Federal law mandates that U.S. Supreme Court justices “shall disqualify” themselves from cases if their impartiality might “reasonably be questioned.” But with no enforcement mechanism, the justices can make the decision to disqualify, or recuse themselves however they wish. They sit on cases despite apparent bias, and that decision cannot be challenged.

Against this backdrop, it’s critical that Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. steer his baldly partisan court away from hearing and deciding cases directly tied to the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election.