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John Roberts, umpire or batter?

From NBC's Mark Murray
With today's Supreme Court's decision -- and especially Chief Justice John Roberts' decision to re-hear a case to broadly challenge a 20-year precedent on campaign finance -- it recalls Roberts' promise at his 2005 confirmation hearing to act like a umpire "to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat."

Yet by re-hearing this case, Roberts clearly stepped into the batter's box.

Here's what he said in 2005:

Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire... I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.