12 Really Nice Things Conservative Republicans Said About Chief Justice John Roberts

Now that Chief Justice John Roberts has authored the Supreme Court’s 5–4 majority opinion upholding the constitutionality of the heart of the Affordable Care Act, some conservatives may be tempted to criticize the George W. Bush appointee.

Here is a sampling of what leading Republicans have said about Roberts after Bush nominated him in 2005. All 55 Republicans voted to confirm Roberts:

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH): “Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito, President Bush’s two successful appointments to the high court, are who we hoped and thought they were — Justices committed to a fair and just interpretation of the Constitution.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “Judge Roberts because his position in a particular case did not mirror a Senator’s personal policy preferences, nor when it comes to a fair process should we require.”


Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): “I’m confident that Chief Justice John Roberts will help restore the Constitutional balance of power between the branches of government. Judge Roberts, I believe, will not attempt to write policy from the bench and will leave legislating to the Congress. …Judge Roberts proved himself during his confirmation hearing to be extraordinarily intelligent, highly-qualified and totally committed to applying the law justly.”

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC):We need a Justice, not a super legislator — a Justice who will rightly interpret our laws, not create laws.”

Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “As we pay tribute to the legacy of former Chief Justice Rehnquist, we see many of the qualities that marked his tenure of excellence mirrored in Judge Roberts. …Judge Roberts brings with him a brilliant legal mind and a profound respect for the Constitution and the Court.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL): “John Roberts’s confirmation was a defeat for the politicization of the courts and the notion that a judge should be an advocate for this or that view.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “An exceptional judge, brilliant legal mind, and a man of outstanding character who understands his profound duty to follow the law.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): “He has proven himself as a judge who applies the law impartially with an eye toward the strict interpretation of the Constitution, rather than legislating from the bench.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “If I have ever seen anybody who deserves being on the Court more than John Roberts, I have to think pretty hard. John Roberts is a fine man.”

Frmr. Sen. George Allen (R-VA): “I found Judge Roberts to be a well-grounded individual whom I believe understands that the proper role of a judge is to apply the law and not invent it. I am confident he will be an outstanding member of the Supreme Court who will be a responsible and influential voice for years to come.”

Frmr Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA): “I can think of no one more qualified and worthy to fulfill the role of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court than Judge Roberts.” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “I believe that at his hearing last week, Judge Roberts demonstrated that he will be fair and open-minded, and will approach cases without bias and without a personal agenda. This is the kind of judge that everyone — both liberals and conservatives alike — wants on the bench.”

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Mitt Romney’s website reads: “As president, Mitt will nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts”