Mitt Romney suggested in a Wednesday interview he would no longer nominate a judge like John Roberts, now that the U.S. chief justice has cast the deciding vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
On his campaign website, Romney states that as president he “will nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.” But apparently Roberts no longer makes the cut.
CBS reporter Jan Crawford asked the Republican nominee if he’d still nominate a justice like the Bush-appointed Roberts, knowing what he knows now.
“Well, I certainly wouldn’t nominate someone who I knew was gonna come out with a decision I violently disagreed with — or vehemently, rather, disagreed with,” Romney said. “And he reached a conclusion I think that was not accurate and not an appropriate conclusion. But that being said, he’s a very bright person and I’d look for individuals that have intelligence and believe in following the Constitution.”
Asked if he’s troubled that Roberts is said to have switched his vote, Romney echoed the criticism — quickly becoming an article of faith on the right — that the chief justice’s vote was cast on the basis of external political pressure.
“Well, it gives the impression that the decision was made not based upon constitutional foundation, but instead political consideration about the relationship between the branches of government,” Romney said. “But we won’t really know the answers to those things until the justice himself speaks out, maybe sometime in history.”
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.