John Roberts jokes about vacationing on an ‘impregnable island fortress’

Chief Justice John Roberts joked Friday that he’ll head to an “impregnable island fortress” now that the Supreme Court has wrapped up its session.

His remarks come a day after the he delivered the decisive vote to uphold President Obama’s signature healthcare law. He was the swing vote in the case.

{mosads}Roberts was appearing on a panel at a judicial conference in Pennsylvania on Friday, and Chief Judge David Sentelle of the D.C. District Court asked if he planned to head “to Disney World” now that the court had adjourned.

The Chief Justice explained that, in fact, he planned to teach a class for two weeks in Malta, the isolated island nation just south of Italy.

“Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea,” Roberts quipped, according to the Associated Press. 

The remark drew laughter from the 300-odd judges and attorneys in attendance at the conference, held about an hour south of Pittsburgh.

Roberts was only indirectly asked about the court’s monumental ruling Thursday, and in those instances deferred comment. But Roberts did say he wasn’t bothered that he couldn’t respond to critics of the court’s decisions.

Roberts has come under fire from conservative politicians critical of his decision to side with the court’s liberals on the high profile healthcare case.

“I think a lot of Chief Justice Roberts. I think his whole history of jurisprudence is deserving of respect from this country — up to, and not necessarily including, this opinion today,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told Salon on Thursday. 


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