John Roberts faces a new round of legacy-defining turmoil

John Roberts faces a new round of legacy-defining turmoil

By Joan Biskupic, CNN legal analyst & Supreme Court biographer Chief Justice John Roberts faces a new period of Supreme Court turmoil that could define him and his legacy like nothing he confronted in the past 15 years, when he sided with liberals on Obamacare, clashed with President Donald Trump , and presided over an historic impeachment trial. The new Supreme Court session that begins on Monday will determine, among a raft of contentious cases, the future of the Affordable Care Act and insurance coverage for more than 20 million people. More urgently, election-related cases are hurtling toward the court and the chances the justices would become ensnarled in a presidential dispute after November 3 appear high. Some version of the 2000 Bush v. Gore case could play out in a ballot controversy between Republican Trump and Democratic former vice president Joe Biden. At the same time, Senate Republicans want to move swiftly to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, now a federal appeals court judge based in Indiana. The replacement of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18, with hard-core conservative Barrett is likely to destabilize the fragile control Roberts had exercised as the justice at the ideological middle of the bench. The 65-year-old Roberts would soon be negotiating with a solid majority of five justices on his right. The new court makeup would increase the chances of lopsided decisions that belie Roberts’ assertion of an impartial judiciary. With little relief from the coronavirus, […]

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