Criminal Law and Justice

The Chief: Will a Swing Vote Change the Future of the Supreme Court?

October 18, 2019  • Aspen Ideas to Go

The Supreme Court will take up contentious issues like gay rights, health care, abortion, and DACA this term, which kicked off Monday. The outcome of these cases may hinge on one vote — from Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts is at the center of the Court not just because he’s Chief but because he’s a swing vote. Joan Biskupic, author of The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts, says Roberts wrestles with two competing impulses: his strong commitment to certain conservative principles and his concern for the institutional legitimacy of the Court. Biskupic speaks with Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, about the dynamic of the Court and Roberts’ great influence on it — inside and outside the courtroom.

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