Mystery and Intrigue at the U.S. Supreme Court

Did Justice Thomas leak insider Court information to Jan Crawford of CBS-TV regarding how Chief Justice Roberts was running the Supreme Court? Crawford said that Judge Thomas believed that “unlike Roberts he (Thomas) didn’t pay attention to media coverage on the court, and didn’t go wobbly like Roberts and he himself didn’t pay attention to media coverage.”

This story was shared on July 1 on CBS Face the Nation and just this past Sunday July 8th Crawford did a follow-up story on the mood of the Supreme Court just before the health care plan decision was released to the public.

Crawford went on to say that discord at the Supreme Court is deep and personal after Chief Justice John Roberts’ surprise decision to side with the liberal justices in upholding a large portion of the president’s health care plan.

According to Jan Crawford, the conservatives feel a sense of betrayal, because the conservative justices believe that Roberts changed his mind for the wrong reasons.

Sources say that if Roberts had been with the liberals from the beginning that would have been one thing, but switching his position – and relatively late in the process – infuriated the conservatives.

Roberts initially sided with the four conservatives to strike down the heart of the health care law — the mandate that would require all Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty.

When Roberts changed his mind and joined with the liberals, he tried to get Justice Kennedy to come along, but of course as we all now know, Kennedy would not join Roberts.

The conservative members of the Court wrote their own opinion and wanted theirs to look like a majority decision in the hope that Roberts would join them and strike down the mandate.

There have been many big fights in the Supreme Court before and we will not know the effect of this dust up for a while, but we can only wonder how this will impact the 2012-2013 term. Will the U.S. Supreme Court remain divided along conservative and liberal lines?  Only time will tell.

~Jane Fraytet~

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Filed under Library, News, Of Interest to Law Students

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