Rumors of Roberts Stepping Down from SCOTUS?

From ctblogger I caught a cross your fingers and hope it is true comment linking to this story:

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Considering Stepping Down

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

, is seriously considering stepping down from the nation’s highest court for personal reasons, has learned exclusively.

Absolutely no sources in the story... Zip. Zero. Nada. But imagine the SCOTUS being taken out of the screwardship of that far right wing activist judges' corporate influenced rule?

[update - CM1] Linkbait? Radaronline updated with:

Update: has obtained new information that Justice Roberts will NOT resign. The justice will be staying on the bench.

No votes yet


On the radar's track record and credibility? From the egg man, Drudge:

SHOCK REPORT: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts May Step Down?


Why would a source "confirmed" non-story be developing? How can it develop beyond that? Maybe the wingnuts will get a statement from their fellow legal lunatic, Justice Roberts, himself?

Has a story up on Roberts' health issues:

Roberts, a staunch conservative, was appointed by President Bush and has served on the court since 2005. While RadarOnline doesn't give a reason for the possible retirement, Roberts, 55, has suffered two seizures, in 2007 and 1993. Time magazine speculated in 2007 that Roberts may have epilepsy.
However, the Supreme Court said after the 2007 seizure that Roberts was
"fully recovered" and a neurological evaluation "revealed no cause for


A spokesperson for the Supreme Court has not yet returned a request for comment from Huffington Post.

which was only the followup UPDATE done by the original site.

1. I am glad I wrote it the way I did. It pays off being cynical about anything written with ZERO sources given.

2. And that is why I would post the rumor but there was no way it was going to the frontpage.

MeteorBlades explains what actually happened yesterday:

But it was all a prank. As Peter Daou subsequently tweeted: 2010 news cycle: Radar story went from nothing to buzz to raging rumor to bust to inside joke to total mockery in an hour.

David Lat over at Above the Law tells the back story in Anatomy of a Rumor. When he read Radar's story, he first checked with some obvious contacts:

One of our SCOTUS experts actually laughed out loud after we
(sheepishly)asked, "Have you heard anything about a possible Roberts
retirement?" This source noted that JGR would sooner die — literally —
than give Obama the chance to appoint his successor.

Then he learned the whole affair had started in a first-year law
class taught by Georgetown University Law Center Prof. Peter Tague.
From a student Lat learned:

Today’s class was partially on the validity of informants not
explaining their sources. [Professor Tague] started off class at around
9 am EST by telling us not to tell anyone, but that we might find it
interesting that tomorrow, Roberts would be announcing his retirement
for health concerns. He refused to tell anyone how he knew. Then, at
around 9:30, he let everyone in on the joke.

Lat continues:

Note the timestamps on the Radar posts. The first one came out at
6:10 a.m., i.e., the Pacific Time equivalent of 9:10 a.m. Eastern time.
The retraction came out at 6:36 a.m., i.e., the Pacific Time equivalent
of 9:36 a.m. Eastern — shortly after Professor Tague let his class in
on the joke.

Whether Tague knew his students were going to IM and text and tweet
his announcement all over wwwLand isn't known since he hasn't responded
to Lat's inquiries. But his point surely got made.

As per my first comment's question - Radaronline's sources are tweets in space. Anything they write needs to be double checked.