Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chief Justice John Roberts: Scene at SOTU “very troubling”

At the last State of the Union address only six of the nine Supreme Court Justices attended, I have a feeling the attendance will be a little lower next time round. During a Q and A session at the University of Alabama, Chief Justice John Roberts was asked his opinion on the Alito incident at the State of the Union.  Roberts said: 
"So I have no problems with that," he said. "On the other hand, there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum.
"The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court — according the requirements of protocol — has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."… 
Roberts told the students he wonders whether justices should attend the speeches.
"I'm not sure why we're there," said Roberts, 
Sounds like Roberts might be channeling his inner Clarence Thomas on this matter.  As I mentioned before on this blog, the State of the Union is really becoming such a childish exercise. It isn’t something that started under Obama either, it was bad under Clinton and Bush as well.

Since partisanship is driving much of the childish behavior, I think it would be better for future presidents to simply give the address from the Oval Office, where there can be no silly standing ovations, cat calls or outbursts.  Let the viewers at home make up their own minds as to whether or not the president is saying anything noteworthy. 

More reactions at Sister Toldjah and Scared Monkeys.


OldSouth said...

I'm not clear on the exact history, but I believe the SOTU was originally delivered in writing to the Congress.

Unfortunately, it was Reagan who began turning the SOTU into a bit of a pep rally/media event, calling out guests in the balcony, using props, etc. He pulled it off with his innate sense of class, which has been sadly lacking since. IMHO, he inadvertently set a bad precedent. Dignity of occasion is a good thing.

The treatment of the Justices by Obama this year was deplorable. I hope they make their point by staying away, unannounced, next year, so that Himself is confronted with empty chairs. It would send a clear message, and leave Our Beloved Leader with some 'splainin' to do.

Great post, thanks for your work.

Right Ideas said...

I can't expect much from this administration when it come to class.

JMK said...

It would be nice to see the SC bypass the next SOTU Address.

Just a conservative girl said...

Would it be legal to address from the oval?

I don't get why the court is there anyway. It seems silly. Also, heaven forbid something did happen, we would be left with no one on the court.

Clifton B said...

Old South:

I think your history is correct, I will double check. I do believe we should return to that method, because today's current crop of politicians are simply not up to the standards of Reagan.

The Justices should sit out the next one. Since all they are allow to do is be window dressing in the middle of a Felini movie.

Clifton B said...

Right Ideas:

This administration has no understanding of the prestige of the presidency. It is like throwing pearls before swine.

Clifton B said...


It might just happen, Thomas and Scalia are already skipping it. If Roberts skips it, the others might just follow.

Clifton B said...

Just a conservative girl:

The SOTU has to be given to Congress, but I don't think it requires the president's actual presence. If I were president, I would fax it to them as the cameras were rolling from the Oval Office.

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