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Tipsheet

Justice Roberts Breaks His Silence Over Threats Against the Supreme Court

(Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

After months of vicious attacks from the left, including an assassination attempt against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh outside of his Maryland home, Chief Justice John Roberts defended the legitimacy of the Court and its decisions at a Colorado 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals conference over the weekend. 

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"If the court doesn’t retain its legitimate function of interpreting the constitution, I’m not sure who would take up that mantle. You don’t want the political branches telling you what the law is, and you don’t want public opinion to be the guide about what the appropriate decision is,” Roberts said during an interview.

Roberts also lamented forced security measures after a draft of the Dobbs decision leaked to the press in May, sparking Antifa linked organization Jane's Revenge to issue threats against conservative justices and to firebomb crisis pregnancy centers around the country. An investigation was launched into who leaked the draft opinion. At this point, a suspect has not been named. 

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George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, who was also a participant in the conference, noted the statement was rare but necessary given the current environment. More specifically, he noted President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have issued personal attacks on the Justices rather than sticking to the substance of their opinions. 

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