“Look, we have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States, but Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives,” Pence said. He cited Roberts’s role in upholding the Affordable Care Act and “a spate” of more recent decisions, including one last month in which the court rejected a Nevada church’s request to block the state’s cap on attendees for religious services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think several cases out of the Supreme Court are a reminder of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court,” Pence said. “We remember the issue back in 2016, which I believe loomed large in voters’ decisions between Hillary Clinton and the man who became president of the United States.”
Pence also called the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Louisiana abortion law “a wake-up call for pro-life voters around the country who understand in a very real sense that the destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020.”
He reminded viewers that Trump has pledged to release an updated list of conservatives whom he would consider for Supreme Court openings.
Trump frequently touts his appointments of federal judges — including Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh — as among his first-term accomplishments. Last month, the Senate confirmed Trump’s 200th federal judicial nominee, a milestone that reflects the breakneck speed at which he and fellow Republicans have moved to create a legacy that will endure regardless of the outcome of this year’s elections.
Besides the Louisiana abortion case, Roberts also dismayed conservatives in recent weeks by finding that federal anti-discrimination law protects gay, bisexual and transgender workers and by stopping the president from ending the federal program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
In a 2018 rejoinder to Trump, Roberts notably said that “we do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”