Skip to comments.Questions about chief justice's health-care ruling could have lasting impact (+new leak info)
Posted on 07/03/2012 10:50:55 PM PDT by STARWISE
Speculation persists over why Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberals to uphold the President Obama's signature health-care reform law, and that could affect the Supreme Court.
Unprecedented leaks of behind-the-scenes information at the US Supreme Court are raising questions about whether the threat of political attacks and other potential criticism played a role in the high courts recent decision to uphold President Obamas health-care reform law.
The most detailed leaks came in a CBS News report over the weekend, suggesting that Chief Justice John Roberts may have switched sides in the high-profile case in part to insulate the court and his own legacy as chief justice from election-year criticism should the court strike down the massive reform law.
President Obama and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont, among others, made (((EXTREMELY BULLYING))statements after oral arguments in the case suggesting that any decision overturning the health-care law would be the illegitimate work of conservative judicial activists on the Supreme Court.
The warning was clear: The Supreme Court and the justices themselves were about to become fair game in the presidents campaign for reelection.
Now, a week after the Supreme Court announced its opinion upholding the health-care law, Justice Roberts is being accused of having caved in to threats of political pressure.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
For those who are currently playing the game of who-is-the-Supreme-Court-leaker, heres an intriguing clue. A few blogs have picked up the following tweet from Bart Gellman of Time Magazine on June 2:
Barton Gellman @bartongellman
Ponnuru: inside sources at Supreme Court (really?) tell me the initial vote was 5-4 against Obamacare, but Roberts since turned wobbly. 2 Jun 12
I poked around and found the audio of Ponnurus comment. Heres the context.
On the morning of June 2, 2012, a panel presentation was held at Princeton Universitys Reunions on the topic of Presidential politics. During the panel, the moderator asked the panelists how they thought the Supreme Court would rule in the Health Care cases. Here was the answer of National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru 95:
My own sort of educated guess, based on people I talk to at the Supreme Court, is that Well, as Im sure people know, theres an initial vote the same week, on the Friday of the oral arguments. And my understanding is that there was a 5-4 vote to strike down the mandate and maybe some related provisions but not the entire act. Since then, interestingly, there seem to have been some second thoughts. Not on the part of Justice Kennedy, but on the part of Chief Justice Roberts, who seems to be going a little bit wobbly. So right now, I would say, [the outcome of the case] is a little bit up in the air .
You can hear the audio from the panel here; Rameshs comment starts at the 38:45 point..
We dont know if the person who leaked to Ramesh Ponnuru also leaked to Jan Crawford. But either way, the crowd that might leak to Ramesh Ponnuru for a small audience during the course of deliberations is likely to be a considerably smaller group than the crowd that might leak to Jan Cranford for a big CBS News story after the case was handed down.
UPDATE: To clarify what Im thinking above, I think Ponnurus comments tend to point in the direction of conservative clerks.
To be clear, this is all just speculation: I dont have any inside story and Im just reading what I find on the web. But as surprising as it was for Ramesh to say that he had people he talks to at the Supreme Court, it seems pretty much inconceivable that a writer would so casually disclose a contact with a United States Supreme Court Justice. Plus, the circles of conservative law clerks and National Review writers have considerably more contacts and overlaps than Justices and National Review writers.
Finally, Ive been persuaded by speaking to a number of informed people that clerk leaks are more likely and have in the past led to less punishment than I would have thought. Anyway, sorry this is so vague and uncertain. But thats my thinking.
If true, he should RESIGN in shame!
Put no trust in princes, in children of Adam powerless to save
Do Supreme Court Justices ever over-rule themselves?
I keep hoping Roberts went to Malta for a spine transplant and somehow this was all just one giant mistake.
That reaction is completely foreign to me. Anyone who tries to bully or intimidate me isn't going to get MORE of what they want but LESS. Otherwise they'll NEVER stop doing it, plus how are you supposed to have any self-respect?
I hope the same but I suspect that Roberts was paying back Obama for a favor and that favor was the executive order which allows children brought to the United States illegally to be able to stay in the United States under Obama’s recent amnesty plan. Obama’s amnesty does not only cover children here from Mexico but all nations.
“Attack we much.”
If O wins he will get to place 3 more.
IMPEACH JOHN ROBERTS. Coward, supporter of fascists, and refuser to defend the Constitution.
He is a traitor to the People.So is/was Souter. Can the both of the ba$tards.
