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Questions about chief justice's health-care ruling could have lasting impact (+new leak info)
Yahoo/Christian Science Monitor ^ | 7-3-12 | Warren Richey

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 court’s recent decision to uphold President Obama’s 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 president’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; benedictroberts; deathpanels; leaks; obamacare; obamacaredecision; roberts; robertsdecision; scotus; zerocare
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More on the Supreme Court Leak - Orin Kerr • July 3, 2012 12:11 pm

Excerpt:

For those who are currently playing the game of who-is-the-Supreme-Court-leaker, here’s 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

*snip*

I poked around and found the audio of Ponnuru’s comment. Here’s the context.

On the morning of June 2, 2012, a panel presentation was held at Princeton University’s 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 I’m sure people know, there’s 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; Ramesh’s comment starts at the 38:45 point..

We don’t 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 I’m thinking above, I think Ponnuru’s comments tend to point in the direction of conservative clerks.

To be clear, this is all just speculation: I don’t have any inside story and I’m 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, I’ve 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 that’s my thinking.

~~~~~~~

If true, he should RESIGN in shame!

1 posted on 07/03/2012 10:51:13 PM PDT by STARWISE
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To: onyx; penelopesire; maggief; hoosiermama; SE Mom; Liz; rodguy911; Fred Nerks; Red Steel; ...
Psalm 146:3

Put no trust in princes, in children of Adam powerless to save

2 posted on 07/03/2012 10:54:59 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
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To: STARWISE

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.


3 posted on 07/03/2012 10:56:51 PM PDT by comebacknewt (Newt (sigh) what could have been . . .)
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To: STARWISE
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.

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?

4 posted on 07/03/2012 10:59:40 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: comebacknewt

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.


5 posted on 07/03/2012 11:02:34 PM PDT by tsowellfan (http://www.cafenetamerica.com/)
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To: STARWISE

“Attack we much.”


6 posted on 07/03/2012 11:14:48 PM PDT by HerrBlucher ("The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers." GK Chesterton)
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To: STARWISE

If O wins he will get to place 3 more.


7 posted on 07/03/2012 11:21:15 PM PDT by NoLibZone (We must get down on our knees each day and thank God that McCain/Palin didn't win in '08.)
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To: comebacknewt
You mean like


8 posted on 07/03/2012 11:21:57 PM PDT by HerrBlucher ("The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers." GK Chesterton)
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To: STARWISE

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.


9 posted on 07/03/2012 11:42:56 PM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
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To: Still Thinking

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.


10 posted on 07/03/2012 11:52:53 PM PDT by Terry Mross ( To all my kin: Do not attempt to contact me as long as you love obama.)
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To: STARWISE
I'm sorry - I just can't believe that political pressure could possibly be severe enough to have forced Roberts to change his vote like this.

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.

11 posted on 07/03/2012 11:59:36 PM PDT by eCSMaster ('Nancy Pelosi is a DINGBAT.' - Gov. Sarah Palin)
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To: STARWISE

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.


12 posted on 07/04/2012 12:01:57 AM 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: STARWISE
My honest opinion is that Roberts, like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, is being blackmailed by the Rats.
Ain't no way we can constantly roll *Craps* with each roll of the dice when it really counts for saving the country.
These men aren't totally stupid, naive or incompetent, they're being blackmailed.
13 posted on 07/04/2012 12:02:43 AM PDT by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin......Nuff said.)
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To: STARWISE

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.


14 posted on 07/04/2012 12:08:45 AM PDT by Monorprise
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To: eCSMaster; STARWISE
"Some secret that would remove him from his position."

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.

15 posted on 07/04/2012 12:12:21 AM PDT by Flotsam_Jetsome (If America were a car, the "Check President" light would be on.)
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To: STARWISE
Every election I read Psalm 146.

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.

16 posted on 07/04/2012 12:22:12 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: STARWISE
suggesting that Chief Justice John Roberts may have switched sides

Ya' think? See B.S. ia real mental powerhouse.

17 posted on 07/04/2012 1:07:16 AM PDT by oyez ( .Apparently The U.S. CONSTITUTION has been reduced to the consistency of quicksand.)
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To: Still Thinking
I don't think “bully” is the right term. That's the reason that Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, so that they don't have to bow to political pressure. Really, what can a president DO when he disagrees with a supreme court decision, besides say that he thinks it's wrong?

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.

18 posted on 07/04/2012 1:32:06 AM PDT by juno67 (Gua)
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To: dagogo redux

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.


19 posted on 07/04/2012 1:35:14 AM PDT by octex
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To: STARWISE
it seems pretty much inconceivable that a writer would so casually disclose a contact with a United States Supreme Court Justice.

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.

20 posted on 07/04/2012 1:37:28 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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