Vice President Mike Pence described Chief Justice John Roberts as a "disappointment" to conservative voters, explicitly seeking to cast the Supreme Court as a campaign issue ahead of the November election.
"Look, we have great respect for the institution of the Supreme Court of the United States," Pence told the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody on Wednesday. "But Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives — whether it be the Obamacare decision, or whether it be a spate of recent decisions all the way through Calvary Chapel."
The vice president's criticism of the chief justice's jurisprudence comes after Roberts sided with the high court's Democratic appointees on several occasions in recent months, dealing the Trump administration defeats on issues including LGBT workplace discrimination, immigration and abortion.
Roberts, an appointee of President George W. Bush, also joined his Democratic-appointed colleagues two weeks ago when the court rejected a Nevada church's request to block the state's cap on attendees for religious services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pence argued Wednesday that those decisions "are a reminder of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court."
"We remember the issue back in 2016, which I believe loomed large in voters' decisions between Hillary Clinton and the man who would become president of the United States," he said. "And some people thought that it wouldn't be as big an issue these days. But I think that's all changed."