It’s foreign to you because you’re not in a position of power filled with perks and you’re not addicted to those perks. I’d bet 90% of the congress could be blackmailed and all of them would cave if it meant not doing so would cost them their perks.
Ross Perot must really be disappointed. We can NOT find 535 honorable men and women to serve.
We're told that the "Conservatives" on the Court spent months trying to get him to come back to his original position.
He's a Supreme Court Chief Justice. The Constitution takes care of him for the rest of his life.
In my opinion, the pressure had to be much much stronger. I suspect some deep, dark personal issue that the liberals knew about and Roberts didn't want revealed.
Some secret that would remove him from his position.
Please correct me if I am wrong, somebody, but doesn’t the current power of the SC far outweigh what the Founders intended?
People with this sort of power are 1) NOT elected 2) Appointed by ONE person, and 3) Appointed for LIFE!
Does anybody think this is a sane arrangement, likely to result in a well-governed nation?
Efforts to rein this in will likely be futile, but after the upcoming SHTF, those attempting to fashion the next Constitution - if there’s enough left to call it a nation - might consider a better approach.
This is of course huge, as it undermines even the pretense of political fairness & honesty of the Federal court. It also high lights the Chicago stile bullying of the Obama Administration effectively dismantling what is left of our Federal republican system.
At least we now know how our republic died.
I'm conviced that he's completely compromised, and has been at least since he "flubbed" the swearing in of a man who to this day has not demonstrably qualified for the office he enjoys, and had to "re-do" the ceremony behind closed doors.
A coup has occurred.
There is another thing to remember. Roberts is Catholic, and a great many bishops and priests are for socialized medicine. We went to a parish we don't normally attend, and the priest openly praised Roberts for giving “Equality and fairness to the poor”.
There was pressure for all sides.
Ya' think? See B.S. ia real mental powerhouse.
On the other hand, Justice Roberts may have felt that the Court should give deference, whenever possible, to acts of Congress, so as to not over politicize the role of the Court. In other words, he may feel that it is up to the legislative branch to set policy, no matter how foolish, and the Court should intervene only when it is absolutely necessary to protect the constitution. As Roberts stated in his opinion: "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 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." Since the commerce clause has been given such wide deference in the past, including the outlawing of what would seem purely state matters such as the intrastate sale of wheat or marijuana, he may well have felt that to ignore that tradition of deference would have signaled that now the court is in fact a political force. The more the court is politicized, the less its judgment is respected by the public at large. This is an important consideration and one that a chief justice has to take quite seriously.
People with this sort of power are 1) NOT elected 2) Appointed by ONE person, and 3) Appointed for LIFE!
Your #2 is incorrect. The POTUS only nominates a candidate for SCOTUS, but it’s the Senate that has to vote to approve that person.
While it is certainly possible that Ponnuru could be gossiping with a Justice it is more likely I think that he is talking to a clerk.
I would hope that a Justice would not be breaking seal of confidence in the courts deliberations.
This regime needs to be tried for treason. if convicted, 9 feet of hemp..
We are at war.
One side seeks to adhere to the Constitution.
One side seeks to ignore and defy it.
There is no compromise.
We have need of a Chief Justice that openly declares war on the enemies of the constitution and stands up to communist bullies in the White House and the Senate, as required by “separation of powers”.
I know French people with more fight in them than Benedict Roberts. FUJR. FU.
We have been at war since the ink dried on the Constitution. We have labored too long under the misconception that we are a nation of laws. We have held to the high ground, thinking (falsely) that good would win in the end.
Well, the end is here. The republic was murdered by The Destroyer John “Can’t we all just get along” Roberts. All the compromising that stole our liberties, all the apologies to “our good friends across the aisle” - was it really worth it to kill the most wondrous form of government ever devised by man?
Now that we realize we are at war for our very lives, what are we going to do about it? Write letters to Congress? Do you really think it will do any good? They are as complicit in stealing our freedoms as the SCROTUM (formerly known as SCOTUS).
IF SECESSION NOT BE, THEN REVOLUTION MUST.
the story behind his two ADOPTED children from Ireland via LATIN AMERICA is why I believe he is being threatened.....nothing else makes any sense.
“The most detailed leaks came in a CBS News report over the weekend, suggesting that Chief Justice John Roberts may have switched sides in the high-profile case in part to insulate the court and his own legacy as chief justice from election-year criticism should the court strike down the massive reform law.”
This makes no sense whatsoever. It’s downright STUPID.
Look to old fashioned Chitown thuggery for the answer in this case.
