U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts spoke publicly to criticize President Barack Obama for his State of the Union — calling his reference to the Citizens United “very troubling.” He implicitly denounced the President for allowing the speech to “degenerate to a political pep rally.” Most notably, however, he did not have a single word of objection for fellow conservative Justice Sam Alito for his expression of disagreement during the address. Robert’s Rules of Order now appear to be rather selective in their application.
At the talk at the University of Alabama, Roberts indicated that it was unfair to criticize the Court when justices “according the requirements of protocol – [have] to sit there expressionless.” But, of course, they all did not sit there expressionless, but Roberts does not acknowledge the serious breach of protocol from his colleague who mouthed “not true” and shook his head in disagreement.
Roberts lost considerable credibility with the omission. It is hard to claim to defend tradition when you give a pass to a colleague while lashing out at Democrats and the President.
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