For Immediate Release

Contact: Matt Lehrich, Marie Aberger


Never-Before-Reported Data Confirm Highly Partisan Voting Record

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 7, 2019) — A new study released today by Take Back the Court finds that, despite cultivating a moderate reputation, Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts is an activist conservative who will not restrain the McConnell Court. Through original, never-before-reported data, the study proves that Roberts’s voting record is as conservative as those of his most extreme colleagues.

According to Aaron Belkin, director of Take Back the Court and a co-author of the new study, “The data show that Roberts is an extreme, right-wing leader of an extreme, right-wing majority. It is urgent to sound the alarm for those who believe that, following Mitch McConnell's theft of the Court, Roberts will somehow come to the rescue. He will not. Only structural reform can do that.”

Since former Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, Chief Justice Roberts has increasingly been described as a moderate or swing vote. That misperception has led many to believe that Roberts will prevent the Court from becoming too extreme and that he will lead the Court in holding the Trump Administration accountable for gross violations of the law.

Unfortunately, Roberts’s record does not support these beliefs. Today’s study shows that he is just as far to the right as well-known partisan jurists such as Justices Alito, Thomas, Scalia, and Kavanaugh. The new data make clear that Roberts is a right-wing partisan who has spent his entire career promoting the interests of corporations and billionaires at the expense of workers, women, and people of color.


Data in the study show that when it comes to the question of overturning precedent or "settled law," Roberts has one of the most conservative records in the modern era. Roberts has presided over 21 precedent-overturning cases, and voted to overturn precedent in 17 of them (81 percent). In 15 precedent-overturning cases with partisan implications, Roberts voted for conservative outcomes 14 times (93 percent). He is one of only two justices since 1946 to support 100 percent of decisions overturning precedent that led to conservative outcomes.


Read the full study HERE.

About Take Back the Court

The Supreme Court has broken democracy by dismantling the Voting Rights Act, allowing dark money to flood our politics, and approving partisan gerrymandering. The mission of Take Back the Court is to prevent the Court from striking down new laws designed to restore democracy.

Learn more at