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Chief Justice Robertsís Folly
National Review Online ^ | June 28, 2012 | The Editors

Posted on 06/28/2012 3:46:37 PM PDT by neverdem

In today’s deeply disappointing decision on Obamacare, a majority of the Supreme Court actually got the Constitution mostly right. The Commerce Clause — the part of the Constitution that grants Congress the authority to regulate commerce among the states — does not authorize the federal government to force Americans to buy health insurance. The Court, by a 5–4 margin, refused to join all the august legal experts who insisted that of course it granted that authorization, that only yahoos and Republican partisans could possibly doubt it. It then pretended that this requirement is constitutional anyway, because it is merely an application of the taxing authority. Rarely has the maxim that the power to tax is the power to destroy been so apt, a portion of liberty being the direct object in this case.

What the Court has done is not so much to declare the mandate constitutional as to declare that it is not a mandate at all, any more than the mortgage-interest deduction in the tax code is a mandate to buy a house. Congress would almost surely have been within its constitutional powers to tax the uninsured more than the insured. Very few people doubt that it could, for example, create a tax credit for the purchase of insurance, which would have precisely that effect. But Obamacare, as written, does more than that. The law repeatedly speaks in terms of a “requirement” to buy insurance, it says that individuals “shall” buy it, and it levies a “penalty” on those who refuse. As the conservative dissent points out, these are the hallmarks of a “regulatory penalty, not a tax.”

The law as written also cuts off all federal Medicaid funds for states that decline to expand the program in the ways the lawmakers sought. A majority of the Court, including two of the liberals, found this cut-off unconstitutionally coercive on the states. The Court’s solution was not to invalidate the law or the Medicaid expansion, but to rule that only the extra federal funds devoted to the expansion could be cut off. As the dissenters rightly point out, this solution rewrites the law — and arbitrarily, since Congress could have avoided the constitutional problem in many other ways.

The dissent acknowledges that if an ambiguous law can be read in a way that renders it constitutional, it should be. It distinguishes, though, between construing a law charitably and rewriting it. The latter is what Chief Justice John Roberts has done. If Roberts believes that this tactic avoids damage to the Constitution because it does not stretch the Commerce Clause to justify a mandate, he is mistaken. The Constitution does not give the Court the power to rewrite statutes, and Roberts and his colleagues have therefore done violence to it. If the law has been rendered less constitutionally obnoxious, the Court has rendered itself more so. Chief Justice Roberts cannot justly take pride in this legacy.

The Court has failed to do its duty. Conservatives should not follow its example — which is what they would do if they now gave up the fight against Obamacare. The law, as rewritten by judges, remains incompatible with the country’s tradition of limited government, the future strength of our health-care system, and the nation’s solvency. We are not among those who are convinced that we will be stuck with it forever if the next election goes wrong: The law is also so poorly structured that we think it may well unravel even if put fully into effect. But we would prefer not to take the risk.

It now falls to the Republicans, and especially to Mitt Romney, to make the case for the repeal of the law and for its replacement by something better than either it or the health-care policies that preceded it. Instead of trusting experts to use the federal government’s purchasing power to drive efficiency throughout the health sector — the vain hope of Obamacare’s Medicare-cutting board — they should replace Medicare with a new system in which individuals have incentives to get value for their dollar. Instead of having Washington establish a cartel for the insurance industry, they should give individuals tax credits and the ability to purchase insurance across state lines. Instead of further centralizing the health-care system, in short, they should give individuals more control over their insurance.

Opponents should take heart: The law remains unpopular. Let the president and his partisans ring their bells today, and let us work to make sure that they are wringing their hands come November.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; deathpanels; obamacare; obamacaredecision; obamacaretax; roberts; zerocare
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Is it because Roberts is off his meds, or is it because he's on meds to prevent seizures?
1 posted on 06/28/2012 3:46:43 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Now they can tax us for anything. Will you have to pay a special tax to own a gun? Will there be a special tax to vote? Of course they pick and choose who to tax and for whatever reason there is nothing objective in their methods. They could slap a property tax on just about anything you own. They can even tax you for things you don’t own or choose not to purchase. This is absolute insanity.


