Federal judge accuses Chief Justice Roberts’ Court of ‘weakening democracy’

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has faced criticism from conservatives for being too moderate in recent years. But as Fox News reports, Roberts was just recently targeted by a left-wing federal judge.

Judge Lynn Adelman presides over the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and in a recent article, he had harsh words for the Supreme Court’s chief.

“Undermining American democracy”

“[T]he Roberts Court has been anything but passive,” Adelman, a Clinton appointee, complained in a piece called “The Roberts Court’s Assault on Democracy.”

“Rather, the Court’s hard-right majority is actively participating in undermining American democracy,” the Clinton appointee continued.

She went on: “Indeed, the Roberts Court has contributed to ensuring that the political system in the United States pays little attention to ordinary Americans and responds only to the wishes of a relatively small number of powerful corporations and individuals.”

Particularly troubling to Adelman were Roberts’ handling of cases involving voting rights, cases he characterized as “direct assaults on democracy.”

Further, Adelman contends that cases like Citizens United have “weaponized the First Amendment” on behalf of those with means.

As far as he’s concerned, such decisions “increased the economic and political power of corporations and wealthy individuals and reduced that of ordinary Americans and entities which represent them.”

And while many Republicans were incensed by Roberts’ 2012 vote to uphold Obamacare, Adelman even found elements of that ruling to quarrel with as well. In his mind, the ruling “thwarted Congress’ efforts to address one of the most serious problems that the poor face, the lack of health insurance” by striking down Medicaid expansion.

Republicans compared to slave owners

At one point in the piece, the 80-year-old judge took a break from attacking Roberts and went on the warpath against Senate Republicans for their blocking of Merrick Garland’s 2016 SCOTUS nomination.

President Barack Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court just before leaving office, a nomination that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to consider. Adelman compared this to the tactics of 19th Century slavery advocates.

“The zealous partisanship the Republicans displayed in connection with the Garland nomination, as well as judicial appointments generally reminds one of nothing so much as the ‘fire-eaters,’ those fervent defenders of slavery who pushed the South into the Civil War,” he insisted. Wow.

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