Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy criticized Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday for casting the deciding vote in a Louisiana abortion case.
Roberts voted with the court’s liberal bloc Monday in a 5-4 ruling that struck down a pro-life law in Louisiana on the grounds that it violates the rights of abortion providers and women.
“The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons,” Roberts wrote for the majority. “Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”
“The process bothers me as much as the result,” Kennedy told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum on “The Story.” “The chief justice today joined with the four liberals on the court to strike down the Louisiana statute. Four years ago in a case out of Texas, same statute, same issue, the chief justice voted with the conservatives. Today he voted with the liberals. He changed his vote. He flip-flopped. He flip-flopped like a banked catfish, and that’s why I say the process worries me as much as the result.”
The Louisiana senator lamented that people increasingly think that judges have “become nothing but politicians in robes.”
“Now the chief justice famously says all the time that he is just an umpire,” he said. “All he does is call balls and strikes. Well, four years ago he called a ball. Today, same pitch, he called a strike. And I don’t know what else to say. He just changed his vote with no explanation.”
“Are you concerned as other conservatives like you are that this court is overall not as conservative as the presidents who chose these justices might have thought?” MacCallum asked. (RELATED: ‘He’s A Disgrace’: Conservatives Turn On Chief Justice Roberts)
“Well, the point is that the law is not supposed to be politics practiced a different way,” Kennedy responded. “You’ve got to be consistent. And this to me is one more example of why the issue of abortion should not be in the court system. It ought to be in front of state legislatures and the United States Congress. Nobody in their right mind believes that in 1787 when the people voted or the drafters drafted the Constitution and the people voted on the Constitution that they intended to include the right to an abortion.”