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Are We Being Too Hard On John Roberts?
CE.com ^ | July 5th, 2012 | Ken Connor

Posted on 07/05/2012 7:14:59 PM PDT by Salvation

Are We Being Too Hard On John Roberts?

 
“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 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.”
-Chief Justice John Roberts in NFIB vs. Sebelius

 

Conservatives are apoplectic that John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, sided with the liberal wing of the court in largely upholding the constitutionality of The Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Their rhetoric has been filled with invective and they have described Roberts as “a traitor to his philosophy” who is “forever stained in the eyes of Conservatives.” His opinion has been called “the worst kind of judicial activism” and characterized as “a 21st century Dred Scott decision.”

You get the picture.  In joining the majority in upholding Obamacare, Roberts has become the Benedict Arnold of the Bench.

To my friends on the right, I say, “Enough with the hyperbole.  Take a breath.  Chill out!  Roberts is not guilty of the perfidy of which you accuse him and he has given us a great gift for the coming election.”

And before we go further, let’s make one thing clear.  In ascending to the Supreme Court, John Roberts did not take an oath to advance the cause of conservatism or the agenda of the Republican Party.  He did not agree to become a judicial activist for the Right. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution.  The role of the Court is to interpret the Constitution, and in the Obamacare decision, he has made a good faith, well-reasoned, carefully considered attempt to do just that.  The fact that we may not agree with the outcome he reached does not make him a traitor or some kind of a two-horned, one-eyed judicial activist.  Surely there is room for honest disagreement within conservative ranks.  And is charity not one of the virtues we extol?

 

Conservatives should take heart from Justice Roberts’ explication of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.  That clause has provided the pretext for an incredible expansion of the federal government into the lives of its citizens.  Roberts, however, dismantled the government’s argument that the ACA represented an appropriate exercise of power under the Commerce Clause and its kissing cousin, the Necessary and Proper Clause, which gives Congress the authority to do those things necessary and proper for carrying out its enumerated powers.

Rejecting the ACA’s individual mandate provision as an appropriate exercise of Congress’ authority to “regulate” commerce, Roberts ruled that a consumer’s “inactivity” in failing to purchase health insurance could not be equated with the “activity” of purchasing it.  In the absence of such commercial activity, Congress had nothing to regulate.  Additionally, Roberts ruled that Congress’ passage of the ACA was not a “proper” exercise of its authority under the Necessary and Proper Clause.  In so ruling, Roberts affirmed the importance of the Tenth Amendment and struck a blow for the rights of the states and their people to be free from unwarranted and unconstitutional intrusion by the federal government.

The real rub for conservatives is that Roberts found that Congress had the power under the Taxing and Spending Clause to enact the individual mandate required by the ACA and to financially penalize those who do not purchase health insurance under the new program.  In doing so, Roberts looked beyond the euphemistic form of the language Congress used to describe the consequences of failing to make such a purchase (“shared responsibility payment” and “penalty”) to the substance of those consequences.  He then called what he perceived to be a spade a “spade,” denominating it a “tax.”  In doing so, Roberts found that portion of the ACA to be a proper exercise of the Congress’ taxing authority, and therefore, constitutional.

In reaching his conclusion, Roberts acted in accordance with historical precedents which provide that when a statute is capable of two interpretations—one of which would result in the statute being unconstitutional and the other of which would result in the statute being constitutional—courts should indulge the interpretation which favors constitutionality.  In other words, courts should show deference to the people’s elected representatives and not be too eager to invalidate laws passed by them by declaring them unconstitutional.

Roberts also pointed out that there is a remedy for those who don’t like Obamacare, namely an election.  If people don’t like Obamacare, if they think it is a socialistic, job-killing, tax-hiking, economy-stifling program that America can’t afford, if they think it will degrade the quality of medical care in this country, they can throw the rascals out who passed it and elect a new set of rascals who will repeal it.  That’s what democracy is all about.

Elections have consequences, and John Roberts is absolutely right that it is not the role of the Court to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.  That’s what judicial activists do.  They invalidate legislation based on whimsy and substitute their own fanciful ideas about what’s prudent for that of our elected representatives.  Judicial activism short-circuits the democratic process and puts power in the hands of a judicial oligarchy.  Roberts has not engaged in judicial activism.  In this case, he has left the power make change in the hands of the people.  So if you don’t like Obamacare, do something about it.  Stop whining and get off your duff and go to work to elect those who will repeal it.  And for goodness’ sake, get off the back of John Roberts.  He doesn’t deserve our derision.

