More than ever, this is John Roberts' Supreme Court
4 min read
How much is Chief Justice John Roberts now the center of the US Supreme Court? Consider this: in the term just ended, he was in the majority in all but two cases.
WASHINGTON — How much is Chief Justice John Roberts now the center of the Supreme Court? Consider this: In the term that ended Thursday, he was in the majority in all but two cases. "This term firmly established Roberts as not only the Supreme Court's ideological center but also its judicial center. So many decisions followed his perspective on the law," said Tom Goldstein, a Washington lawyer who argues frequently before the court. Roberts joined fellow conservatives in rulings bolstering religious freedom and presidential power over independent federal agencies. But in the term's headline cases, he cast the deciding votes by joining liberal justices in 5-4 decisions that overturned a state law restricting access to abortion and that blocked the Trump administration from shutting down DACA, which allows young people known as Dreamers to remain in the U.S. Those rulings and others have infuriated the president and some of his supporters. The chief justice was in the majority in 97 percent of the court's decisions this term, his highest percentage since he came to the court 15 years ago, according to statistics compiled by Adam Feldman of SCOTUSblog. He dissented only from the court's 6-3 ruling that said the Constitution requires unanimous verdicts in jury trials for serious crimes and from a 5-4 decision declaring that a Native American tribe has some jurisdiction over a large part of eastern Oklahoma. David Cole, legal director of the ACLU, said Roberts is now the court's most likely swing justice. Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings. This site…