Mike Pence called out Chief Justice John Roberts by name in a TV interview set to air Thursday, and it wasn't to compliment him. "We have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States but Chief Justice Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives," Pence told Christian broadcaster CBN News, which had asked Pence if he thought Roberts had been a letdown for conservatives. The Hill reports the comments are the first instance in which Pence or Trump has commented specifically on Roberts over his rulings. “I think several cases out of the Supreme Court are reminders of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court,” Pence continued. He offered specifics on cases where Roberts' stance was a letdown, including the 2012 ruling that kept ObamaCare in place.
Pence also flagged two recent cases in which Roberts joined the court's four liberal justices: one involving abortion-clinic doctors in Louisiana, whose admitting privileges at local hospitals were maintained, and a case out of Nevada, where the 50-person cap on the size of church gatherings was upheld. Pence said the Louisiana decision in particular was "a wake up call for pro-life voters around the country who understand in a very real sense that the destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020." Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently the court's oldest member at 87. While the comments mark a first, Fox News reports "Pence has been in what might be described as 'attack mode' in recent days," with other targets including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. (Read more Mike Pence stories.)