Justice Roberts seems to be taking a bit of a bashing for wondering why he and his fellow justices should attend State of the Union addresses, or perhaps more specifically for being "troubled" by the atmosphere at those august gatherings.
I have a certain sympathy for his views on this issue, but not because I think justices of the Supreme Court should not attend due to their status. I don't think any person should be present when this yearly ritual is observed, let alone required to attend, and would not be dismayed if it was discontinued. Indeed, I venture to say it should be discontinued.
I confess that I have a tendency to stop listening whenever a politican begins speaking. So, perhaps I'm not well informed regarding these declamations. However, what little I have chanced to hear of them, and what I have read regarding their content, indicate they contain little or nothing of significance, and that they are self-congratulatory, manipulative and silly. If it is intended that during these events the chief executive report to the Congress what actually has transpired in the administration of the nation for the preceding year, it is apparent that this does not take place, or if it does nothing is reported that is not already obvious even to the least intelligent observer of affairs. These speeches are remarkable for what they fail to report.
When one considers the amount of time and effort, not to mention the amount of money, which must be expended in the preparation and performance of these meaningless show pieces, it's impossible not to wish that they were devoted instead to the accomplishment of something useful. Given the technology available at the birth of our glorious Republic, it made sense to have the President report to the Congress in this fashion. It makes no sense now, and would not even if a real report was actually made, or at least attempted.