2 posted on 06/28/2012 3:51:35 PM PDT by formosa (Formosa)
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To: neverdem
The one argument that Roberts used to justify this disastrous law is the one that makes the least sense.
3 posted on 06/28/2012 3:52:21 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: formosa

Yep, if you don’t but a union made product your screwed.


4 posted on 06/28/2012 3:54:09 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: neverdem

I’m thiking the same thing. Now we can be taxed for not doing or buying something.


5 posted on 06/28/2012 3:54:09 PM PDT by e_castillo (Drill here drill now...)
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To: neverdem

If it is a tax, it’s a Direct Tax which is unConstitutional.

But we live in a post-Constitutional Republic.


6 posted on 06/28/2012 3:54:37 PM PDT by Tzimisce (THIS SUCKS)
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To: formosa

Belong to a church that frowns upon queer “marriage”?

Pay the tax, infidel!


7 posted on 06/28/2012 3:57:06 PM PDT by workerbee (June 28, 2012 -- 9/11 From Within)
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To: neverdem

This question about Roberts isn’t a mystery and there’s no conspiracy, you just have to think about it for a second. Presidents appoint justices that fit their ideology. Bush was pro-life (Roberts is), pro-gun (Roberts is), pro-marriage (Roberts is), pro corporate spending (Roberts is). He was also an illegal lover (Roberts is) and a big spender on healthcare laws (Roberts is). He’s voting the same way GWB would if he was a SCOTUS judge.


8 posted on 06/28/2012 3:58:01 PM PDT by PAConservative1
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To: neverdem

Regardless, he betrayed the Constitution and his actions, and those who sided with him are traitorous.


9 posted on 06/28/2012 3:58:09 PM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: Tzimisce
It now falls to the Republicans, and especially to Mitt Romney, to make the case for the repeal of the law and for its replacement by something better than either it or the health-care policies that preceded it.

And if that doesn't give you a warm fuzzy, I don't know what will!!!

/sarc

10 posted on 06/28/2012 3:58:58 PM PDT by workerbee (June 28, 2012 -- 9/11 From Within)
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To: neverdem

11 posted on 06/28/2012 3:59:28 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or tyranny)
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To: neverdem
   The Constitution does not give the Court the power to rewrite statutes, and Roberts and his colleagues have therefore done violence to it.

  If it's been 're-written' by the court to make it constitutional, then the original law (as written) must be unconstitutional.
12 posted on 06/28/2012 4:01:51 PM PDT by Maurice Tift (You can't stop the signal, Mal. You can never stop the signal.)
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To: workerbee

next we’ll be forced to buy solar panels


13 posted on 06/28/2012 4:02:18 PM PDT by Undecided 2012
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To: Tzimisce
If it is a tax, it’s a Direct Tax which is unConstitutional.

Roberts' opinion actually discusses the "Direct Tax" issue, and holds that only two things are a "Direct Tax": a property tax and a capitation. It also holds that this is not a "capitation," because that means only a flat tax on every person without exception.

14 posted on 06/28/2012 4:03:09 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: neverdem

I am sick to my stomach. This is a dark day for the republic.


15 posted on 06/28/2012 4:03:09 PM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: neverdem

Someone with PhotoShop skills...please rework the old “Dallas” promo...replace Hagman’s face with the chief justice’s and caption it: “Who bought JR?”


16 posted on 06/28/2012 4:03:09 PM PDT by WestTexasWend
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To: neverdem

Roberts could have easily and justifiably ended at least on of the chapters of misery and cliff hanging uncertainty that has burdened this country for too, too long.

He manipulated what the administration and lousy congress and spinate swore was not a tax into being a tax for his convenience. Why? Only he and God know. His logic is so twisted and perverted that one quickly and easily is drawn to the conclusion that he acted in some self-interest.

There are so many trying spin this as good and justify Robert’s treason. I think they protest too much. I smell crap.

As for me and my house, may John Roberts rot in hell and go down in history as a traitor to the principles of freedom, the Republic and the Constitution. All three of these seem to be taking a long walk off of a short pier. I hope that he has a long and miserable life... a short one would be too good for him. If there is justice he will agonize and regret this decision for eternity.


