What SCOTUS's wall decision says about John Roberts
At least the confused weakling John Roberts didn't stab the Constitution and the President in the back on yesterday's wall funds decision. Too bad he was not as clear-eyed and courageous a few weeks ago, opining on the U.S. Census.
The idea that the Sierra Club, using rogue federal judges, could halt the president from performing his constitutional duty to protect the nation is too absurd for words — even, apparently, for John Roberts. The case presented a stellar opportunity for a severe Supreme Court wood-shedding, of general application, to lawless members of the lower federal court Judiciary. But in the event, we got an anodyne 5-4 ruling that, among other things, the Sierra Club did not have "standing" to bring this suit — i.e., it was not uniquely affected or "aggrieved" by the president's act, which should have been obvious to any competent lawyer or judge.
The main implication of the decision:
It seems John Roberts may not yet have gone full NeverTrump, but for the time being merely wants to hamper the president by keeping him uncertain about whether, and to what extent, the Supreme Court will permit lawless district court judges to restrict the president's constitutional powers.
Looking to November 2020, Roberts, weak, cowardly, treacherous, or all three, is playing to both sides. The Census citizenship question decision, in which Roberts joined the Court's anti-constitutional leftists, and today's leave the president guessing and maintain Roberts's standing with the swamp.
Clearly, the president needs one or two more clear-thinking, constitutionalist Supreme Court judges to protect Executive Branch powers from rogue district court judges who are outbidding each other in ignoring the presidency's co-equal constitutional status.
A strong reprimand, of general application, to the anti-constitutional Lilliputian rebels of the United States district court Judiciary is needed. It might have some restraining effect on their lawlessness. Today's decision on the wall was an inviting opportunity for that, but it did not come. Don't expect it from an occasional 5-4 Supreme Court majority headed by the ambivalent and constitutionally undependable John Roberts, at least not until reinforcements arrive.