 
Ken Connor is an attorney and co-author of “Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty”  He is also Chairman of the Center for a Just Society.  For more articles and resources from Mr. Connor and the Center for a Just Society, go to www.centerforajustsociety.org


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apolitical; apologist; authorondrugs; catholic; hhs; idiocy; johnroberts; moral; notcharity; obamacare; political; prolife; scotus
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Sounds like he has been reading some of the posts on FR.
1 posted on 07/05/2012 7:15:16 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/05/2012 7:17:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Elections have consequences, and John Roberts is absolutely right that it is not the role of the Court to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

What bullhockey. The Founders crafted the Constitution specifically to contain the excesses of democracy. I guess they never envisioned that a succession of Supreme Court justices would simply alter the meaning of words to get around those limits.

3 posted on 07/05/2012 7:18:04 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Salvation
Put this hair-sprayed con-man up against Thomas Sowell. Get an education on critical thinking.
4 posted on 07/05/2012 7:19:04 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard (Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village gen)
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To: Salvation

5 posted on 07/05/2012 7:19:12 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: Salvation
This is about the 4th such piece I've read today that argues the same thing. It seems that there is a coordinated effort underway by certain people who are trying to either defend or rehabilitate Roberts.

Sorry, but no.

6 posted on 07/05/2012 7:19:54 PM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: Salvation

No, we’re not being too hard on him. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution - not uphold the reputation of the Court.


7 posted on 07/05/2012 7:20:55 PM PDT by ConjunctionJunction
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To: Timber Rattler

He is a traitor just like Obama and many in congress.


8 posted on 07/05/2012 7:21:49 PM PDT by funfan
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To: Salvation
Are We Being Too Hard On John Roberts?

No, we are not. The simple matter here is that the man did not hold to his oath, and in so betraying his oath also introduced an incomprehensible, internally inconsistent ruling (if a lack of economic action is not commerce, then how can a tax be applied to that same lack of action? "We're going to tax you for the $40k you didn't earn last year...") that expanded the power of the state by at least a single order of magnitude. (Now the government can tax you for not doing something, essentially. Imagine: 'I'm sorry sir, but if you don't buy cigarettes you'll have to pay a $4 non-consumption tax-penalty.')

9 posted on 07/05/2012 7:22:55 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Salvation

Of course we are. It is just unrealistic to expect Supreme Court justices to follow the Constitution.


10 posted on 07/05/2012 7:23:52 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Salvation
Interesting piece. On the other hand the story is Roberts managed to write the MAJORITY decision and the DISSENT as well.

As crazy as that sounds he suffers or has suffered from seizures ~ and was prescribed anti-seizure medication.

It's not that he's crazy, but his brain is not operating in what we would think of as a normal manner.

Used to read through my friend's epileptic musings ~ hundreds of 3 ring binders filled with stream of consciousness stuff ~ then he finally had a terminal seizure.

He used every medication they had but he didn't use depakote ~ it wasn't on the market then. The man was pretty bright and had a law degree from a serious school. He was lucid to the end BUT he had this writing thing ~ and I'll be doggoned, it looks like Roberts is doing that too ~ but the silly Associate Justices, all very serious minded folks, seem not to have had it occur to them that Robert's performance was NOT RIGHT.

11 posted on 07/05/2012 7:24:45 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Salvation

When there is a Democratic Death Panel reading your FR posts just prior to making a critical decision about, you will know the answer to that question.


12 posted on 07/05/2012 7:24:58 PM PDT by Uncle Slayton
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To: Salvation

“Are We Being Too Hard On John Roberts?”

No. He’s stabbed us all in the back.


13 posted on 07/05/2012 7:24:58 PM PDT by Absolutely Nobama (The Doomsday Clock is at 11:59:00......)
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To: Salvation

I fail to understand how Roberts could decide that the “Personal Mandate” is a tax when the case was not argued by the Obama’s lawyers in that way. Is this what it’s come to? Judges re-arguing cases the way they prefered them to be argued? Seems to me any first year law student would get ripped for this.


14 posted on 07/05/2012 7:25:15 PM PDT by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: Salvation

No. We’re being too hard on George W. Bush.


