Think back to the framers who drafted the Constitution. These were people who literally risked everything to gain the right to govern themselves, certainly risked all their material well-being and risked their lives in the struggle for independence. And the thought that the first thing they would do when they got around to drafting a Constitution would be to say, ‘Let’s take all the hard issues in our society and let’s turn them over to nine unelected people who aren’t politically accountable and let them decide,’ that would have been the farthest thing from their mind.I have enormous respect for the authority carried by the people across the street in Congress. Hundreds of thousands of people, millions of people have voted for them and put their confidence in their judgment. Not a single person has voted for me and if we don’t like what the people in Congress do, we can get rid of them, and if you don’t like what I do, it’s kind of too bad. And that is, to me, an important constraint. It means that I’m not there to make a judgment based on my personal policy preferences or my political preferences. The only reason I’m protected from those political pressures is because I’m supposed to make a decision based on the law. And so I don’t think it would be a good idea to turn all the hard issues over to the courts. Those hard issues belong in Congress, they belong in the Executive Branch.The courts have the responsibility to make sure both of those branches abide by the legal limits in the Constitution, but that’s it.
Chief Justice Roberts: What would the founders have thought?