Chief Justice Roberts seemingly compares the Supreme Court’s tumultuous year to Brown v. Board of Education aftermath, stressing ‘the importance of rule by law instead of by mob’
- Chief Justice John Roberts dedicated his 2022 year-end report to calling out threats against judges.
- He said that the courts cannot do their job if they do not feel safe.
- This comes after a tumultuous year for the court after it overturned Roe v. Wade this summer.
In his annual year-end report, Chief Justice John Roberts said that the threats of violence that judges faced in the aftermath of Brown vs. Board of Education should be a lesson in the “importance of rule by law instead of by mob.”
This comes amid threats of violence to Supreme Court justices throughout the year, including a threat to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and public dismay over several decisions made by the courts.
It also comes as many Americans are reeling from the aftermath of one of those decisions, Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 ruling that protected the right to abortion for half a century. The ripple effects included a 10-year-old girl having to go out of state for an abortion after she was denied one in her home state, and for women seeking life-saving medical care in the case of ectopic pregnancies.
Most of Robert’s written statement in the report this year recounted the 1954 case in which the Supreme Court overturned Plessy v. Ferguson — a case enshrining states’ rights to implement segregation based on race — and desegregated schools.
Robert Davies — an Arkansas Judge who ruled against the Governor of Arkansas’s decision to order the Arkansas National Guard to block the entry of nine Black children into a Little Rock school — faced threats of physical violence, according to Roberts, but there were many people that stood by him.
“The law requires every judge to swear an oath to perform his or her work without fear or favor, but we must support judges by ensuring their safety,” he said in the report. “A judicial system cannot and should not live in fear.”
Correction, Jan. 2, 2023: an earlier version of this article misstated the year Brown v. Board was decided. The year the case was decided was 1954, not 1957.
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