17 posted on 06/28/2012 4:04:03 PM PDT by Sequoyah101 (You've been screwed by your government.)
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To: neverdem

It seems to me that as bad as the USSC upholding commiecare was, something really positive came out of it.

Most of the laws that come out of Washington that expand government and tramp on the 10th amendment are based on the commence clause. While it may be true that the feds can force us to buy toothpaste... There not going to be able to justify it with the commence clause, and they are very unlikely to want to call it a tax.

Taking away the commence clause crutch is going to make it very difficult for congress to justify the constitutionally of a large portion of the laws and regs that come out of Washington.


18 posted on 06/28/2012 4:05:15 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: neverdem

I’ve said this before. I hope Roberts burns in hell.


19 posted on 06/28/2012 4:06:48 PM PDT by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: neverdem

Look this is judicial activism writ large. Roberts has no power to rewrte statutes. He is as lawless as Obama and should beheld in contempt by all thinking people.


20 posted on 06/28/2012 4:06:52 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (.)
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To: neverdem
Chief Justice Roberts’s Folly

We haven't heard the slogan, "IMPEACH THE CHIEF JUDTICE" since Earl Warren's tenure. Guess its time to renew the cry.

21 posted on 06/28/2012 4:08:23 PM PDT by GoldenPup (Comrade "O" has got to GO!!)
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To: formosa
No they can already tax you for doing something. They can now tax you for NOT doing something. You aren't being taxed for buying insurance. You are being taxed for NOT buying insurance. What next a tax for NOT taking the bus. A tax for NOT joining the gym. A tax for NOT having an abortion. After all driving your own car causes carbon dioxide which the Court in all its’ wisdom has decided the EPA can regulate as a pollutant. Not going to the Gym can cause being out of shape, driving up the health care costs for all. and of course having a baby, especially one with genetic disorders or Downs Syndrome could cost society a great deal of money. For NOT exercising your chances to ride the bus, join the gym, or kill your baby should now be taxed.

This is convoluted and insane, but we now live with it. Thank you Roberts you JackA$$!

22 posted on 06/28/2012 4:09:28 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: neverdem

More crap in this article.

It’s ‘Robertscare’ now. He bought it. He owns it.


23 posted on 06/28/2012 4:10:27 PM PDT by citizen (Obomo blames:Arab Spring,Banks,Big Oil,Bush,Ceos,Coal,Euro Zone,FNC,Jpn Tsunami,T Party,Wall St,You)
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To: babygene

They don’t have to call it a tax. Call it a penalty and Roberts will pretend it is a tax!


24 posted on 06/28/2012 4:12:38 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: PAConservative1
He’s voting the same way GWB would if he was a SCOTUS judge.

Which is why I neither supported, nor voted for Duh-bya.

Like his daddy before him, he never met a big-government snake oil he didn't... LOVE!

25 posted on 06/28/2012 4:13:53 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people)
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To: neverdem

The constitution has been betrayed. The rule of law has been betrayed. The American people have been lied to and betrayed. The Republic has not been kept. A dangerous world is one step closer to the end of all freedom. Limitless government is forcing its power and reach to control every aspect of our lives. Well everyone one of you in government can just kiss my a$$.


26 posted on 06/28/2012 4:15:21 PM PDT by Mat_Helm
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To: babygene

“Taking away the commence clause crutch is going to make it very difficult for congress to justify the constitutionally of a large portion of the laws and regs that come out of Washington.”

naa Congress will call it under commerce clause and the SC will call it a tax for them and make everything work out.


27 posted on 06/28/2012 4:18:54 PM PDT by ari-freedom
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To: neverdem

What does obama have on roberts?


28 posted on 06/28/2012 4:21:29 PM PDT by aomagrat (Gun owners who vote for democrats are too stupid to own guns.)
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To: Jim from C-Town

“They don’t have to call it a tax. Call it a penalty and Roberts will pretend it is a tax!”

There are tens of thousands of federal laws and regulations on the books today based on the commerce clause. Things that have nothing to do with interstate commerce...


29 posted on 06/28/2012 4:23:08 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: PAConservative1
You know, I think you hit the nail right on the head.

