September 26, 2012 |
After just two days of monitoring a wiretap on a Philadelphia power broker's phone, FBI agent John Roberts knew he was working a huge case. He heard Ronald A. White, one of then-Mayor John F. Street's closest advisers, dictating to the city's treasurer which contractors should get work on a government financial deal - and which ones should be excluded. "Find something wrong," White ordered, telling the treasurer to dump an already-approved contractor and hire one who fit White's criteria for pay-to-play politics.
July 19, 2012 |
Because of his vote to uphold President Obama's Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice John Roberts is suddenly being hailed for his independence from the conservative bloc he normally votes with on the Supreme Court. In its cover story this week, Time praises Roberts' decision as a "virtuoso performance" and likens him to King Solomon for having achieved a compromise among bitterly divided justices. But a justice from another era puts Roberts in historical perspective. A University of Pennsylvania graduate who was a Philadelphia prosecutor and corporate lawyer before Herbert Hoover appointed him to the high court, Owen Roberts shared a last name but no family relationship with the current chief justice.
July 3, 2012 |
It's the judiciary's Nixon in China: Chief Justice John Roberts joins the liberal wing of the Supreme Court and upholds Obamacare. How? By pulling off one of the great constitutional finesses of all time. He managed to uphold the central conservative argument against Obamacare while at the same time finding a narrow definitional dodge to uphold the law — and thus prevented the court from being seen as having overturned, presumably on political grounds, the signature legislation of this administration.
June 29, 2012
WHEN Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court with liberal justices in an attempt to save his legacy, something extraordinary happened. A conservative justice by the name of Roberts swung to the left on a key decision, thereby preserving a crucial element of the New Deal. Owen Roberts' vote was called the "switch in time that saved nine," the "nine" being the justices already firmly ensconced on the bench. FDR's unconstitutional plan failed. History has forgiven him this trespass, and so it could legitimately be said that Roberts, a Pennsylvania native, saved the president's hide.
June 29, 2012
By Ilya Shapiro The Supreme Court's health-care ruling displayed an unfortunate convergence of two unholy strains of constitutional jurisprudence: liberal activism and conservative pacifism. Liberal activism, typified by the four Democratic-appointed justices, finds in the Constitution no judicially administrable limits on federal power. Conservative pacifism, a knee-jerk reaction to the liberal activism of the 1960s and '70s, argues that we must defer to Congress as much as possible, presuming its legislation to be constitutional.
June 29, 2012 |
In a precedent setting decision that likely will reverberate through election day and beyond, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision Thursday upheld President Obama's health care overhaul including a requirement that all non-exempt Americans buy health insurance. The court said the law's requirement that individual Americans purchase insurance or be subject to a penalty levied by the IRS was constitutional. It also upheld a provision greatly expanding Medicaid, the health care program for the poor jointly financed by the state and federal governments.
March 10, 2012 |
John B. Roberts, 94, founder of the Temple University radio station, WRTI-FM, in 1953 and a teacher of communications at Temple from 1946 to 1988, died Thursday, March 8, of a spinal infection at his home in the retirement community of Rydal Park. Mr. Roberts was also the weekend news anchor at WFIL-TV (Channel 6) from 1952 to 1972, according to the website of Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, which named him its person of the year in 1987. Paul Gluck, a former TV executive now on the Temple faculty, said Friday: "For people like me, who worked as practicing journalists and transitioned into the academic world, he is a near-perfect role model.
April 26, 2010 |
When Justice Sandra Day O'Connor resigned from the Supreme Court in 2005, many commentators predicted a "battle royale" over her replacement. For 10 years, O'Connor had been the swing vote in cases about abortion, affirmative action, states' rights, and nearly everything else. Republicans were determined to shift the court to the right, and Senate Democrats braced to resist them. But by nominating John Roberts to succeed O'Connor (and later to become chief justice), President George W. Bush smothered would-be critics with a candidate of impeccable merit.
April 22, 2009
A reverse-discrimination case involving Connecticut firefighters being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court today may show just how out of sync this court is with the nation's first African American president. Chief Justice John G. Roberts calls affirmative action the "sordid business" of "divvying us up by race. " He prefers to declare the playing field level for everyone, while blithely turning a blind eye to vestiges of discrimination that perpetuate inequality. Racial bias is perhaps nowhere more evident than within some of this nation's municipal fire departments.
September 19, 2008 |
Glancing out at the sea of fans who will inevitably gather around the SPEED Channel stage this weekend at Dover International Speedway, John Roberts will keep one thought in mind. How lucky can a man get? Roberts is the host of a handful of NASCAR-themed shows that telecast seemingly nonstop from every venue visited by stock-car racing's top series, February through November. For a man who "hates" to travel, leaving his wife and three young children at home in Cornelius, N.C., each Thursday for a flight to the next destination, the grind can be particularly grueling.