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!!”
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