15 posted on 07/05/2012 7:25:55 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (A Dalmation was spotted wagging its tail.)
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To: ConjunctionJunction

Why should Roberts care what the communists think of the court. It seems to me that the more the communists hate the court the better the job the court s doing!


16 posted on 07/05/2012 7:26:35 PM PDT by MtnClimber (To the left wrong is right, down is up and backward is "Forward")
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To: Salvation

I suggest a simple answer - Roberts is a LIBERAL.


17 posted on 07/05/2012 7:26:41 PM PDT by Tau Food (Tom Hoefling for President - 2012)
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To: Salvation

One word answer. NO


18 posted on 07/05/2012 7:27:02 PM PDT by Mom MD (T he country needs Obamacare like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask)
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To: Salvation

No.


19 posted on 07/05/2012 7:27:02 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1261 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: Salvation
NO and Heck NO!!

John Roberts (I won't dignify him with the title of Supreme Court Justice) is an anti-Constitution Pecker-Head! There...I said it!

20 posted on 07/05/2012 7:27:42 PM PDT by Artcore
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To: Salvation

This article nails it!! We are being to harsh on Johnny. After all, one must not beat up on the mentally handicapped.


21 posted on 07/05/2012 7:27:42 PM PDT by FlipWilson
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To: Absolutely Nobama

Who knows, he might have gotten a call from some people from Chicago.


22 posted on 07/05/2012 7:27:42 PM PDT by oldtimer
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To: Salvation

American Pluralism is the end of America. Anerica gave itself over to satan in Roe V Wade .
It’s finished ,dear sister!


23 posted on 07/05/2012 7:27:51 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: Timber Rattler
It seems that there is a coordinated effort underway by certain people who are trying to either defend or rehabilitate Roberts.

Yes, it is really quite obvious. The shills and the water-carriers are so inept, they can't even mask the fact that they have embarked on an obvious campaign.

24 posted on 07/05/2012 7:28:09 PM PDT by DSH
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To: Salvation
Roberts is not guilty of the perfidy of which you accuse him and he has given us a great gift for the coming election.”

What utter pablum. What an utter insult to our intelligence.

This writer is arrogant in his attempt to push phoney c*rap down out throats.

Mark Levin carefully went through this entire ruling and stated that it is very destructive to our United States Constitution and to our Liberties.

I agree with Levin that there is no silver-lining.

Some many of these disgusting, weak minded so called Conservatives are coming our all over the place to defend Roberts. They are all NUTS!

Robert's decision will haunt our Republic for decades. Nothing about Roberts warrants offering him any respect or consideration.

Robert willfully and knowingly made a decision that he clearly knows will unleash great evils upon the citizens of our Republic.

25 posted on 07/05/2012 7:28:18 PM PDT by sand88
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To: Salvation

Hey Ken... FU


26 posted on 07/05/2012 7:28:30 PM PDT by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
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To: Salvation

This article makes me feel like a black man being told to stay on the Democrat plantation. He’s telling conservatives to stay on the Rino plantation.


27 posted on 07/05/2012 7:28:35 PM PDT by aimhigh
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To: Salvation

No. I’d spit in his stupid moon face if I could.


28 posted on 07/05/2012 7:28:50 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Salvation

Actually, we are not being hard enough.


29 posted on 07/05/2012 7:29:02 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: stfassisi

“Should read America gave itself to satan”


30 posted on 07/05/2012 7:29:18 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: Salvation

Ken Conner

He is also Chairman of the Center for a Just Society

Leftist Moron.


31 posted on 07/05/2012 7:29:18 PM PDT by LtKerst
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To: I see my hands

That’s a disgusting analogy.

But at least you didn’t put one of your stupid boxes around it.


32 posted on 07/05/2012 7:29:29 PM PDT by workerbee (June 28, 2012 -- 9/11 From Within)
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To: Salvation

He is a hard on.


33 posted on 07/05/2012 7:29:54 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: Salvation

What he has done is choose to abdicate his responsibility to uphold The Constitution in hopes of earning a pat on the head from media types.

When he repents, retires and starts actively working to repair the damage done by his betrayal of The Constitution, then he can start earning a chance at redemption and eventual forgiveness.

Until then, he can drop dead and I’ll shed no tears.


34 posted on 07/05/2012 7:30:55 PM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg (With (R)epublicans like these, who needs (D)emocrats?)
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To: stfassisi
American Pluralism is the end of America. Anerica gave itself over to satan in Roe V Wade . It’s finished ,dear sister!