Conservatives -- and especially Republicans -- have no reason to be disappointed in a ruling that was handed down by a Supreme Court justice who was nominated by a guy who would have been 100% on board with the ruling.

30 posted on 06/28/2012 4:26:05 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: babygene

“There are tens of thousands of federal laws and regulations on the books today based on the commerce clause. Things that have nothing to do with interstate commerce...”

I’d be happier if those laws were repealed by this ruling but they’re not.


31 posted on 06/28/2012 4:26:24 PM PDT by ari-freedom
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To: neverdem

I can think of a few reasons why Judge Roberts decided as he did.

First, he said that, it’s not the role of the Supreme Court to protect the people from the consequences of the political decisions which the people make. In that sense, he’s punishing the people for voting in the people who created and voted for Obamacare. (Never mind that, the rest of the people who didn’t vote for the commiecrats, are also being punished). In that sense, Roberts might be thinking the way I feel, which is, that the people won’t learn the tough lessons of socialism, until they find themselves in deep depression and desperation, or like a Greece.

Then, Judge Roberts may be forcing Obama and the democrats to have to defend Obamacare and their tax and spend policies, during this coming election, and if the people are smart and notice the dangers the country is headed towards, then Obama will be voted out, and many other democrats will lose their seats.

Also, keeping Obamacare as an election issue, is one way to help replace Obama, and, Roberts might be feeling confident that, with a republican congress and a “republican” president, that Obamacare will be repealed, and therefore, still meeting the death it well deserved.

So, Roberts might have been planning to kill two birds with one stone, Obama and Obamacare, while teaching the people a well-deserved lesson that stupidity deserves.


32 posted on 06/28/2012 4:28:52 PM PDT by adorno
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To: aomagrat
What does obama have on roberts?

I think he frequents the same bathhouse that he and Rahm go to.

33 posted on 06/28/2012 4:29:17 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: adorno

Once again, he voted AGAINST Scalia, and voted WITH Kagan. There is no other spin than that.


34 posted on 06/28/2012 4:30:34 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Sequoyah101
me and my house are with you....John Roberts IMO was going to vote that the bill was unconstitutional, but someone got to him....just like Sandra Day O'Connor who wrote the famous ruling that we needed to discriminate against whites for another 25 yrs or so....

never trust judges...

throw the swine out...

35 posted on 06/28/2012 4:33:28 PM PDT by cherry
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To: Jim from C-Town
its not that I've ever been without health insurance...and never will....but my adult kids had times in their lives when they could not afford health insurance...

I just wish the SC was on the side of the people...but its not...

I want to stay and fight for this country, and frankly don't know of any other place to go except maybe Canada....but geesh...its getting hard to be a patriot...

36 posted on 06/28/2012 4:36:26 PM PDT by cherry
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To: Mat_Helm
I guess our aim generally is to get off the grid...stop earning so much that you pay any taxes...fudge...skim...scam....learn to start taking rather than giving...

I know....its hard to learn to be a bastard but what are ya going to do?

37 posted on 06/28/2012 4:38:37 PM PDT by cherry
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To: Sequoyah101

I agree roberts should rot in hell! It was totally despicable what he did, siding with four morons and being a judicial activist from the bench. He now has cast his lot with the commie side of the court and he deserves to be spat upon. The poor commie roberts was “concerned” about the partisan court in his name so he decides to punish Americans.
Unbelievable!


38 posted on 06/28/2012 4:39:44 PM PDT by biggredd1
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To: dfwgator
nce again, he voted AGAINST Scalia, and voted WITH Kagan. There is no other spin than that.

It's no spin.

Even Scalia may have been in on the "plan" to get rid of Obama and Obamacare via the election in November. Two birds with one stone. With Obamacare still being unpopular with the majority of the American people, and with the economy still in the doldrums, Roberts (and Scalia) may have been scheming to make things worse for Obama. Keep it as an election issue, and Obama and the democrats will have a much tougher time trying to win this November.
39 posted on 06/28/2012 4:49:07 PM PDT by adorno
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To: nicmarlo

Roberts is a worthless liberal that Bush put on the court. This SOB looked for a way to make Commiecare work. When Bush nominated this smirking creep to the US Supreme Court, and as the CHIEF JUSTICE to boot, over more senior people like Alito and Scalia, I started doing some background investigation on this unknown judge. I found out he was a junior judge, having no experience whatsover to qualify him for the highest court in the land. I also found out that when he was a practicing lawyer he represented some sdomites who took their case to the Supreme Court. That’s right, Roberts was a lawyer that took the side of the immoral degenerates. This is the second time this year he has sided with the liberals in a ruling. The other one was on immigration this year. So when the Roberts fans try to explain anyway this betrayal, just remember this creep has always been a liberal and his true colors are coming out now.

