Chief Justice John Roberts says barricaded Supreme Court was ‘heartbreaking’ to watch


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Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday defended the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and said he was pained to see the public prevented from approaching the court, which he said would soon change.

“It was heartbreaking every morning to walk into a Supreme Court surrounded by barricades,” Roberts said at the 10th Circuit Bench and Bar Conference in Colorado Spring, Colo., on Friday.

Roberts described the past year as unusual and difficult, pointing out that the public was not allowed inside the court, which was closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and closed in May when protests broke out outside the court and outside. the homes of some Supreme Court justices. after the unprecedented leak of a document suggesting that the court was about to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Barriers have fallen around the Supreme Court and Roberts says the public will be welcome when the new session begins in October.

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Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is seen before President Biden delivers his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on March 1, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
(Julia Nikhinson-Pool/Getty Images)

Roberts did not provide an update on the investigation he launched earlier this year into the identity of the individual who leaked the draft opinion that caused a storm in the abortion debate, but Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said at the same conference that he expects a resolution. soon.

“The Chief Justice has appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said. “This committee has been busy, and we look forward to their report, hopefully soon.”

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Protesters gather following the ruling overturning Roe v.  Wade before the United States Supreme Court on June 25, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Protesters gather following the ruling overturning Roe v. Wade before the United States Supreme Court on June 25, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Gorsuch added that it is “extremely important” to identify the funder.

“Inappropriate efforts to influence judicial decision-making, from any side, from anyone, pose a threat to the judicial decision-making process,” Gorsuch said.

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Not to mention the controversial decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Roberts expressed dismay at those who questioned the court’s legitimacy in response to rulings they might disagree with.

Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States

Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States
(AP)

“If the court doesn’t retain its legitimate function of interpreting the constitution, I don’t know who would take on that role,” Roberts said. “You don’t want political branches telling you what the law is, and you don’t want public opinion to be the guide to the proper decision.”

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Associated Press contributed to this report


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