Over the past few years, many have observed that the federal judiciary seems to wield an enormous — if not far too much — power, which is oftentimes guided by political ideology in the sense that a Democrat-appointed judge is likely to rule according to political leanings.
According to the New York Post, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts wants that to stop, immediately. In his position as the overseer of all federal judges, Roberts warned in his year-end report that “inappropriate political influence” could erode the foundation of the federal court system.
“The Judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence and is crucial to preserving public trust in its work as a separate and co-equal branch of government,” the SCOTUS chief wrote.
He added: “Decisional independence is essential to due process, promoting impartial decision-making, free from political or other extraneous influence.”
As Fox News reported, Roberts issued the warning as criticism of the politicization — and weaponization — of the federal courts continues to surge. The fact that so many people know which federal court systems tend to lean left or right is not how the system is intended to work.
In addition to his warning, Roberts also touched on some of the scandals and ethics concerns that federal courts have been criticized over, including a report from last year that revealed some 131 federal judges presided over cases in which they had some level of financial interest.
“Collectively, our ethics training programs need to be more rigorous,” Roberts wrote.
A Wall Street Journal reporter broke the story, revealing that there were reportedly 685 ethics violations committed by federal judges in just a nine-year period.
The chief justice also announced a proposal to adopt “new protections” regarding instances of sexual harassment allegedly committed by federal judges across the country, in an attempt to fix what Roberts called “inappropriate behavior in the judicial workplace.”
What Roberts didn’t say
Interestingly, the SCOTUS chief didn’t mention President Joe Biden’s commission tasked with studying several reforms to the high court, including the possibility of “packing” the court with more judges to balance out the political power.
The commission, which is made up of academics and lawyers, haven’t made any formal recommendations, however, they entertained the idea of adding term limits for SCOTUS justices, and considered the possibility of adding more judges to the high bench.
It would behoove Roberts to regain control over the Supreme Court, as according to a recent Monmouth University poll, the high court is experiencing low approval ratings, at only 42%.