Here's weird. On the night John G Roberts Jr was sworn in as the new SCOTUS chief justice, I dreamt he had been sworn in as president. The next day, I told myself that the reason I so dreamt was because, in the confirmation hearings, I remember thinking that Roberts seemed to have all the attributes of a consummate politician who could easily reach the very top. Despite it being just a dream, I checked the US constitution to see if serving on the Supreme Court barred one from serving in Congress or the executive branch - no mention of it. Now I read this Newsweek article by Eleanor Clift from two weeks ago, and I'm wondering what's going on.
Roberts has led such a charmed life that heading the Supreme Court may not be the end of the road for him. Sid Davis, former Washington bureau chief for NBC news, has a recurring dream that Roberts will become president someday. This is the scenario: Roberts looks like William Holden, a Hollywood leading man when Ronald Reagan was still a B actor. A son of privilege with a Kennedyesque family, he recalls the heady days of Camelot. He’s a man of great intellect, and in about 10 years time, maybe longer, he’ll be bored with the high court, and a Republican Party starved for charisma will draft him to run for president. “I’ve been floating the idea and people think I’m nuts, but I don’t think I’m nuts,” says Davis. It wouldn’t be the first time a Supreme Court justice stepped down to run for president. Charles Evans Hughes resigned as associate justice in 1916 to become the Republican Party’s candidate against Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Hughes lost the election but went on to serve as secretary of State under Republican Presidents Harding and Coolidge. President Herbert Hoover sent him back to the Supreme Court in 1930, this time as chief justice, where he led the opposition to FDR’s New Deal.
If Sid Davis has had recurring dreams about Roberts as president, and I had one, maybe there are more of us out there, glimpsing the future as we sleep.
If Roberts intends moving from SCOTUS to POTUS, how could he possibly make judgements without one eye on the ultimate prize? Wouldn't that take politicizing the bench to a whole new level?