Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Not Stepping Down, Report False

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 4, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Not Stepping Down, Report False

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 4
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — A rumor that sprang up Thursday and would have severe repercussions for the pro-life movement has quickly been put to rest. Reports indicate Chief Justice John Roberts will not be stepping down just five years after winning Senate confirmation to steer the nation’s most influential court.

The news source Radar claimed it learned exclusively that Roberts would be stepping down "for personal reasons."

Radar quickly retracted the story after it was immediately shot down by numerous Washington sources and news outlets and put a note on its web site saying it "had obtained new information that Justice Roberts will not resign" and "will be staying on the bench."

Radar provided no citation for the claim, but political observers heard from today speculated it may have had something to do with the fact that Roberts, 55, has suffered two seizures — in 1993 and again in 2007.

Although a Time magazine report after the second seizure speculated Roberts may have epilepsy, the Supreme Court said Roberts "fully recovered" and a neurological evaluation "revealed no cause for concern."

Shortly after the false claim made the rounds on the Internet, Fox News reported that sources it has heard from said the Roberts resignation rumor is not true and one well-connected pro-life advocate informed that the rumor is false.

The Drudge Report, the first to highlight the Radar story, said a source it spoke with confirmed, “This is not happening. It’s news to me.”

Conservative writer Ed Morrissey of HotAir said that had the rumor had turned out to be true, "this would be nothing short of an apocalypse for conservatives."

"George Bush appointed Roberts at the age of 50, which gave the Right some comfort in the probability that Roberts would remain on the job for at least a couple of decades. An early retirement would mean a lost opportunity to maintain conservative consistency from the Supreme Court," he said.

Morrissey represents the view of pro-life advocates who believe the coming Supreme Court retirements are likely from the pro-abortion side and that President Barack Obama will replace them with abortion advocates.

"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," Morrissey writes.

The false Roberts resignation rumor reminds pro-life advocates that Obama will very likely have a chance to appoint another Supreme Court justice after already placing pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the high court.

One pro-life leader spoke with believed a high court opening would very likely come sometime this Spring or Summer.

The machinations on the Supreme Court are of monumental importance to the pro-life community because of the wide-ranging effect the court has to abortion and pro-life issues.

The high court paved the way for 52 million abortions with the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions that still stand and still, despite modifications, allow virtually unlimited abortions.

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.