Practically everyone with a blog has weighed in with an opinion on why John Roberts ruled on Obamacare as he did. Some pundits have been very down on Roberts, looking at his decision in the worst possible light – “perhaps Justice Roberts yearned to be the cool guy at D.C. cocktail parties” while others have deemed his ruling pure genius – even payback for Obama’s “numerous, ill-advised and childish insults directed toward SCOTUS.”
As Teresa Koch says,
“While all of the liberals are whooping it up and celebrating their “win”, they have lost sight of one very important thing:
The Supreme Court’s ruling gave them nothing.
In fact, in ruling the way that he did, Chief Justice Roberts may have, indeed, been playing 11th-dimension chess with someone who doesn’t appear to be able to see any further than his own naked ambition.”
Another school of thought, as voiced by Charles Krauhammer is that John Roberts, concerned that the Supreme Court would be perceived as partisan and political if it struck down the entire law in a 5 to 4 decision, upheld it, but on the most narrow of grounds; “Supreme Court’s reputation for neutrality maintained. Commerce clause contained, constitutional principle of enumerated powers reaffirmed.”
But according to Mark Levin, Roberts’ political, split decision was unnecessary, as the law is hugely unpopular with the public. He eviscerated the ruling, calling it“lawless”, and “a brutal assault on individual sovereignty….We had four justices, including Kennedy who wanted to throw the entire thing out. The Chief Justice saved it. We can repeal ObamaCare, but how do we fix the Constitution now that it’s been abused….again!”
The damage to the Constitution not withstanding, Maggie Thurber makes a good point on how the decision works in our favor:
If the law is a tax, it’s constitutional because Congress has the legal authority to tax. Whether they should or not is political matter, not a constitutional one for the court. But, as a result of the decision, we now have an individual mandate that is a half trillion dollar tax hike on the middle class.
If the law is NOT a tax, then it’s unconstitutional because they have no other authority on which to enact it.
Going forward, if anyone wants to claim it’s not a tax, as many Democrats will do in this election year and are already doing, then they are admitting the unconstitutionality of the law.
It’s either a tax or it’s unconstitutional – they cannot have it both ways. And we cannot let them get away with pretending anything else.
Alexa Shrugs found CBS’s leaked report about Roberts’ change of opinion to be particularly disturbing:
Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the court when issues are pending (and avoid some publications altogether, such as The New York Times). They’ve explained that they don’t want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.
But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As chief justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the court, and he also is sensitive to how the court is perceived by the public.
There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the court – and to Roberts’ reputation – if the court were to strike down the mandate. Leading politicians, including the president himself, had expressed confidence the mandate would be upheld.The courts are supposed to be independent and above politics. The notion that the President, the head of a competing branch of government, could browbeat the court into a decision is especially galling. Not to mention the blackmail from the mainstream media and liberal elites, threatening the legitimacy of the court based solely on the outcome of the decision. The fact that a chief justice could be influenced by these external forces is shameful and unbecoming of the prestigious position he holds.
I can’t help but think such a chief justice is unfit for the role. His duty is to the Constitution, not to his own legacy, not to Congress or the President, and not to the perceptions of the Supreme Court.
Ace expressed every conservative’s worst nightmare, one in which I don’t necessarily agree:
He wrote an opinion to get Loved by All the Right People. Well, he has that now, and furthermore, All the Right People are the only people who love him. The wrong people don’t love him any longer. So where do you imagine a weak, affirmation-seeking man would go next?
I think we just saw the birthing of a 5-4 liberal majority, something that will only be undone if a Republican president is elected, and gets to choose two (or at least one) more conservative justices.
Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute came closest to expressing my own pique and despair over the ruling by citing a scene from one of my all time favorite movies:
In the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons (an Oscar-winning adaptation of a play about the life of Sir Thomas More), an ambitious young lawyer named Richard Rich perjures himself so that the Crown can secure More’s conviction for treason. (Sir Thomas More was the 16th-century Lord Chancellor of England who refused to sign a letter asking Pope Clement VII to annul King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and resigned rather than take an oath declaring the king to be the head of the Church of England.) Rich is promoted to Attorney General of Wales as a reward. Upon learning of Rich’s connivance, More plaintively asks, “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . but for Wales?”
In short, John Roberts, in refraining from making that hard balls-and-strikes call he discussed at his confirmation hearings, has sold out his legal soul for even less than Wales.
Start the video at the 4:10 mark:
John Nolte put it this way:
Like Jim Jeffords, David Frum, Joe Scarborough, Meghan McCain, and now John Roberts, Parker gave in to the media’s siren song, which goes a little something like this:
They’re wrong about us. We don’t hate you, we don’t hate conservatives. No one’s asking you to stop being conservative. We would never ask that. All we’re asking for is this one thing. And it’s only a little thing, a small thing, a baby step. What harm can it do — this small thing? Who can it hurt? And look at what you get in return. We’ll love you. We’ll adore. We’ll give you affection, acceptance, and stamp your courage into the history books. It’s warm here and there are cookies and before you decide, I want you to sit back, close your eyes, and just imagine what it’s going to feel like to see your name heralded all across the media, academia and beyond…if you’ll just do this one little thing.
Of course, that “one little thing” is always everything, isn’t it? Jeffords tipped the balance in the Senate and overnight Roberts evaporated the most potent criticism of Obama, his incompetence. To this day, Scarborough, Frum, Meggie Mac, and Parker continue to reaffirm the most damaging media-created narratives about conservatives: Palin is dumb, Fox News is extreme, Republicans have sold out to the extreme Right, and of course racism, homophobia, and blah blah blah.
Over the last few months, Obama’s Media Palace Guards weren’t bullying or beating up on Justice Roberts. What they were doing was offering him a deal that he grabbed with both hands. And what you saw and will continue to see is the media fulfilling its end of the deal.
And somewhere out there is another narcissist among us watching how a such “small” betrayal can pay off in such a big way, and swaying back and forth to the sound of the siren’s song
“Why Robert, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world….but for The New York Times?”
Could that really be why he did it? (La Donald thinks so.)
I don’t want to believe that the man would sell out the Constitution for such a vain, self serving reason.
But the alternative reason isn’t any better:
Obama helped launch this pressure by saying it would be inconceivable for the Court to strike down the law. Likely he would have made Supreme Court bashing a centerpiece of his campaign.
Roberts knew he’d have to take the heat. And so, for this reason perhaps, he got out of the kitchen.
|Thanks, now the tea party gets to be the bad guys.|
Via the Right Scoop, here’s an inspiring pep talk from the one and only Bill Whittle.
I don’t know about you, but I needed to hear that.
Jonah Goldberg: Supreme Court didn’t agree with Obama:
Very true, although Obama keeps insisting, otherwise.
Last Thursday, President Obama walked before the cameras and said, “Good afternoon. Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act— the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago. In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on earth — no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.”
A bit later, Obama added, “Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance.”
The casual listener might take Obama to be saying that the Supreme Court agrees with him and that the ruling was a ringing endorsement of what Obama takes to be the core “principles” of ObamaCare.
But that’s not the case, at all.