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Vice President Mike Pence has called out Chief Justice John Roberts as a “disappointment to conservatives” in a rare criticism of a US Supreme Court judge.

Mr Pence made the remarks during an interview with told Christian Broadcast Network’s David Brody, who asked if Mr Pence was “scratching his head” over Chief Justice Roberts as a “reliable vote”.

“Look, we have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States, but Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives,“ Mr Pence said.

Chief Justice Roberts has sided with liberal justices and consequently against the administration on several cases throughout this term such as rights for LGBT+ workers, immigration, and abortion.

The judge also voted against Nevada church’s request to block the state’s cap on attendees for religious services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think several cases out of the Supreme Court are a reminder of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court,” Mr Pence continued.

Mr Pence criticised Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to shoot down a restrictive Louisiana abortion law, joining the four liberal judges as the crucial deciding vote.

If the law had passed, it would’ve required for abortion clinic doctors to get privileges at a local hospital – a requirement that would’ve strictly limited the number of abortion clinics available in the state.

“I think its been a wakeup call for pro-life voters around the country who understand in a very real sense the destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020,” Mr Pence said.

Mixed views emerged on social media following the vice president’s comments with many pointing out that judges should not serve a political agenda.

“Mike Pence’s open criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts merely reflects the wider conservative stance: they don’t want a fair, nuanced Supreme Court,” Charlotte Clymer, a writer and LGBT+ advocate tweeted.

“They want a sledgehammer of conservative ideology that bludgeons out all opposition. Anything less is a betrayal.”

Some conservatives echoed the same sentiments as Mr Pence, insisting that judges should work to confirm constitutionalist judges.

“If Chief Justice Roberts wants to legislate so badly, he should step off the bench and run for office. When I get to the Senate, I will work to confirm constitutionalist judges who will uphold the rule of law”, Bill Hagerty, conservative US Senate candidate tweeted.

Mr Pence concluded that the “destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020” and that Mr Trump will “keep his word and appoint more principled conservatives to our court” if elected to a second term.



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