Recall that Richard Posner was a Reagan appointee to the federal bench. However, he recently has made news by the way he spoke out against SJC Justice Scalia's appallingly partisan words after the Court knocked down most of Arizona's draconian anti immigration law SB 1073. Now he is warning conservatives that their attacks on John Roberts may well backfire:
"A conservative federal judge appointed by Ronald Reagan said in an interview published Thursday that the Republican Party has gone “goofy” and that “these right-wingers who are blasting [Chief Justice John] Roberts are making a very serious mistake.”
“I mean, what would you do if you were Roberts?” Judge Richard Posner, of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, told NPR. “All of a sudden you find out that the people that you thought were your friends have turned against you, they despise you, they mistreat you, they leak to the press, what do you do? Do you become more conservative? Or do you say, ‘What am I doing with this crowd of lunatics?’”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78182.html#ixzz204rJQaKJ
This is a very interesting point. The implication of all the attacks on Roberts is that they are calculated to force him back into the conservative fold never to stray again. As Judge Posner suggests, it may well be the opposite. Indeed, he admits that this has happened to him:
"Posner said “there’s been a real deterioration in conservative thinking” over the past 10 years and admitted that his own politics have changed in that time.
“I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy,” he said.
So ironically, if they keep this up this is actually going to make it more likely that Roberts could become another Souter. Actually, even better than Souter is Harry Blackmun-who remembers that he, who wrote Roe v. Wade was originally a conservative Richard Nixon appointee? However, the commotion from the ruling-both the criticism from the Right and the lionization from the Left appealed to him. Roe v Wade became his proudest legacy.