As ugly and diabolical as Roe v Wade was and is, my love of this country compels me to believe that there remains a path to redemption for our people.

But that path does not run through either Obama or Romney. Both must be rejected.

35 posted on 07/05/2012 7:31:05 PM PDT by Tau Food (Tom Hoefling for President - 2012)
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To: Salvation
Are We Being Too Hard On John Roberts?

We haven't even begun.

This is the most despicable bench-legislation since the genocidal Roe v. Wade.

And I don't need a Breck Girl to tell me different.

36 posted on 07/05/2012 7:31:05 PM PDT by Old Sarge (We are now officially over the precipice, we just havent struck the ground yet)
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To: Tallguy
when the case was not argued by the Obama’s lawyers in that way

Actually they did argue that on a secondary level.

37 posted on 07/05/2012 7:31:44 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Bain Capital would not have bought into Solyndra)
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To: Tallguy
I fail to understand how Roberts could decide that the “Personal Mandate” is a tax when the case was not argued by the Obama’s lawyers in that way.

Judicial Activism.

Oh, wait, protecting citizens from crazed legislators and an imperial executive branch is what Roberts considers judicial activism.

38 posted on 07/05/2012 7:32:26 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Salvation

Not. Even. Close.


39 posted on 07/05/2012 7:33:45 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: Salvation

Wait a minute. Is this a deal where you cannot criticize a Roman Catholic? I couldn’t care less what his religion is.

His fellow Catholics on the bench said he’s nuts.


40 posted on 07/05/2012 7:34:00 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Salvation

Wait a minute. Is this a deal where you cannot criticize a Roman Catholic? I couldn’t care less what his religion is.

His fellow Catholics on the bench said he’s nuts. And they are right.


41 posted on 07/05/2012 7:34:37 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Salvation

Yes, we should encourage the judiciary to originate tax bills in Judge Roberts’ office. It’s none of the Houses business!.


42 posted on 07/05/2012 7:34:55 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (.)
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To: oldtimer

It wouldn’t surprise me. But even if that were the case, you still have to do the right thing.

Bravery still counts.


43 posted on 07/05/2012 7:35:25 PM PDT by Absolutely Nobama (The Doomsday Clock is at 11:59:00......)
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To: I see my hands

I wonder which of these two monsters did more damage to America...


44 posted on 07/05/2012 7:35:48 PM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: aimhigh

Yah, or he would have been one who, back in 1776 at the Continental Congress who would have been trying to convince everyone to pay King Georges taxes to keep peace with england... to the author I say, “I spit in your eye Ken, you cheap bastard”.


45 posted on 07/05/2012 7:36:41 PM PDT by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
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To: Salvation

I don’t know who this author is, but he’s full of it.


46 posted on 07/05/2012 7:37:04 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Don't be afraid to see what you see. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: DManA

I am a practicing Catholic. John Roberts is a practicing judicial activist bordering on megalomania.


47 posted on 07/05/2012 7:37:34 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (.)
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To: Absolutely Nobama; oldtimer

This thread gives some hints about why he may have changed his mind. In a word, blackmail about homocrap.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2902707/posts


48 posted on 07/05/2012 7:38:19 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: Uncle Slayton

When there is a Democratic Death Panel reading your FR posts just prior to making a critical decision about your life and execution, you will know the answer to that question.


49 posted on 07/05/2012 7:38:19 PM PDT by Uncle Slayton
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To: Salvation
If the argument is being made that SCOTUS must uphold law and that Obamacare is law and that these conditions impact the process in a way that would not have happened had Obamacare not become law, and therefore a greater responisibility lies with those who did not act with enough effort to prevent it from becoming law, I say he has a valid point.

It is we, the people, after all, who are empowered by our constitution to self-govern.

I will say again, the Bishops did not lift a finger to remind us of that tremendous, God-given and hard-won responsibility. Because they were too busy believing Obama when he told them what they so wanted to hear, because as Archbishop Timothy Dolan has said repeatedly, "the Church has been advocating for universal healthcare for nearly 100 years."

Careful what you wish for, excellency. And what you're willing to believe. And whose futures you'll trade in to get it.

50 posted on 07/05/2012 7:38:45 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (A Dalmation was spotted wagging its tail.)
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