“John Roberts again postures as a Solomon who will save our institutions from political controversy and accountability,” Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said in a blistering statement following the ruling.
“If the Chief Justice believes his political judgment is so exquisite, I invite him to resign, travel to Iowa, and get elected. I suspect voters will find his strange views no more compelling than do the principled justices on the Court.”
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, similarly attacked Roberts, criticizing him for once again siding with the liberal justices.
Jordan said in a statement later Thursday that Roberts was “convoluting the law to appease the DC establishment.”
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called Roberts’ decision “lawless” and “contrary to the judicial oath that each of the nine justices has taken.”
The three Republican lawmakers are among the more conservative members of Congress who often follow President Donald Trump’s lead, and the comments suggest a deep displeasure among members of the party with the decision, which comes as a blow to Trump just months before the November election. Though Trump did not publicly criticize Roberts or any other justices by name following the ruling, he blasted the majority opinion in a series of tweets Thursday morning as “politically charged” and said that it “tell(s) you only one thing, we need NEW JUSTICES of the Supreme Court.”
But the decision from the court wasn’t met with harsh criticism from all Republican members of Congress — some simply called for a “legislative solution” to immigration in the wake of the opinion.
And Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska avoided criticizing Roberts directly, instead telling reporters that she’s “not going to say that Judge Roberts is less of a conservative because of his opinion on this.”
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.