Skip to comments.John Roberts Makes His Career Move
Posted on 07/03/2012 4:39:25 AM PDT by Kaslin
For John Roberts, it is Palm Sunday.
Out of relief and gratitude for his having saved Obamacare, he is being compared to John Marshall and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Liberal commentators are burbling that his act of statesmanship has shown us the way to the sunny uplands of a new consensus.
If only Republicans will follow Roberts' bold and brave example, and agree to new revenues, the dark days of partisan acrimony and tea party intransigence could be behind us.
Yet imagine if Justice Stephen Breyer had crossed over from the liberal bench to join Antonin Scalia, Sam Alito, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy in striking down Obamacare. Those hailing John Roberts for his independence would be giving Breyer a public caning for desertion of principle.
Why did Roberts do it? Why did this respected conservative uphold what still seems to be a dictatorial seizure of power -- to order every citizen to buy health insurance or be punished and fined?
Congress can do this, wrote Roberts, because even if President Obama and his solicitor general insist the fine is not a tax, we can call it a tax:
"If a statute has two possible meanings, one of which violates the Constitution, courts should adopt the meaning that does not do so. ... If the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress's constitutional power to tax."
Roberts is saying that if Congress, to stimulate the economy, orders every middle-class American to buy a new car or face a $5,000 fine, such a mandate is within its power.
Now, Congress can indeed offer tax credits for buying a new car. But if a man would prefer to bank his money and not buy a new car, can Congress order him to buy one -- and fine him if he refuses?
Roberts has just said that Congress has that power.
Clearly, the chief justice was searching for a way not to declare the individual mandate unconstitutional. But to do so, he had to go through the tortured reasoning of redefining as a tax what its author and its chief advocates have repeatedly insisted is not a tax.
Why did he do it? One reason Roberts gives is his innate conservatism.
As he wrote in his opinion: "We (the Court) possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation's 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."
This is a sentiment many of us seek in a jurist in a republic: a disposition to defer to the elected branches to set policy and make law. But Roberts here raises a grave question -- about himself.
While it is not the job of the Supreme Court "to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices," it is the job of the Supreme Court to pass on the constitutionality of laws.
Did Roberts look at that individual mandate and conclude that it passed the constitutionality test? Or did he first decide that he did not want to be the chief justice responsible for destroying the altarpiece of the Obama presidency and sinking that presidency -- and then go searching for a rationale to do what he had already decided to do?
Here we enter the area of surmise.
In the view of this writer, Roberts desperately does not want to seen by history as merely a competent but colorless member of the conservative bloc on the Supreme Court, another reliable vote in the Scalia camp. He does not want Anthony Kennedy, the swing justice, to be making history, while he is seen as a predictable conservative vote.
John Roberts aspires to be a man of history, to have this court known to historians as "the Roberts Court." And if there is to be a decisive vote in future great decisions, he wants that vote to be his.
He wants to be seen among the cognitive elite, in this capital city that voted 93-7 for Obama, as a large and independent thinker. And with this decision on Obamacare, for which he will be remembered, he has taken a great leap forward to establishing that new identity.
John Roberts likely has ahead of him a quarter of a century as chief justice. If he wants to be written of as another John Marshall or Oliver Wendell Holmes, and not Roger Taney, he must pay the price the city demands. If he does not wish to be remembered as a tea party justice, he must deliver the goods. And John Roberts just did.
Already they are saying of him that John Roberts has grown.
Liberals will never again see him in the same light. Nor will his old comrades. To attain the first, John Roberts is willing to accept the second. He has made his decision. John Roberts is moving on up.
It is ALWAYS the conservative who must give in. Liberals NEVER do. That’s the way it is.
Oliver Wendell Holmes”
Or, Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr.? That would be a man who never served as Chief Justice.
This author is a moron.
Don’t know about aal the blather being put out by the Left and self perceived Right intelligentsia. But I do know that I have lost all and any respect for the supreme court and most specifically for roberts (yes, with a lower case r - for a lower case man).
