Chief Justice John Roberts did not like Michael Jackson. The New York Times‘ Caucus blog dug up some old memos Roberts wrote while he was working for the White House Counsel’s office during the Reagan administration. In a memo criticizing a proposal to invite Michael and his brothers to the White House, Roberts wrote:
I hate to sound like one of Mr. Jackson’s records, constantly repeating the same refrain, but I recommend that we not approve this letter…. In today’s Post there were already reports that some youngsters were turning away from Mr. Jackson in favor of a newcomer who goes by the name “Prince,” and is apparently planning a Washington concert. Will he receive a Presidential letter? How will we decide which performers do and which do not?
There’s some evidence that Justice Roberts may have been pulling for a different performer. Consider this, from another memo:
Why, for example, was no letter sent to Mr. Bruce Springsteen, whose patriotic tour recently visited the area?
Why, indeed? The music of the future governor of New Jersey was famously embraced by Reagan during the 1984 presidential election campaign. On a related note, President Obama regularly invites musicians to the White House: Stevie Wonder, for example, has already performed there.