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Roberts Would Hold The Gavel, But Not The Power, At Trump Impeachment Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Liz 

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  Posted 09 January 2020 - 03:07 PM

Roberts Would Hold The Gavel, But Not The Power, At Trump Impeachment Trial

The chief justice is likely to punt contentious and political questions to lawmakers

Roll Call
Todd Ruger
Posted Jan 8, 2020 5:00 AM

Excerpt:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over any impeachment trial of President Donald Trump as the Constitution requires, but don’t expect him to make decisions that substantively reshape the action.

Although there is speculation about how active a role Roberts will take in an impeachment trial and whether key witnesses testify, the Senate under past rules has given relatively little authority to the nation’s top judicial figure. And in the areas Roberts might have authority to make rulings, such as questions about whether evidence is relevant, the rules also allow the Senate to call for a vote to overrule him anyway.

Also, past impeachment trial rules, such as those for President Bill Clinton in 1999, give the chief justice the ability to defer making a ruling on his own and instead put a question to a Senate vote.

“All he has to do is look straight at the senators and say, ‘What do you think, boys and girls?’” said Frank O. Bowman III, a law professor at the University of Missouri and author of “High Crimes & Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump.”

“I think there’s substantial likelihood that in any matter of any probable consequence, he’ll do that,” Bowman said.

House impeachment managers who present the case, along with Democratic senators, are almost certain to raise issues that will put Roberts in a tough spot if he were to rule. For example, Democrats are calling for the Senate to hear testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and other Trump administration officials, while Republicans are not interested in allowing that.

That highlights the potential pitfalls for Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee whose instincts as chief justice have been to try to keep the Supreme Court from appearing political or stepping into the role of the political branches. A ruling that sided with Democrats would risk eroding Roberts’ reputation among conservatives, and could be overruled by the Republican majority. A ruling that sided with Republicans would invite criticism that it was politically motivated.

That makes the third path an attractive option: Just stay out of the way and punt the contentious questions to the politicians. In that way, Roberts might be wearing a robe, but his role will be different from a trial judge who is overseeing a criminal case.

*snip*

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#2 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 06:08 PM

I've got something else that he can hold....
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#3 User is offline   pepperonikkid 

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:42 PM

I don’t trust him. Remember who chose the FISA court judges.
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#4 User is offline   pepperonikkid 

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:04 PM

I wonder if Roberts could be called as witness
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