Chief Justice Roberts, a G. W. Bush appointee, is a man of political character. His vote on Thursday morning to side with the liberals to split the vote (Yay: 5 – Nay: 4) and uphold President Obama’s health care law is historical -the true exemplification of what we often refer to as “legislating from the bench” rather than from some type of a party ideology.
As someone who was appointed to the Supreme Court by a Conservative president for his Conservative values, Chief Justice Roberts has demonstrated such a great sense of statemanship and leadership.
Just when many may have thought he was likely to side with the Conservative justices in the likes of Scalia, Thomas and Co. to slash the president’s signature legislation, he swayed the other way.
On September 22, 2005, during the confirmation fight of Judge Roberts, then Senator Obama voted against putting him on the Supreme Court. In a speech on the Senate’s floor, the senator said about Judge Roberts:
[W]hen I examined Judge Roberts’ record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak. In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General’s Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man[…]The bottom line is this: I will be voting against John Roberts’ nomination.
Today, the man whose nomination to the highest court in the land Senator Obama was trying to stop seven years ago is the one to have casted the historical vote to save President Obama’s landmark legislation during his tenure as President of the United States. Isn’t that something? Why did he not opt to make President Obama pay for the vote he had cast against him, which most people would have done?
People can say whatever they want, but this is indeed what you can call a functional democracy -when all the independent institutions are strong enough to operate on their own and in the best interest of the country.
The American democracy is sure not perfect, but it is working for the most part. I can only hope the people of my country Haiti can one day get to understand that strong institutions breed strong democracy.