Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along

facebook Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along twitter Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along tumblr Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along
Roberts flickr McConnellCenter Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along

In retrospect, the bloodshot eyes should have been our first clue.

While the rest of us were waiting on pins and needles last week to see whether presumed swing-vote Anthony Kennedy would find Obamacare Constitutional, one smarty-pants professor already knew that the seemingly hard-right Bush-appointee John Roberts would be the one to become “Chief Traitor of the United States” by siding with the liberals.

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth political science professor Kenneth Manning published a paper back when Roberts was first nominated to the Supreme Court in 2005 suggesting that the ostensibly ultra-conservative Roberts had a squishy deferential streak that was being overlooked.  Manning analyzed all 190 of the decisions in which Roberts participated while on the D.C. Court of Appeals and compared them to circuit court averages. Manning unsurprisingly found that Roberts was “very conservative” in his decision-making in criminal justice disputes and “exceptionally conservative” in civil liberties and rights cases.  However, Manning also discovered that Roberts was actually a raging hippie when it came to labor and economic disputes (or, in Manning’s words, “more liberal than the appellate court average”).

Clearly, despite our hyperbole, Roberts is not a full-tilt liberal even when it comes to economic disputes. In finding Obamacare’s individual mandate Constitutional as a tax last week, Roberts took care to explicitly reject any expansion of Congress’s commerce clause power.  Nonetheless, as Manning told The Washington Post at the time, Roberts does have a history of taking “a non-activist stance — a general reluctance to go out of his way and rule against government regulators.”  For instance, in the cases Manning studied, “[i]f the EPA ruled against the chemical industry, the general tendency was to defer to the agency.”

Also, in case you’re thinking of placing a bet in some kind of ultra-nerdy gambling pool for future Supreme Court cases, take note that Roberts’s liberal streak is not entirely limited to economic and regulatory issues.  While Roberts has rightly earned a reputation as a staunch conservative on some issues — he once endorsed a memorial service that called attention to “the abortion tragedy” while working in the Reagan White House and famously upheld the constitutionality of the arrest of a 12-year old girl for eating a french fry in a subway station during his time on the D.C. Circuit bench — he might be the surprise vote on others.  While working at the law firm Hogan and Hartson, he did pro bono work for a gay rights group which successfully argued the landmark case Romer v. Evans.

More at WonkWire.

Photo: McConnell Center/flickr


facebook Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along twitter Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along tumblr Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along

155 Responses to Study Shows John Roberts Had a Liberal Streak All Along

  1. Crewe


    You have mentioned very interesting details! ps nice site.

  2. Thank you for your extremely great info and feedback from you. san jose used car 775946

  3. Well I sincerely enjoyed reading it. This tip procured by you is very effective for good planning.

  4. a754968


    I've said that least 754968 times. SCK was here

  5. salutations from across the ocean. interesting article I must return for more.

  6. gLwBzW I really liked your blog.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  7. Many are called but few are chosen.

  8. It is a long lane that has no turning.

  9. Its astonishing how important a man becomes when he dies.

  10. Many are called but few are chosen.

  11. I wish to convey my appreciation for your kind-heartedness giving support to people that should have help with this matter. Your personal dedication to passing the message across came to be really important and have in most cases made others much like me to achieve their objectives. Your personal informative report signifies much a person like me and further more to my office workers. Regards; from all of us.

  12. Definitely, what a fantastic blog and revealing posts, I surely will bookmark your site.All the Best!

  13. Definitely, what a fantastic site and informative posts, I surely will bookmark your website.Best Regards!

  14. Be on the alert like the red ant that moves with its claws wide open. Uganda

  15. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the favor”.I'm trying to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  16. Waste not want not.

  17. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann't imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  18. I am also writing to make you know what a useful encounter my girl had using your web site. She noticed numerous issues, which included what it's like to have an awesome giving heart to let the others quite simply learn certain impossible things. You actually did more than readers' expectations. Thanks for providing those important, trustworthy, educational and also unique thoughts on the topic to Evelyn.