“...he may well have felt that to ignore that tradition of deference would have signaled that now the court is in fact a political force.”
Abandon Reason and Sense to prove the unprovable? Good plan.
So how come he voted to save the 2nd Amendment in the Heller case
If Obama and the democrats want any thing it is to disarm Americans
Excellent and true. Pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you.
The Chicago Machine doesn’t have to win. They’re not invincible.
Are you saying that Roberts illegally adopted his children from a foreign country? Please elaborate.
Chief Justice Roberts, if it is not the Supreme Court’s job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices by ruling on the Constitutionality of laws passed what is the job?
It seems to me that the job is to protect the Republic.
“That reaction is completely foreign to me. Anyone who tries to bully or intimidate me isn’t going to get MORE of what they want but LESS. Otherwise they’ll NEVER stop doing it, plus how are you supposed to have any self-respect? “
Maybe with you, but I suspect that Roberts wanted to see his grandchildren again - and I only very slightly exaggerate.
We got to see the political threats, not the death threats (and worse) that the Dems use behind the scenes.
Sure, it’s easy to think you’d stand up to it, or that Roberts should not have joined the court if he couldn’t - but this case was the biggest since Roe vs. Wade and the level of coercion was likely an order of magnitude higher than the court has ever seen.
Even so - Roberts is a wimp - I agree.
“The reasons for the adoption happening in the unnamed Latin American country remain unclear, though it was noted that the Irish 1991 Adoption Act only allows adoption of children born in Ireland by people resident in Ireland.”
Worth investigating. If we’d broken the news months before the blackmail angle wouldn’t exist. The truth liberates.
If we want to establish a cause, let's brainstorm and think of ALL possible reasons.
1. Something BIG (like eligibility) is in the trunk and he wanted to establish the court as not partisan so it won't cause civil war.
2. He's a very religious man IIRC, Maybe he turned to the story of the judges in the Bible. I Kings 3: or Jesus’s judge. Neither took the “logical/easy solution. (Learned along time ago the God solutions to my prayers are NEVER how I've planned them)
3. York's story indicates he might be setting a trap for the D's. He has no reason to support them and Pam Bondi said on one of the FOX shows that this is just one of the cases they have against Obamacare that is to be heard by the SCOTUS.
I'm sure if we brainstorm there are many more possibilities...But the bottom line is: I'm waiting till it's played out a bit to make an opinion.
Sure, I'm not happy with the decision. My first thought too was “what in the Hell is Roberts thinking” I truly wish he'd stayed with his first thought, BUT I think we all can agree something else is at play....Something WE are not privy to.
Let's see what happens before November. In the mean time there are Senate seats that MUST be won....SO, it's time to put our worries on the shelf and get to work.
why is this important to Roberts
I live in California. I’m pretty sure that fervent please laid down in letters to Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi, are not going to achieve the desire effect.
California is a one-party, union-contolled, Democratic Party dominated state.
I have tried repeatedly to seek representation through the ballot box. I know that I have no recourse left to me but the cartridge box.
The cartridge box is unpalatable to 99% of us here, as we all have too much to lose. By which I mean, are you prepared to see your wife possibly raped by armed opponents, and are you willing to see your children starved or dragged off to re-education camps.
We have too much to lose today for the cartridge box to be employed, and so we are going to be dragged kicking and screaming into socialist totalitarian oppression by our fellow voters.
The way I think of this is you have 10 people in a lifeboat, with 4 bailing out water that comes in from the waves, and 5 shooting holes in the bottom of the boat, while the remaining party refuses to do a thing.
That is the USA. There is no place to go. I go down with the ship. But the problem is, we conservatives, and middle class taxpayers, and responsible job-holding consumers, are doing all we can to uphold our Constitutional Republic We are the 4 in the lifeboat.
The 5 in the lifeboat are the parasites and leeches, the financial industry, the government sector, the industrial complex, the socialists, the communists, the discovered Hollyweird starlets, the Microsoft Millionaires.
They are the 5 shooting holes in the bottom of the boat and we don’t have numbers to either bail faster, and we certainly don’t have either the courage or the means to holster their weapons or break their trigger fingers — whatever it takes to get them to stop shooting holes in the bottom of the boat.
That is why my most realistic hope is to fight a rear-guard delaying action against socialist totalitarian oppression. It is coming. It is obvious it is coming. So lets work hard and slow it down.
The people who think we can REVERSE socialism and restore liberty are delusional in my humble opinion. I mean it sincerely and I don’t mean to insult anyone.
