CNN's Toobin: Roberts 'may not be who we thought he was'

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin expressed surprise that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts sided with four liberal justices on three of the biggest cases of the year, saying the George W. Bush appointee "may not be who we thought he was" on Monday.

“Something is going on with John Roberts,” Toobin, CNN's chief legal analyst, said Monday morning. “John Roberts has sided with the liberals now in three of the biggest cases of the year."

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Louisiana abortion law in a 5-4 decision. Roberts previously joined the court's liberal wing in a decision that blocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE's attempt to end legal protections for certain undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.


Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchOVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for 'correction' to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in 'Sharpiegate' incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe Five takeaways from Supreme Court's rulings on Trump tax returns In rueful praise of Elena Kagan: The 'Little Sisters' ruling MORE, a Trump appointee, also voted with liberals on a decision that offered protections to LGBTQ workers.

Roberts declared that "Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents" in a concurring decision.

“The legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike,” Roberts wrote. “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”

Toobin called the Roberts decision an important one. 

“This is an extremely important decision to the lives of women in Louisiana most importantly because it means that Louisiana will not effectively have an abortion ban,” he argued. “But it also is a message to other states that don’t think there are five votes on the Supreme Court now to uphold overturning abortion laws.”

“It is a major decision,” Toobin concluded. “It is a major message that Chief Justice Roberts may not be who we thought he was.”