Retracted by RadarOnline. Original below the fold.
My first concern would be for the chief’s health, since the only reason mentioned is “personal”, but if this is true, it’s not good news for conservatives. Radar Online has the no-detail exclusive and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air just posted, referring to the Radar Online post
RadarOnline.com just retracted the story. I assume they will come up with some sort of explanation that they had one or two what they thought to be reliable sources, but my guess is their advertisers were getting ticked off at low page view counts. I hope it was worth it. I removed the link from here to RadarOnline, they don’t deserve the traffic.
My suggestion? Start calling RadarOnline at (866) 667-2327 “any time, day or night” and provide them with some really good stories they will have to spend hours verifying. Get two or three friends to call with the same story. Hehehehe. (Just kidding, we certainly do not want to be accused of planting stories ourselves.)
Update: RadarOnline.com has obtained new information that Justice Roberts will NOT resign. The justice will be staying on the bench.
SCOTUSBlog has nothing posted, and the court has nothing going on today, with private conferences scheduled for tomorrow.
Update from Drudge Report…
TOP COURT SOURCE TELLS DRUDGE: ‘THIS IS NOT HAPPENING… NEWS TO ME’… DEVELOPING…
Directly from Radar Online…
John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is seriously considering stepping down from the nation’s highest court for personal reasons, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.
Roberts, known for his conservative judicial philosophy, has served on the Supreme Court since 2005, having been nominated by President George W. Bush after the death of former Chief William Rehnquist.
RadarOnline.com has been told that Roberts, 55, could announce his decision at any time.
The decision paves the way for President Barack Obama to make his second appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court following his first, Sonia Sotomayor.
More than two years ago, I wrote about the pending election for president and how voting for the Republican candidate could help move conservative principles forward during the next three decades. At the time, the liberal wing of the court were a bit older and for that reason only, were more likely to retire within the next four to eight years.
With a Democrat in the White House, I expected the court to remain status-quo concerning ideology, but with a Republican selecting nominees, conservatives would have some hope for the next few years. In February 2008, I wrote…
[R]emember that the president can make decisions that effect the judicial branch for the next 30 years.
The average age of a Supreme Court justice is about 68, and more importantly, five of the eldest six justices are on the liberal side of the court. Stevens (87), Kennedy (72), Souter (69), Ginsburg (75) and Breyer (71), average 75 years of age. Scalia (conservative) is 72, and the three most recent additions – Thomas (60), Alito (58) and Chief Justice Roberts (53) – lean conservative.
If the next president is a liberal, status-quo may continue at SCOTUS, but if we elect a Republican, a more strict judicial interpretation of law may be brought to the court – exactly what we need.
Morrissey and I are on the same page…
Until now, we had considered Obama’s potential SCOTUS appointments more or less as a push. With Stevens approaching 90 and Ginsburg reportedly in poor health, Obama seemed to only have the opportunity to replace liberal justices with equally liberal appointments. If Roberts steps down, it immediately changes the balance of the court. It would take a conservative President years just to reset the balance to today’s status quo.
I’m reminded about the chief’s minor health issues. From Wikipedia…
Chief Justice Roberts suffered a seizure on July 30, 2007, while at his vacation home on Hupper Island off the village of Port Clyde in St. George, Maine. As a result of the seizure he fell five to ten feet on a dock near his house but suffered only minor scrapes. … Doctors called the incident a benign idiopathic seizure, which means there was no obvious physiological cause.
Roberts had suffered a similar seizure in 1993. After this first seizure, Roberts temporarily limited some of his activities, such as driving. According to Senator Arlen Specter, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during Roberts’s nomination to be Chief Justice in 2005, senators were aware of this seizure when they were considering his nomination, but the committee did not think it was significant enough to bring up during his confirmation hearings.