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February 27, 2015

Clues Suggested Roberts Might Let Down Conservatives

Conservatives baffled by the decision by Chief Justice John Roberts to side with liberals on President Obama’s health care plan should have read a 2005 research paper by political science professor Kenneth Manning.

Manning’s research found Roberts very conservative in criminal and civil liberties cases but more liberal than the appellate court average in economic cases.

Manning talked about his research with the Washington Post in 2005: “The general read I got was of a non-activist stance — a general reluctance to go out of his way and rule against government regulators. If the EPA ruled against the chemical industry, the general tendency was to defer to the agency.”

  • Azphil

    The research paper is an informative read.

  • molosky

    The “Catholic conservative” label is used to gain assurances on abortion. It works for that, but is only one issue. 

    Catholics are historically one of the most economically liberal subgroups in American society, which is why they were strongly Democratic before the abortion wedge was invented by Republicans. 

    • IOccupyTruth

      The abortion wedge that was invented by Republicans?  Really the bloodlust of the left to make all abortions legal EVEN PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTIONS is a Republican trick.  Maybe you meant

      “which is why they were strongly Democratice..until the Democratic party lost its morals and decided to embrace infanticide as a party platform”

      • molosky

        Correct. It was invented by Republicans.  Which part do you not follow?

        Abortion is not going to change at the federal level, despite what your party tells you. Certainly not because of which party controls Congress. And yet you only vote for “pro life” candidates. 

        You are voting for symbols and you are giving up the ability to be represented on any other issue.

        You are a pawn.  

        • Chas

           Molosky – are you always this smug and repellent?

          • molosky

            Did you read the comment I am responding to?

            I only called this person a pawn for repeating propaganda and defending single-issue voting.

            He or she, meanwhile, called half of the country murderers. Including myself.

            Are you always this unable to see the world objectively?

        • Wynstone

          It’s pretty weird that this solitary post by IOccupyTruth gets 10 likes on this board.  Smells like paid trolling.

      • molosky

        Incidentally there is no reason why there should be any logical distinction between late term and early term abortions if you are opposed to them on principle. 
        For you to even mention “partial birth abortion” (a Republican term, of course) as somehow special suggests you are more interested in partisan propaganda than in the issue.  According to any consistent anti-abortion philosophy, murder an instant after conception and “partial birth abortion” are equally murder.

        …unless you are trying to invent a political wedge issue of course.

      • HospiceRN

        Bloodlust?? Really? Is that what Democrats are interested in? 

        Nothing about, say, thousands (if not tens of thousands) of women annually, full grown women, some with children already, who died attempting to get abortions before it was legal. Couldn’t that be part of the equation a little bit?

        Nothing about removing non-viable fetuses after 20 weeks (like they did with my mom, forcing her to carry an ancephalic fetus to 30 weeks, hoping she’d spontaneously abort, but instead causing her to nearly die from a massive infection)?

        Or I guess it’s just “bloodlust” because that’s all Democrats want to do… is wantonly kill babies.

  • Pingback: Maybe We Should Have Known John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak | The Daily Dolt()

  • whatyouthinkimprejudiced

    That research paper is weak; its “coding methodologies,” which are broad generalizations utilized by other authors, are laughable.

    An excerpt:
    “For example, in the area of criminal justice, judges’ votes in favor of a criminal defendant were coded as ‘liberal,’ while decisions supporting the state and/or prosecutors were coded as ‘conservative.’ A judge’s decision upholding individual civil liberties protections was coded as liberal, while those that allowed government greater control were recorded as conservative.”

    On what basis are decisions in favor of prosecutors considered “conservative”? And how is it that a judge who makes a “decision upholding individual civil liberties” is considered liberal?

    A true analysis of John Roberts’ record would look to the actual decision, and not to whom it benefited.

    Maybe you should have read the research paper before you blamed conservatives for not reading the research paper. It proves absolutely nothing.

    • molosky

      The coding is completely standard in the field. 

      You may have a definition of ‘liberal’ that is politicized by US partisan politics (where the Republican party has worked hard to redefine ‘liberal’ as something sinister). 

      It is most definitely the term applied objectively to a ‘civil liberties’ perspective in academic and legal fields. 

