Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Supreme Court’s Democrat-appointed justices in a 5–4 decision Thursday that blocked President Donald Trump’s ongoing effort to rescind former President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Needless to say, Republicans were greatly disappointed by the decision — and GOP Sen. Tom Cotton (AR) went so far as to declare that Roberts should resign from the high court and run for office if he wants to flex his political muscles, The Daily Caller reported.
Cotton: Resign and “get elected”
Cotton, among countless others, took issue with Roberts’ refusal to address the merits of the case — which would inevitably lead to the conclusion that DACA was unlawful and should be rescinded.
Instead, Roberts and the court’s four left-leaning justices blocked Trump on procedural grounds, while essentially kicking the matter back down to the Department of Homeland Security to try again from scratch.
In a statement Tuesday, Cotton decried this move on grounds that echoed a dissent authored by Justice Clarence Thomas: the Supreme Court shouldn’t set a precedent allowing presidents to unilaterally impose executive orders that can’t be undone by future executive action — or, apparently, by the court system.
“It cannot be the law that what Barack Obama has unlawfully done, no president may undo,” Cotton wrote, according to the Daily Caller. “Yet John Roberts again postures as a Solomon who will save our institutions from political controversy and accountability.”
The senator added: “If the Chief Justice believes his political judgment is so exquisite, I invite him to resign, travel to Iowa, and get elected. I suspect voters will find his strange views no more compelling than do the principled justices on the Court.”
Sen. Cotton reiterated his point later Thursday in an appearance with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“Chief Justice Roberts time and time again has elevated his idea of protecting the institutional integrity of the Supreme Court over following the rule of law,” Cotton told Hannity in a clip later shared to the senator’s Twitter page. Take a look:
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) June 19, 2020
“Clarence Thomas and other justices made it clear in their dissents that the law cannot be that what Barack Obama has done, Donald Trump and no other president can undo,” Cotton contended. “There cannot be two sets of rules allowing Barack Obama to issue decrees by memo and forcing Donald Trump or other Republican presidents to jump through all kinds of legal hoops to undo those decrees.”
Sen. Cotton is absolutely right: if Chief Justice Roberts wants to play partisan political games, he needs to take off his black robe and descend from the high bench. Double standards won’t fly on the nation’s highest court.