Ever notice how the Left lauds conservatives when they side with liberals? That’s the suck of the Washington Swamp.

Roberts has labored for the past 13 years to keep the judiciary branch as a sacrosanct institution, able to rule on the most contentious issues of the day — guns, abortion, health care — without succumbing to the vitriol of presidential and congressional politics. That has sometimes led Roberts to put aside his own conservative conviction, most notably in his 2012 defense of the Affordable Care Act in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

Though he has also sided plenty of times with the court’s conservative bloc, his relative moderation suggests that the umpire imagery of his confirmation hearing was not merely vote-seeking rhetoric. An analysis of his decisions by the polling and politics site FiveThirtyEight even wondered if Roberts was “a secret liberal.”