Skip to comments.Obama Wins the Battle, Roberts Wins the War
Posted on 06/28/2012 12:15:09 PM PDT by Lorianne
The chief justices canny move to uphold the Affordable Care Act while gutting the Commerce Clause.
The scholars expected to see the court gut existing Commerce Clause ...
Roberts was smarter than that. By ruling that the individual mandate was permissible as a tax, he joined the Democratic appointees to uphold the lawwhile joining the Republican wing to gut the Commerce Clause (and push back against the necessary-and-proper clause as well). Here's the Chief Justice's opinion (italics in original):
Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congresss power to regulate Commerce.
The business about "new and potentially vast" authority is a fig leaf. This is a substantial rollback of Congress' regulatory powers, and the chief justice knows it. It is what Roberts has been pursuing ever since he signed up with the Federalist Society. In 2005, Sen. Barack Obama spoke in opposition to Roberts' nomination, saying he did not trust his political philosophy on tough questions such as "whether the Commerce Clause empowers Congress to speak on those issues of broad national concern that may be only tangentially related to what is easily defined as interstate commerce." Today, Roberts did what Obama predicted he would do.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
We will need 61 CONSERVATIVE senators to do anything about this. I don’t know how old you are but that won’t happen in my lifetime.
I’ve never double posted in my life.
Truly an unprecedented day.
What if the government attempts to use this power to force people to do things against their health or conscience? If you don't behave the way the government wants in every sphere of life, you get taxed. If you don't support, if you don't buy cuban cigars, or don't support abortion, then you get taxed because some lobbyists in Congress have persuaded Congress to put a tax on these behaviors. Already under Obamacare we see a moral difficulty being presented to many Americans, since all Americans are being forced to buy insurance, and insurance companies are being required to provide abortions or Contraceptives to all of their customers by the government, this then forces all Americans to subsidize abortion under the HHS mandate which is a violation of many Americans moral and religious beliefs.
I’m not sure Roberts even read the law. He read the newspapers and ruled based on what the NY Times said.
Congressional taxing power has always been unlimited - that's the point Roberts is making. Congress has always had the power to pass taxes - including those on non-activity.
And yet, for 225 years, they never thought to do so, because it would mean certain loss. But now, inadvertently, and over loud protestations to the contrary, Congress has been deemed to have passed on a tax on non-activity.
Even better, it's horribly non-progressive. Rich, middle, poor & homeless are all liable for the same tax. Wait until the 20% who are currently on SNAP and/or receiving EBT cards are on the hook for thousands $ each year. Or the millions of illegals who get away scot free in the cash economy.
But wait, it's gets even better: the DHS cannot unilaterally issue waivers on taxes to favored groups like unions, churches, etc. Nope, this baby is now in the hands of the IRS - the most oppressive TLA besides the TSA.
Roberts just did us a favor by making every person, even the most egregious member of the FSA, now on the hook for an enormous personal tax. How are they gonna react?
So what you are both saying is the SCOTUS has no purpose.
Legislators name their own acts. It wasn’t the media that dubbed it the “Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act” that was the name it was passed and signed under.
But I agree with the point your are making. That is why I called “the Patriot Act” the “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel Act”. Who doesn’t like the name? Who is against patriotism?
I imagine some time in the future there might well be a “Defense of Motherhood and Apple Pie for America Act” or some such idiocy.
What is in a name? An Act by any other name would smell just as putrid.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Roberts decided firmly with the Statists against Liberty and against our Constitution.
You need to think about the administrative state. It is vast and growing daily. There are nearly 300,000 people who's sole job is to implement this monstrosity.
They aren't going away. Their power and size will only increase over time. It is the nature of States to grow and consume the wealth of others.
Any rationalization of Robert's position is naive.
The power no longer lies with the people. That is now a fiction. True power lies in a growing sadistic bureaucracy that infest all local, state and federal governments.
The only thing to stop the growing soft tyranny is a total collapse of our civilization. There is no longer a way to "legislate" our way back to Liberty.
Well said! Thanks for your voice of reason.
To many power brokers want socialized medicine.
Well, if we are going to live in a “any and all taxes are fair game” system, then I’m going to have to go stealth and defend my personal finances against the thieves. I used to have a moral objection to tax cheating; I now no longer feel that way.
From Roberts ruling:
"Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nations elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."
In other words, you (the people) elected the fools who passed this travesty of a tax/notatax/healthcare bill. You fix the mess by voting them out!
In the meantime, he protected the sovereign rights of the people by limiting the expansion of the commerce clause.
If you really want to be Originalist, you have to go back before Marbury. And before Marbury, SCOTUS had little purpose.
Would you prefer a stronger SCOTUS....or a weaker one?
“WHO put them in Congress? .... it wasn’t Roberts. If folks who respected the Constitution & truly had America’s best interests (not their own i.e. re-election for power & goodies) were elected to Congress, Obamacare would not have seen the light of day & we never would have gotten to this point. It isn’t Bush’s fault or Robert’s fault, it is OUR fault for continuing to elect this trash and then putting up with it when we don’t like what they are doing.”
Well said! I’m so tired of hearing people say I’m going to vote for him because his dad was such a good rep or senator or whatever, they don’t look at what the person really stands for and how they handle the job. I guess I’m po’d and running everything together. I don’t care if it’s my brother, elected office like welfare was not intended to be a profession, just a short term job with no benefits.
You and I are in agreement.
Let us suffer the slings and arrows together.
Complete utter BS! He could have kille dthe entire thing, but chose not to. Period. We are screwed.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but having defined it as a tax, Roberts ensured conservatives would not need a supermajority to overturn it.
Plus, Just think of all of the useful soundbites of OMinions swearing up and down it is not a tax.
But I think the Constitutionality of such a tax is still subject to debate - but via the law - one must first PAY the tax to have standing to challenge the tax.
16th Amendment: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Is the 0bamacare tax a tax on income? If a business or individual lost money that year - can they be taxed via a “fine” on income they didn't earn?
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