- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has been “a disappointment to conservatives.”

“Look, we have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Mr. Pence told the Christian Broadcasting Network. “But Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives, whether it be the Obamacare decision or whether it be a spate of recent decisions all the way through Calvary Chapel.”

The vice president also cited the court’s recent decision to strike down a law in Louisiana that would have required doctors working at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Mr. Pence said such cases underscore the importance of the 2020 election for the future of the Supreme Court.

“We remember the issue back in 2016, which I believe loomed large in voters’ decisions between Hillary Clinton and the man who would become president of the United States,” Mr. Pence said. “And some people thought that it wouldn’t be as big an issue these days. But I think that’s all changed.”

Gallup polling released this week did find that Americans overall gave the high court a 58% approval rating — the highest level since 2009.

In 2012, Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion that found the individual mandate in Obamacare was constitutional under Congress’s taxing powers.

The high court is set to hear another challenge to the Affordable Care Act in its upcoming term after a lower court ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The 2017 GOP tax law had reduced the penalty for not purchasing insurance to zero.

Justice Roberts also sided with the court’s liberal wing last month in a ruling against Calvary Chapel, which was challenging Nevada’s ban on no more than 50 people at church services.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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