Skip to comments.Judicial Betrayal (Thomas Sowell on John Roberts)
Posted on 07/02/2012 11:26:31 AM PDT by jazusamo
Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. Yet there are people in Washington too often, Republicans who start living in the Beltway atmosphere, and start forgetting those hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the Beltway who trusted them to do right by them, to use their wisdom instead of their cleverness.
President Bush 41 epitomized these betrayals when he broke his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. He paid the price when he quickly went from high approval ratings as president to someone defeated for reelection by a little known governor from Arkansas.
Chief Justice John Roberts need fear no such fate because he has lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court. But conscience can be a more implacable and inescapable punisher and should be.
The Chief Justice probably made as good a case as could be made for upholding the constitutionality of ObamaCare by defining one of its key features as a "tax."
The legislation didn't call it a tax and Chief Justice Roberts admitted that this might not be the most "natural" reading of the law. But he fell back on the long-standing principle of judicial interpretation that the courts should not declare a law unconstitutional if it can be reasonably read in a way that would make it constitutional, out of "deference" to the legislative branch of government.
But this question, like so many questions in life, is a matter of degree. How far do you bend over backwards to avoid the obvious, that ObamaCare was an unprecedented extension of federal power over the lives of 300 million Americans today and of generations yet unborn?
These are the people that Chief Justice Roberts betrayed when he declared constitutional something that is nowhere authorized in the Constitution of the United States.
John Roberts is no doubt a brainy man, and that seems to carry a lot of weight among the intelligentsia despite glaring lessons from history, showing very brainy men creating everything from absurdities to catastrophes. Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius.
One of the Chief Justice's admirers said that when others are playing checkers, he is playing chess. How much consolation that will be as a footnote to the story of the decline of individual freedom in America, and the wrecking of the best medical care in the world, is another story.
There are many speculations as to why Chief Justice Roberts did what he did, some attributing noble and far-sighted reasons, and others attributing petty and short-sighted reasons, including personal vanity. But all of that is ultimately irrelevant.
What he did was betray his oath to be faithful to the Constitution of the United States.
Who he betrayed were the hundreds of millions of Americans past, present and future whole generations in the past who have fought and died for a freedom that he has put in jeopardy, in a moment of intellectual inspiration and moral forgetfulness, 300 million Americans today whose lives are to be regimented by Washington bureaucrats, and generations yet unborn who may never know the individual freedoms that their ancestors took for granted.
Some claim that Chief Justice Roberts did what he did to save the Supreme Court as an institution from the wrath and retaliation of those in Congress who have been railing against Justices who invalidate the laws they have passed. Many in the media and in academia have joined the shrill chorus of those who claim that the Supreme Court does not show proper "deference" to the legislative branch of government.
But what does the Bill of Rights seek to protect the ordinary citizen from? The government! To defer to those who expand government power beyond its constitutional limits is to betray those whose freedom depends on the Bill of Rights.
Similar reasoning was used back in the 1970s to justify the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies. Otherwise, it was said, Congress would destroy the Fed's independence, as it can also change the courts' jurisdiction. But is it better for an institution to undermine its own independence, and freedom along with it, while forfeiting the trust of the people in the process?
In a just and sane world, Sowell would be on the Supreme Court.
And Ann Barnhardt would be PRESIDENT!!!
Thanks for the ping
Thanks for the ping jaz.
Says it all.
I can honestly say, he is one of the smartest men on the face of the earth.
There are many speculations as to why Chief Justice Roberts did what he did, some attributing noble and far-sighted reasons, and others attributing petty and short-sighted reasons, including personal vanity. But all of that is ultimately irrelevant. What he did was betray his oath to be faithful to the Constitution of the United States.
Says it all.
Fixed my tag.
” - - - How far do you bend over backwards to avoid the obvious, that ObamaCare was an unprecedented extension of federal power over the lives of 300 million Americans today and of generations yet unborn?”
VERY well said!
Thank you, Dr. Sowell. In this one sentence, you have summarized all of my threads and thousands of comments that I have made in the past year.
Agreed, and welcome to the Sowell ping list, you’re on.
I am curious, however, if ObaMao's side even argued that it was a tax, in direct defiance of what they did when the law was implemented.
If they did not, then Robert's ruling is all the more absurd because it is being based on reasoning not even offered in ObaMao's power grab defense.
Whatever legal justification may be used to allow this Administration and only one Party in the House and Senate to impose such a coercively oppressive government "taking" of "the People's" earnings, will go down in the history books of future generations as a major return to the government-over-people ideas which preceded 1776 and 1787! Make no mistake about it, future generations will see this as the period when the light of liberty was about to be extinguished.
"But how is ... legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals." - Frédéric Bastiat
Of the Administration, one might conclude:
"The person who used political power to force others to conform to his ideas seems inevitably to become corrupted by the power he holds. In due course he comes to believe that power and wisdom are the same thing and, since he has power, he must also have wisdom. At this point he begins to lose his ability to distinguish between what is morally right and what is politically expedient." - Ben Moreell
Tom Sowell is my hero.
But, but, but wait!
Just wait’ll we hang the “it’s a tax” meme around the presidents neck in November! - that’ll show em!
Well, and the democrat state run media just need to keep hammering Joe and Judy SixPack with the “ it wasn’t a tax until the EVIL republican Chief Justice made it one” narrative.
How will Romney defend a false promise of repeal when all the democrats can rightly say that “Romneycare was first!”.
What a disaster. I cannot believe this happened in my lifetime. They got it without having to fire a single shot.
El Dictator Obozo to John the traitor, "Hey Justice John, Nancy is really great in bed isn't she, and her pictures of you in bed with her are ready to go on You Tube if you don't vote for us!"
A question for all of us: "When and how did Pelosi know that her side would win?"
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