Also saying the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional overrides Congress who approved it under Bush with an overwhelming majority. So now I think I’ll buy me a cop uniform and pretend to be cop. I’ll stop women and tell them to give it up or they are going to jail. I’ll show the girl my medal of honor I won during the Tet Offensive.
Afterall it’s my free speech and I have a right to lie about anything I want to lie about it.


40 posted on 06/28/2012 4:50:00 PM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: dragonblustar
I guess this is what happens,when a supreme court justice is appointed for life,instead of being hired solely based on their job performance.I usually don't post,I'm more of a lurker.I been trying to figure out why Roberts joined the justices in saying that the mandate is constitutional.I'm wondering that maybe he thought he could be the man of the hour,by saving the first black president,the embarrassment of having his signature piece of law shot down.Also how many people will change their mind about voting for Romney instead of sitting it out,and will it effect how the undecided vote now?Just a few of my thoughts,because nothing else makes sense,of why Roberts would have voted with the liberal justices.
41 posted on 06/28/2012 4:56:07 PM PDT by suzyshop (suzyshop)
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To: ari-freedom

“I’d be happier if those laws were repealed by this ruling but they’re not.”

Many of them probably could be on appeal...


42 posted on 06/28/2012 4:58:03 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: neverdem

Roberts’ decision is like the surgeon about whom it can be said that, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.”


43 posted on 06/28/2012 5:05:25 PM PDT by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: cherry

That’s the problem—even when Republican Presidents try to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, often either they turn out to be liberals (Blackmun, Powell, Souter) or they turn squishy (Roberts), whereas the liberals picked by Democrat Presidents always remain consistently liberal.


44 posted on 06/28/2012 5:15:36 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: adorno

It is not Robert’s job to teach us a lesson. His job is to interpret the law as it stands and decide if it is constitutional.

The individual mandate was not constitutional and there was no severability clause, so the whole bill should have been thrown out. It is not Robert’s job to change mandate to mean tax just to try and pass the bill.


45 posted on 06/28/2012 5:17:19 PM PDT by packman
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To: babygene

Bingo, this ruling has opened the door to revist the constutionality of much of the Great Society and FDR...


46 posted on 06/28/2012 5:23:10 PM PDT by Rumplemeyer (The GOP should stand its ground - and fix Bayonets)
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To: dfwgator

Roberts rewrote the freakin’ law. If that’s not the most flagrant example of legislating from the bench in the history of the court, then I don’t know what is.

So far as Romney being our great hope...

Romney is just more of the same. I guarantee we will get a stall, rope-a-dope, 4 corners obfuscation out of ANY Gop-E president. IOW, no different than if it were a Democrat.

America needs to get rid of its one party system.


47 posted on 06/28/2012 5:49:04 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Undecided 2012
[. . .next we’ll be forced to buy solar panels]

When I started reading about Solyndra manufacturing solar panels that were more expensive than the Chinese competition I wondered: How can that make any sense? It made sense if by 2011 (when Solyndra and others began to unravel) the government could order the public to buy solar panels. If Democrats had held onto Congress in 2010 it might have happened.

48 posted on 06/28/2012 6:10:56 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: NKP_Vet

Interesting background. I didn’t know that.

I’ve been utterly disgusting all day, after being sickened the other day with his rulings.

I sincerely believe this country has now crossed the line to where there’s no return.


49 posted on 06/28/2012 6:11:06 PM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: Rumplemeyer
Bingo, this ruling has opened the door to revist the constutionality of much of the Great Society and FDR...

What have you been smoking?

50 posted on 06/28/2012 6:14:48 PM PDT by dfwgator
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