people but most of it was not and unsustainable over the long haul. By a 5 to 4 decision, you sided with the majority to keep the law based on a tortured interpretation of whether a penalty is considered a tax.
When the people had their voices heard over the next election and put the GOP back in control over both Houses of Congress, one rogue senator, John McCain, who had campaigned on repeal and replace of the ACA, reneged on his word. Where is the justice? It seems even when Conservatives win in the ballot box, we loose.
On the issue of immigration, how is it that some of our courts and judges do not seem to understand our Constitution? When President Obama, a former constitutional law professor, issued his executive order on DACA, for example, it was clear to even him a few years earlier that it was unconstitutional. He only did it for expediency on his way out in a lame duck session. Every clear-thinking judge should agree on this. There are no two sides. This issue may be complex but it is clearly defined by the Constitution. Only Congress can make laws, and the judges can only determine if the law is constitutional or not. President, as part of the executive branch, cannot make laws. Therefore, the only conclusion is DACA is unconstitutional as it stands. If Congress wishes to pass a new law providing DACA for these children, that is the way it should be handled. Trump was right and the courts are wrong.
Chief Justice Roberts, my wish is that you stay out of these controversIes. Whether the President is right or wrong, it should be handled on the bench and not in cyber space. Whether you believe it or not, we have a biased media in this country. They will use every little wrinkle to hurt this President and stop his agenda. Don’t be an unwilling party to their attacks.
Yorktown Hts. NY
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© 2018 Jack Lee