John Roberts stood in the defense of the Supreme Court's legitimacy during a Friday speech, per CNN.
Roberts said the legitimacy of the court shouldn't be questioned due to disagreements on rulings.
The high court during its previous term voted to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Supreme Court Justice John Roberts on Friday stood firmly in defense of the high court's legitimacy, opining that disagreeing with particular decisions is not sufficient grounds for questioning its judicial role — a pronouncement that carried additional weight after the court earlier this summer overturned Roe v. Wade.
Roberts, without delving into the nationwide protests that accompanied the court tossing decades of precedent regarding abortion, revealed that it was "gut-wrenching" to have to come to a barricaded Supreme Court building, according to CNN.
But while he said that the court's decisions are certainly fair game for criticism, he said that "simply because people disagree with opinions, is not a basis for questioning the legitimacy of the court," arguing that the court is not a political body and cannot be guided or driven by voter sentiments.
Roberts, who has served as the court's chief justice since 2005, made his comments before judges at the 10th Circuit Bench and Bar Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
During his remarks, Roberts said that the security barricades around the court's building had been removed and also stated that members of the public would be afforded the opportunity to once again observe the court's arguments in-person.
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, who addressed the audience on Thursday, was in attendance for Roberts' remarks.
The chief justice said that the past year had been "difficult in many respects," but added that he and his colleagues were aiming to advance past previous challenges.
"I think just moving forward from things that were unfortunate is the best way to respond," he told the audience, per CNN.
Roberts during his remarks praised his newest colleague, a former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
"She is going to be a wonderful justice," he said of Jackson, who replaced longtime Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.
The new Supreme Court term will commence next month, but Americans are still in many ways digesting rulings from the previous session, which saw the court's 6-3 conservative majority flex its muscle on an array of issues, including abortion and immigration.
No issue dominated the session more than the court's vote to strike down Roe, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States and afforded a constitutional right to the procedure.
Support for abortion rights remains high, with 60% of Americans saying it should be permitted in all or most cases, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey.
However, the upcoming session is set to be just as contentious, with highly-anticipating rulings on cases regarding the use of affirmative action in higher education and voting rights, among others.
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