  19. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  20. Very good written article. It will be useful to everyone who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – for sure i will check out more posts.

  21. I cling on to listening to the reports talk about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?

  22. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, let alone the content!

  23. Of course, what a fantastic blog and educative posts, I surely will bookmark your blog.Have an awsome day!

  24. Hello.This post was extremely fascinating, particularly because I was investigating for thoughts on this matter last Wednesday.

  25. Definitely, what a fantastic site and enlightening posts, I will bookmark your site.Have an awsome day!

  26. This, if in the mood is insightful to the soul but, can get to wordy, if not in the mood. Long attention spans? on the internet come from short snipits of half truths and jest. If I were to channel this one for Thoreau it would be on TVO or PBS.

  27. I have PDD-NOSS, another kind of autism.. My goal now is to become? an Architect.. I have no diplomas from high school, because they were not offering it as a special educational school (for bad learners and autistic kids), so now i need to try to get into college without one and it happened a year ago, but this wasn't the right job (cook).

  28. Needed to send you a little observation to say thanks yet again for these fantastic pointers you've featured on this website. It's certainly tremendously generous of you to offer publicly all a few individuals would've offered for sale as an e book in making some cash on their own, particularly considering the fact that you could possibly have done it in the event you decided. Those tricks likewise served as the great way to comprehend other people have the identical keenness much like my personal own to grasp significantly more in regard to this issue. I am certain there are numerous more pleasant sessions up front for many who find out your blog.

  29. You are a very intelligent individual!

  30. I think this is among the most vital info for me. And i'm glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  31. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  32. You made some clear points there. I did a search on the issue and found most persons will go along with with your website.

  33. A tyrone woman will never buy a rabbit without a head for fear its a cat.

  34. Marriages are all happy its having breakfast together that causes all the trouble.

  35. I must point out my affection for your generosity in support of men and women that must have guidance on that question. Your very own dedication to passing the message all through had been exceedingly useful and have constantly allowed others just like me to attain their endeavors. Your amazing invaluable information implies so much to me and far more to my office workers. With thanks; from each one of us.

  36. You truly make it seem so easy with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually one thing which I feel I'd by no means understand. It appears too sophisticated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward to your subsequent post, I am going to attempt to get the grasp of it!

  37. Excellent blog! I really adore the way it is easy on my eyes and the info are well written. I am wondering how i may be informed whenever a brand new publish has been made. I have activated to your rss feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day time!

  38. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you're going to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!

  39. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You're incredible! Thanks!

  40. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  41. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.I'm attempting to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  42. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  43. Foss


    Francisco S . fransisco. The weather with this spot is very nice and comfy. The particular summertime

  44. Wow, I feel what you said earlier could be very true. Displays what I am experiencing. Effectively since I am already here, surprise in the event you'd be type enough to exchange hyperlinks with my site. I will likely be inserting your hyperlink inside the blogroll part, and I hope that our hyperlink trade will help us make our blogs better. Hope you are able to fulfill my humble request.

  45. This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I've shared your web site in my social networks!

  46. When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get a number of emails with the same comment. Is there any means you'll be able to take away me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  47. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  48. Awsome website! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also

  49. A lot of thanks for your own labor on this website. Gloria really loves working on investigations and it's simple to grasp why. Many of us notice all regarding the dynamic manner you offer worthwhile information through your web site and recommend participation from visitors on the subject matter then our child is certainly understanding a lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. You are always performing a stunning job.

  50. I in addition to my friends were looking at the best tips found on your web page and then before long I got an awful suspicion I never thanked the blog owner for those secrets. My women are already certainly stimulated to read through all of them and have in effect certainly been making the most of those things. Many thanks for truly being quite kind and also for selecting varieties of incredible subjects millions of individuals are really desperate to be informed on. Our own sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.