On Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with their liberal counterparts to deliver a landmark decision about LGBTQ workplace protections. And conservative observers are feeling the keen sting of betrayal.
Some are expressing outrage that the justices broke ideological ranks. Some are declaring the decision the end of President Donald Trump’s reelection prospects. And some are just plain mad.
Carrie Severino, president of Judicial Crisis Network — which spent massive amounts of money to help bolster Trump’s judicial nominees — invoked Justice Antonin Scalia’s memory while impugning his replacement, Gorsuch.
Justice Scalia would be disappointed that his successor has bungled textualism so badly today, for the sake of appealing to college campuses and editorial boards.
This was not judging, this was legislating—a brute force attack on our constitutional system. (1/x)
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) June 15, 2020
Varad Mehta, a historian who has written for conservative outlets like The Federalist and the Washington Examiner, suggested social conservatives would see Trump’s presidency as useless if his Supreme Court appointees don’t maintain partisan orthodoxy.
The whole point of the Federalist Society judicial project, the whole point of electing Trump to implement it, was to deliver Supreme Court victories to social conservatives. If they can't deliver anything that basic, there's no point for either. The damage is incalculable.
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) June 15, 2020
Erick Erikson, the conservative blogger and radio host, also prophesied the death of Trump’s reelection chances.
All those evangelicals who sided with Trump in 2016 to protect them from the cultural currents, just found their excuse to stay home in 2020 thank to Trump’s Supreme Court picks.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 15, 2020
In a now-deleted tweet, Josh Hammer, conservative opinion editor at Newsweek, accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh of “flaunting his virtue” by congratulating “gays and lesbians” on their win, even while he decided against it.
Daniel Horowitz, senior editor at the Conservative Review, called the decision a “massacre.”
Here we go, the “conservative” scotus codifies transgenderism into…1964 act! 4th massacre of the day at scotus. Gorsuch, Roberts join liberals in majority. I opposed both Trump nominees and i was right. What a pathetic movement. What a fraud. Thats real originalism there.
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) June 15, 2020
Conservative Notre Dame professor Patrick Deneen labeled Gorsuch and Roberts fake social conservatives.
Remind me again why progressives so fiercely oppose Republican judicial nominees? They should know by now that their allegiance to their class will always trump any purported social conservatism.
— Patrick Deneen (@PatrickDeneen) June 15, 2020
Rod Dreher, senior editor at the American Conservative, called the newfound consequences for churches that discriminate against LGBTQ people a “loss” for religious conservatives.
Thanks to two GOP appointees — Roberts and Gorsuch — churches and schools that discriminate against LGBTs stand at risk of losing tax-exempt status, per the Bob Jones ruling. Hard to overstate the magnitude of this loss for religious conservatives.
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) June 15, 2020
And on Fox News … not much. After a quick hit on the news, with legal analyst Andrew Napolitano voicing the concern that decisions like this could become a “slippery slope,” and a question about it for Kellyanne Conway, the channel hasn’t been covering the decision.