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If Chief Justice Roberts Wants To Legislate, He Ought To Run For Office

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Win McNamee/Pool via AP

Article Three of the Constitution established the judicial branch of government to uphold our founding document and resolve real disputes about it. Period. It does not confer the power to legislate nor to create new law. The court is appointed and not elected by voters, so its jurors can interpret the law, isolated from the ever-moving currents of public opinion.  Yet, it’s this straightforward concept that Chief Justice John Roberts and the liberal Justices on the United States Supreme Court seem to have forgotten. Their role is to uphold our Constitution – not legislate left-wing priorities from the bench – nor should they worry about the Chief Justice’s or the Court’s reputation or legitimacy in the ebb and flow of public opinion. 


The first in a string of recent disappointing decisions came as Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal activists on the court, who had no problem saving President Obama’s signature legislation, the inaptly named, Affordable Care Act. He has sided with judicial activism and the court liberals on infringing religious freedom, on the Census, on sanctuary city policy and on President Obama’s unconstitutional executive order on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). And on Monday, he sided with liberal activists once again, allowing abortions to be more easily accessible, declaring that the Louisiana law requiring physicians performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges to care for patients for whom complications from the abortion process has endangered the mother too, imposes an “undue burden” on women’s right to abortion. Instead of protecting the unborn and ensuring the safety of mothers, Chief Justice Roberts made another apparent politically-calculated decision to side with the liberals, yet again. 

Each of those decisions is troubling in its own right, but I am particularly troubled by the pattern. These are utter failures to call balls and strikes, as my friend Senator Tom Cotton says. These decisions prioritize activism over upholding the Constitution - the sworn duty of our Supreme Court Justices. These rulings are textbook examples of legislating from the bench.


When Barack Obama was president, he signed an executive order setting aside enforcement of our immigration laws. Reversing that unconstitutional action, President Trump signed an executive order to enforce our immigration the laws. It’s simple - if a President does something via his executive authority, the next President ought to be able to undo it via his executive authority. What “King Obama” said shouldn’t be enshrined by the Supreme Court as the law of the land forever. Period. 

If Chief Justice Roberts wants to legislate so badly, he should step off the bench and run for office. He should have to stand up in front of voters the way I do every day here in Tennessee and make his case.  He should explain to voters why he doesn’t support upholding religious freedom; why he thinks Obamacare should be upheld; why he thinks we should have open borders or sanctuary cities and incentivize illegal immigration; and why he thinks the sanctity of human life shouldn’t be protected.

He won’t, because he can’t. He would never be able to persuade the good people of Tennessee on the merits of any of those radical liberal positions. Tennesseans want representatives who will stand up for religious freedom, fight to repeal and replace Obamacare, stop illegal immigration and build the wall, and protect the right to life. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected Tennessee’s next Senator, that’s exactly what I will do. 


Tennesseans want their Senator to stand with President Donald Trump to confirm good, strong constitutionalist judges and justices who will not legislate from the bench.  That is why we must re-elect Donald Trump and elect a conservative Tennessee Senator who will stand with him to appoint and confirm true constitutionalist jurists on the court. I want to be that Senator for Tennessee.

Any Joe Biden nominee confirmed by a Democrat Senate Majority would get it wrong every time. They would ignore the Constitution and legislate from the bench -- every chance they get.

We must re-elect President Trump - who has already made history with his work to ensure that our judiciary upholds the rule of law. With President Trump in the White House and a Republican Majority in the Senate, we’ve already installed 200 solid constitutionalist judges on the federal bench, including two on the Supreme Court. There’s more to do. We must keep President Trump in the White House and keep the Republican Senate Majority. 

The future of our country for generations to come depends on it. 

Bill Hagerty is running for Senate in Tennessee, with President Trump’s “complete and total” endorsement. Previously, he served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration.


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