      To put it in a more partisan context, it is more or less what Republicans are referring to when they claim that liberals are ‘soft on crime’ or on issues like the PATRIOT act.   The ‘law and order’ side, meanwhile, is the prosecution side and ‘conservative’ is the traditional term for it. But both are references to philosophies, not the ‘red/blue’ stuff that you may see on TV.

      • whatyouthinkimprejudiced

         So what if the coding is standard? That doesn’t mean it’s correct.

        For example, the consistent complaint of the left is that the Roberts Court is “pro big business.” Their proof of this assertion? That a majority of cases are decided in favor of businesses. But without knowing the facts of the case, without knowing the holding and the rationale, that assertion lacks basis.

        You’re incorrect – these terms aren’t applied objectively in relation “a civil liberties’ perspective in academic and legal fields.” Many times these terms are used by both sides to vilify the justices or to gather support for decisions. (I’ve even read one author who asserted that the Slaughterhouse Cases were “conservative” decisions.”)

        Like I said: the methodology is weak. Conclusions as to a judicial philosophy shouldn’t be depend on the prevailing party. They should depend on the decision itself.

        • molosky

          Again you are confusing recent popular discourse with a long-standing academic field. 

          “Many times these terms are used by both sides to vilify the justices or to gather support for decisions.”

          This has nothing to do with the coding of D.C. Court of Appeals.  “the left” can say whatever  it wants, but the outcomes are the outcomes.

          I focused on civil rights because that is the one you claimed was dubious.  

          Generically, in the context of civil liberties and criminal justice, “liberal” DOES always mean “in favor of the person claiming a rights violation” in any academic legal context.  If an individual person challenging a state action is found to have greater rights, then that is always treated as the ‘liberal’ outcome.  

          There may be people somewhere who you call “liberals” who don’t like the prevailing party in some such case, but this IS the objective interpretation. 

          In business, the ‘liberal’ outcome is admittedly broader, since it conflates two issues, but includes only cases where either a labor union or a regulatory agency prevailed.  This is less universal (would probably not be used outside of the united states) used but is hardly a controversial coding.  

          Without this type of methodology, quantitative judicial studies would not be possible. 

  • avengetheweak

    Chief Justice Roberts is a traitor to the United States and he has been bought out by the Obama Administration. No true conservative justice in his right mind would believe that the individual mandate in Obama Care is constitutional. We, as patriots and citizens, need to find out what Obama has on Roberts that persuaded him to vote for this abomination. What skeleton is in Roberts’ closet that Obama is holding over his head? How has Obama bribed Roberts in order for him to side with leftist slime  like Kagan and Sotomayor? Wrap your head around this fact – Chief Justice Roberts on the same side as Kagan and Sotomayor and AGAINST Kennedy???  Or perhaps Roberts was tossing a bone to a fellow Harvard boy? What I would have thought was literally impossible yesterday is now hell on earth. 

    Clearly, as evidenced by his inability to have biological children, Chief Justice Roberts lacks the balls to stand up for what is right and our country will now have to suffer through the decline of our great republic. This confirms what I have always believed – we have two parties in this country. We have the elite political class and everyone else, rich and poor. Obama, Romney, Bush, Clinton, Roberts, etc., it does not matter – these people belong to the elitist political class that is out of touch and above and beyond the common sense of the common man. These people are too smart, too rich, too arrogant and too immoral to understand the fundamental constitutional principles upon which our country has been founded. They believe that they can do whatever they choose because they know better and are more enlightened than our Founding Fathers.

    The government telling a citizen that you must buy a product such as health care is constitutional?  Next, Obama will be requiring us to get rid of our Chevy Suburbans and buy a Chevy Volt or face another “tax” and then require us to have solar panels on our roofs or be taxed again and then ration our water, gas, medical care and Pepsi. Where will it end? But alas, it appears that our last hope (and I say this with disgust) in the Supreme Court has failed us. Chief Justice Roberts is a traitor to our nation and loyal only to Harvard University and his fellow elitist alums like Obama. FYI, I am not holding out much hope for for Harvard Law grad Mitt Romney either.

    People, we are screwed. 

    • fitguy

      Wow….it must suck to be you.

    • Guest

      You sound paranoid and delusional.  Luckily, the PPACA covers mental health.  

  • rhallnj

    I heard Lawrence Tribe, Roberts’ law professor,  on the BBC the morning of the decision predicting exactly what happened, use of the taxation power.  He feels Roberts’ signalled this pretty clearly in the arguments.

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