For those who believe that liberty can be restored to a nation in the long process of societal collapse, I would bet those people to cite me one example of one nation at any time on the face of the earth that went from relative oppression to relative freedom, without first going through absolute dictatorial tyranny.
The sequence of events as laid out by Tyler strikes me as completely accurate when you look through the past 2000+ years of recorded history, which as you know goes like this:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependency back into bondage.
We have rounded apathy and our racing toward dependency. There has never been a nation on earth that hit the brakes and backed it up form apathy to liberty, without first bottoming out into bondage, and then going through the spiritual faith.
I will grant you that we could “theoretically” back up if we had sufficient spiritual faith. I will leave it to you to decide if after 50 million on-demand abortions, with gay marriage set to become law of the land, and with such wholesale irresponsible, selfishness by so many in this nation, as to the current state of spiritual faith.
It's much more simple.
Just imagine that 6 days ago, the Court had voted 5-4 to overturn PPACA in its entirety.
What would had happened to Roberts and his family by now, just 6 days later? You know as well as I do what an avalanche would have rolled down on his head.
And would we have gone out to crack skulls in the howling mob outside of his house? Not bloody likely.
He changed because he's a coward, and not fit for his position.
But the "larger truth", as the commies like to say, is that the Left knows how to wield power and the Right is unwilling or unable to counter them effectively.
Kinda reminds me of POW photos North Vietnam published that showed a group of smiling POW's where several of the POW's were giving the finger to the camera.
While NV paraded this as proof of their humane treatment, some POW's figured out a subtle way to show otherwise as the NV had no idea what that gesture was.
Was Robert's written decision a way of giving the finger to the administration?
Not sure if you noticed, but the opinion polls before and after the SCOTUS decision was announced suggest that the Chief Justice was too clever by half. The public thinks that the Court stinks, and is even more partisan than ever. And the public is right.
When one close Senate election (Al Franken), when one war (Iraq), when one member of the SCOTUS, can have this big an impact on 3% of the World’s economy, somethIng is rotten in Denmark.
He either chickened out and/or was blackmailed.
I don’t agree with the CJ’s decision, or reasoning, but I do know that Obama, Reid and Pelousy can’t be happy with a new Tax hung around their necks.
FWIW...it’s almost impossible today to attain any meaningful position inside the Beltway if there is not a “lever” THEY can use on you when they need to., it’s why Palin was sent packing back to Alaska. It’s why we now have a RinoCracy.
Justice Roberts is a traitor, a liar, and every bit as deceptive and dubious as the dark one he follows.
“Can the both of the ba$tards.”
They are both liars. They lied to the Senate when being questioned during confirmation hearings. That is not to be tolerated. EVER
If this is true, there will be a fantastic book coming out in December of this year.
I was born a free man and I will die a free man. I refuse to believe that we are such a nation of cowards that we would rather live as slaves than to be free.
You are probably right that no nation has gone from relative oppression to relative freedom. However, no nation has had such a wondrous form of government. That is our hope. If we allow it to disappear, our children will curse us to the seventh generation.
“But the “larger truth”, as the commies like to say, is that the Left knows how to wield power and the Right is unwilling or unable to counter them effectively.”
I once heard a tough CEO who ran his organization with an iron fist say to his executive staff, “Fear is a great motivator.”
The Democrats understand this philosophy and use it to their advantage.
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” — Barack Hussein Obama, January 7, 2011
When Republicans of today disarm before the fight begins the results are predictable. John Roberts was a Bush appointee. How did Bush respond to the constant vitriol from the left? He was silent and when he left office he was hated by much of the population and had lost the respect of many conservative voters. What Roberts doesn’t realize is by not fighting he too will be disdained by both sides and his compromise will not be bring any respect to himself or the Supreme Court.
Any conservative who believes he can reach accommodation with the progressive leftists through capitulation need only look at the pathetic story of Arlen Specter.
That is the theory I go with also.
If his children were adopted illegally, then he has no business on the court. He supposedly knows the law, he should have obeyed it.
I am not going after his kids here, I am only saying that if the facts come out that this is his reason for going with Obama then the man should be removed from the court.
The Heller case was a joke.
The citizens of Washington DC have no more chances of getting weapons now than they did before the Heller case.
The DC City Council just passed a whole lot more regulations that haven’t been taken to the court yet.
The Council can pass regulations faster then the court can hear them.If they will hear them at all. It’s a farce.