Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday defended the Supreme Court’s legitimacy amid backlash over its abortion ruling, The Associated Press reports.
Roberts in his first public appearance since the court overturned Roe v. Wade expressed dismay that critics of the court’s decision have attacked its credibility.
“If the court doesn’t retain its legitimate function of interpreting the constitution, I’m not sure who would take up that mantle. You don’t want the political branches telling you what the law is, and you don’t want public opinion to be the guide about what the appropriate decision is,” Roberts said during an appearance at a judicial conference in Colorado Springs.
Gorsuch pushes probe:
Roberts said it was “gut-wrenching” to drive into the Supreme Court through barricades after they were installed following the leak of the draft opinion in the Dobbs case.
Justice Neil Gorsuch at the same conference said that it was “terribly important” to find the leaker.
Gorsuch condemned the leak, as have other justices who have addressed it publicly.
“Improper efforts to influence judicial decision-making, from whatever side, from whomever, are a threat to the judicial decision-making process,” Gorsuch said.
Supreme Court support plummets:
The comments came as the Supreme Court’s poll numbers continue to plummet after the abortion ruling.
A Gallup poll conducted last month found the Supreme Court’s approval rating at just 43%.
The court’s approval rating fell 23 points among Democrats to just 13%.
Republicans, however, saw a 29-point surge in the court’s approval rating, rising to 72%.