The Senate trial for President Trump’s Impeachment is looming with the potential to begin in the New Year. The bantering back and forth has begun between the leaders of both parties and it doesn’t seem they are going to come to any agreement. Trump has been going crazy on Twitter and the world awaits.
The biggest wild card in this whole game is not the President, which most people would expect, and it is not the members of the Senate who are poised to play the biggest political role of their careers. The biggest wild card is the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts.
Roberts was supposed to be the poster child of the conservative Republican movement when Bush chose him for the role in 2005. However, he lost the respect of many GOP when he famously sided with the Liberal members of the court to uphold Obamacare in the nation’s highest court. Then he hit them hard in the gut by ruling that same sex marriage was a constitutional right.
While still having the credentials of a strict constitutionalist when it comes to judicial interpretation, the Chief Justice has been known to balk against the party that put him in that position and he now holds the cards as the presiding officer of the impeachment trial.
His position will be presiding over the hearings and, while his power is limited, he can still exert influence. “He’s going to be making rulings,” Judge Andrew Napolitano said on Fox News, “but the jurors can overrule him. … The jurors are the senators.” It only takes a simple majority of senators, 51, to overrule any decision Roberts might make.
While it seem unlikely that he will be able to really change the scope of the hearing, it is something that Republicans in the Senate should be worried about. He is only the 17th Chief Justice to serve in American History, and will be only the 3rd to preside over the impeachment of a President. This is a position that is worth exerting the judicial branches power over the other two branches. The nations eyes will be on the trial and with the political showboat that will take place with all the politicians the power of the judiciary could come into play with a wild card like Roberts.
I can guarantee that the Republicans who are planning their full throated defense of the President are terrified of John Roberts getting to run the trial. If he had been faithful in the past to them they would have nothing to worry about, but at this rate and his instances of protecting the judiciary from political hack they are shaking in their boots!