Presidential races

Bush questions John Roberts’s appointment to Supreme Court

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush cast doubt during Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate on whether Chief Justice John Roberts should have been confirmed to the Supreme Court.

{mosads}“We need to make sure we have justices with a proven, experienced record of upholding the Constitution. That is what we need. We can’t have — the history in recent past is ‘appoint people that have no experience so you can’t get attacked.’ That makes it harder for people to have confidence they won’t veer off,” he said in a rambling response.

“John Roberts has made some really good decisions, for sure, but he did not have a proven, extensive record that would have made clarity the important thing.”

{mosads}Roberts, who has drawn the ire of many conservatives for two decisions upholding ObamaCare, was nominated by Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, in 2005.

Jeb Bush later said that Roberts is doing a “good job” but that future nominees must have a “long-standing set of rulings that consistently make it clear he’s focused exclusively on upholding the Constitution of the United States, that they won’t use the bench to legislate.”

He pointed out that fellow 2016 hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz — former Texas solicitor general and clerk to former Chief Justice William Rehnquist — had supported Roberts after his appointment.

Cruz admitted that he was wrong to back Roberts, calling it “a mistake” that he regrets.

“I’ve known John Roberts for 20 years, he’s an amazingly talented lawyer, but yes, it was a mistake when he was appointed to the Supreme Court,” Cruz said.

“He’s a good enough lawyer that he knows that during these ObamaCare cases, he changed the statute, he changed the law in order to force that failed law on millions of Americans for a political outcome.”

Cruz slammed both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush for passing on more conservative nominees during their presidencies in favor of more moderate choices who would have a simpler path.

“It wasn’t that the President Bushes wanted to appoint a liberal to the court, it was that it was the easier choice,” he said. “They weren’t willing to spend political capital to put a strong judicial conservative on the court.”

Tags George Bush GOP debate Jeb Bush John Roberts Ted Cruz U.S. Supreme Court

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