Justice Roberts on The State of The Union
Seen here in this MSNBC article, Justice Roberts discusses the annual State of the Union address and the Supreme Court’s role in attending. He finds that it has become a “political pep rally” and does not see the point of Supreme Court justices attending the speech. What really upset him was that President Obama took out some of his anger with the Citizens United case on the justices in attendance.
Justice Scalia has gone so far as to not even show up anymore. He says that the justices sit there like “bumps on a log.” This is because the justices are supposed to be non-partisan and find it difficult to mute their feelings during the speech. The highly partisan event places them in the uncomfortable position of having to pretend to be non-partisan when they in fact have feelings on the issues being presented. Justice Alito recently dealt with this issue firsthand. While President Obama chided the Citizens United decision, Justice Alito shook his head and mouthed the words “not true”. This was replayed multiple times the next day in the media. It seems the justices feel it is easier to not show up at all then to show up and be stone-faced.