Robert's sees the liberal light ... LOL
Just last month libs were cursing Roberts (court) for destroying the country (much like many freepers are here now) and in a few months they will cursing him again.
Remember Obama calling out the Roberts court over Citizen's United at his SOTU?? Now Dems are on record claiming that the SCOTUS decision is seal of approval, but only if it goes their way.
I do not buy all the lawyers (real or imagined) here on FR who claim Roberts "...did the right thing." Tax? Penalty? Little matters. We got screwed and Roberts screwed us without first giving us a reach-around...
The extreme liberal left is actually a small portion of our population. Unfortunately they are “sequestered” mostly in the Northeast and in California and their professions are politics and the media and they are the rich. All the rest of this nation is in mourning over the pending death of their nation and John Roberts is already on his way to being, historically, a despised figure by those common folks who know what has happened here. We are now controlled and the death panels are already in place. This holocaust will not be easily recognized until all of us are gone, but a holocaust it will be nevertheless. Perhaps God, himself, has looked upon our morally coarse nation and has said, “I will now allow the Judases among you to have their way for a time.” In the end, justice will come, even if it is delayed until eternity.
roberts is a traitor. Nothing more...nothing less.
He blew it, then.
His ruling provides evidence of his cognitive dissonance.
Career move? Roberts as Ava's husband on Green Acres.
There appears to be a concerted media effort to provide cover for his cracked ruling.
His only responsibility was to judge the bill on its constitutional merits.
Since the emperor has no clothes in regard to Roberts' abdication of duty in that regard, there is a concerted effort to imbue his ruling with some other logical basis or clever political calculation.
Unfortunately for him, most people can see right through it.
Roberts, in his attempt to play Solomon and 'Split The Baby' created one huge freaking MESS for the entire legal community -- for both sides, prosecution and/or plaintiff, and all defense attorneys, for all cases that go before a judge or an appellate court.It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."This is a sentiment many of us seek in a jurist in a republic: a disposition to defer to the elected branches to set policy and make law. But Roberts here raises a grave question -- about himself. ~~~...~~~ While it is not the job of the Supreme Court "to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices," it is the job of the Supreme Court to pass on the constitutionality of laws.
Thanks to the precedent (written opinion) he's now set the bar that no matter what issue or grounds are being litigated the Men In Black can now follow his lead and rule on something that was never argued or presented into evidence by either side. How an attorney for either side can prepare for this possible outcome is mind boggling impossible. And if/when Trial Court judges start doing this we're --
Fu DOOMED. Appeals will be flying right and left and the courts will be overloaded to past the breaking line. Which they're almost at now anyway.
Not to mention, like Pat correctly states 'the gubmint' (on any level) can now call any Mandate they dream up a Tax and make you purchase, or do, or not do, 'something'. If you don't you're "taxed", not 'fined' -- a distinction without a difference.
And my first though on that was 'something' the FedGov has a vested interest in: Gubmint Motors and its Chevy Volt. Congress now CAN write a bill that its in the 'best interests of society' that we use alternative powered cars and purchase a Chevy Volt. Not that's its Mandate or anything like that, nooooo. We're just 'Taxed' if we don't comply.
Well screw them. I will NOT comply. Come and get me Coppers!
I think that Roberts’ greatest damage is yet to come.
I’m beginning to think that he’s a liberal mole, who learned to pretend to be a conservative serving in the Reagan administration.
In the 90s he did pro-bono work for homosexual groups—that was the “real” Roberts. Then he put the mask back on.
Wait until landmark homosexual rulings come up. Roberts is going to jam homosexuality down our throats.
“John Roberts aspires to be a man of history, to have this court known to historians as “the Roberts Court.” “
Obamacare. Failure to address Presidential Eligibility.
The “Roberts Court” will definitely be remembered by historians - and not in a good way.
Agreed! I noticed that as well. The whole thing seems orchestrated, with pundits spouting the same talking points.
By turning the unconstitutional mandate into a constitutional tax, he corrected the fatal flaw in the bill. By doing so, Roberts overstepped the court’s constitutional role. He put his so-called legacy ahead of his country.
Over the past near two and a half centuries hundreds of thousands of American heroes have sacrificed life and limb to protect the freedoms John Roberts trashed with the stroke of a pen.
Roberts is a disgrace to his high position. He has violated his oath, and greatly damaged this and future generations of freedom-loving Americans.
Roberts is the Chief Justice who sat in embarrassed silence in front of the First Dictator’s podium and listened to a scathing attack on the SOTUS during the State of the Union address. For this public verbal caning, he rewards Obama by saving his socialized medicine scheme. He is the abused woman who forgives her no-good boyfriend because she feels she doesn’t deserve better.
Is Roberts now saying, “the press likes me, they really like me!!”
your are quite right...now let me get a barf bag.
There is just too much about Roberts to be sickened by.
“By turning the unconstitutional mandate into a constitutional tax, he corrected the fatal flaw in the bill.”
No the tax is unconstitutional also. The is no power to tax for an INACTION.
It's apparently in his genes.
Roger Taney (distinguished career as Chief Justice but remembered for one horrible opinion).
Bill Buckner (remembered for his Little League-type fielding error in 1986 that cost Boston the World Series).
Neville Chamberlain (well-meaning but disastrously weak).
Under the Constitution's own provisions, "the People" are required to be involved in the process for changing the Constitution's protections.
Conservative constitutional scholars need to step forward to enlighten the citizenry on their role, according to the Founders' Constitution.
In the meantime, here are some words from that generation on the importance of "the People" and the States:
"I do not think it for the interest of the General Government itself, and still less of the Union at large, that the State governments should be so little respected as they have been. However, I dare say that in time all these as well as their central government, like the planets revolving round their common sun, acting and acted upon according to their respective weights and distances, will produce that beautiful equilibrium on which our Constitution is founded, and which I believe it will exhibit to the world in a degree of perfection, unexampled but in the planetary system itself. The enlightened statesman, therefore, will endeavor to preserve the weight and influence of every part, as too much given any member of it would destroy the general equilibrium." --Thomas Jefferson to Peregrine Fitzhugh, 1798. ME 10:3
"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:278
"If Caesar had been as virtuous as he was daring and sagacious, what could he, even in the plenitude of his usurped power, have done to lead his fellow citizens into good government?... If their people indeed had been, like ourselves, enlightened, peaceable, and really free, the answer would be obvious. 'Restore independence to all your foreign conquests, relieve Italy from the government of the rabble of Rome, consult it as a nation entitled to self-government, and do its will.' But steeped in corruption, vice and venality, as the whole nation was,... what could even Cicero, Cato, Brutus have done, had it been referred to them to establish a good government for their country?... No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and their people were so demoralized and depraved as to be incapable of exercising a wholesome control. Their reformation then was to be taken up ab incunabulis. Their minds were to be informed by education what is right and what wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and deterred from those of vice by the dread of punishments proportioned, indeed, but irremissible; in all cases, to follow truth as the only safe guide, and to eschew error, which bewilders us in one false consequence after another in endless succession. These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure of order and good government. . . . --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1819. ME 15:233
"An enlightened people, and an energetic public opinion... will control and enchain the aristocratic spirit of the government." --Thomas Jefferson to Chevalier de Ouis, 1814. ME 14:130
"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820.
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782.
"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.
"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Price, 1789.
"Whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, the people, if well informed, may be relied on to set them to rights." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Price, 1789.
From James Madison:
"Although all men are born free, and all nations might be so, yet too true it is, that slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant they have been cheated; asleep they have been surprised; divided the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson?... The people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it."
"A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people."
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
"To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea."
"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court even can do much to help it." - Judge Learned Hand
The liberals bear down for it is worth, and we do not fight back, effectively.
Father God, help America and restore us to our former faith in thee, forgive our sins and turn our heart back to thee, show mercy and loving kindness on your peoples, we pray for thy guidance and blessing, in Jesus name amen.
Re tax, section II Landmark Legal's brief:
During oral arguments, the government was actually allowed to argue both sides, namely, as a penalty one day, and as tax on another day.
RobertsCare = unconstitutional
Roberts = illegal alien
He will be known as the man who allowed the downfall of America. History will frown upon this very vain man.
Except that Solomon realized that custody of the child ultimately had to be awarded to one individual or another. He simply had to call their bluff.
Idiot Roberts, on the other hand, honestly believed that, "splitting the difference", was the proper thing to do.
The known horror of this rat deathcare will be overwhelmed by what is now unknown.
By that I mean the 1,500 or so times "as the Secretary shall direct" is repeated in the law.
Obamacare is the American equivalent/version of the German Enabling Act of 1933. It grants near plenary power to an administration that upon taking power, immediately ridiculed the notion of needing Congress to make laws.
With Robert's decision it is plain that Chairman Obama can rule without Congress or the Courts.
Our next President could be another George Washington and it would only delay the fuzing of the IED that Roberts set under the foundation of our republic.
Good piece. Thanks.
Incicdentally here is a quote from OWH jr the judge: "Our test of truth is a reference to either a present or imagined future majority in favour of our view."
Maybe Roberts does indeed aspire to the ranks of Holmes.
Liberals can all go to hell.
As bad as this decision was all by itself, what makes it more troubling was that it followed another bad decision on immigration where Roberts joined the liberals (and Kennedy) in striking down most of the perfectly reasonable and Constitutional Arizona law.
So yeah, who is the real Roberts? The one who got it right on partial birth abortion and the Second Amendment, or the one we’ve seen the past few weeks with immigration and Obamacare? Is the past few weeks an aberration, or is it a sign that Roberts is evolving and ‘growing’ in office?
We won’t have to wait too long. The next term should see a new challenge to racial preferences in college admissions, and a Voting Rights Act case (I don’t know the specifics of this one). On racial preferences, if Kennedy holds to his previous ruling, then Roberts will decide that case? What will he do?
And it can’t be much longer before our masters on the Sup Court take up a definitive marriage case, and decide whether or not we rubes can define it, or instead to invent a new right for homosexuals to have their unions granted state recognition. Up until now I had thought (if the current Court is still in place) that Kennedy would decide this issue, and I thought he would go back to his absurd, liberal, ‘sweet mystery of life’ jurisprudence and impose recognition of gay unions on the entire nation. Now, I think there is a very good possibility that it will be a 6-3 decision with both Kennedy and Roberts joining the liberals. But even if Kennedy gets is right, I fear Roberts would still join the liberals for a 5-4 decision.
I don't have a crystal ball but I have heard that Roberts holds affirmative action in contempt and he has now setup the liberals so that when he strikes those laws down they (the libs) will look foolish whining again after claiming the SCOTUS decision is a seal of approval this/last week.
So I am watching these closely too.
Keep in mind that Obama called out the Roberts SCOTUS/court at his SOTU address and libs have been cursing Roberts and warning him up until last week to stop it.
To show how silly this complaining has got on our side an editorial was posted here today (Friday) saying Roberts should resign, of course Roberts resigning gives Obama his wet dream : Getting to to pick Robert’s replacement (another wise latino???) with the Reid Senate doing rubber stamp confirmation, Lets get a grip.
I look at Roberts pro-bono / pro-homo work in the 1990s, and I cringe when I think about traditional marriage vs homo “marriage” cases coming before the SCOTUS.
Yes, for a conservative to call for Roberts to resign is absurd considering he’d be replaced by another terrible Obama pick.
We’re stuck with Roberts for what will likely be decades to come. We can only hope that the immigration and obamacare cases will prove to be exceptions for Roberts. Hopefully his jurisprudence going forward will be like it was before this term. Hopefully Roberts will soon and forever thereafter be hated by liberals again. Hopefully Roberts will resume his Constitutional, conservative decision-making and we won’t consider ourselves ‘stuck’ with him.