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John Roberts and Obamacare Revisited

  

It must be difficult for the middling Republican, residing within the Beltway; unsure of himself, goaded by vague attachments to pesky conservative principles, and, yet, desperate to be loved by the wall-to-wall leftists that surround him.

Indeed, it did not take long for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to become another Republican casualty of the liberal pressure cooker.

Confronted by Executive branch and media intimidation, Roberts decided to become a good little moderate swing vote and throw in with the liberal judges, upholding the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  In so doing, he saved President Obama and his horrendous legislation – and did great damage to his country.

The phenomenon is well known.  So great is the desire by wobbly Republicans to be liked by the left and in particular the editorial pages of the New York Times, they are more than ready to jettison conservatism at the first hint of liberal umbrage.  That this drifting of ideology occurs only with conservatives is well known.  Liberals, it seems, are rarely, if ever, haunted by self-doubt regarding their own judicial or governing philosophies - however destructive or unconstitutional.

It is understandable.  When one works in government, particularly in Washington, the air one breathes and the bourbon one sips is imbued with the wondrous essence of liberalism: in the bureaucracy, the media, the Academy, the language and assumptions are all scented with the alluring fragrance of eau de liberalism.

And so what’s a squirrely conservative to do?  Why, grovel, appease, and drift left along with them.  Consider it a law of nature.

The urge, however, of wobbly conservatives to twist their beliefs into unrecognizable shapes to satisfy liberal longings attained new heights in the Roberts ruling on Obamacare.  Indeed, Roberts engaged in legal wizardry, never before imagined, conjuring gifts and wonders for his newly christened liberal patrons.

The key provision under review was the individual mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance.

While he agreed with the four dissenters (Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) that it did not pass constitutional muster under the commerce clause (as was argued by the administration), he ruled that it was constitutional under Congress’s “taxing power,” which is to say that the “penalty” imposed by the statute was actually a tax.

But it is here where the now acclaimed Roberts’ witchcraft was spun, for the actual statute passed by Congress designates it as a penalty and not a tax; the case argued by the Obama administration in the lower courts and again before the Supreme Court, described it as a penalty and not a tax.  Liberal pundits and lawyers called it a penalty and not a tax.  Indeed, Obama and the Democrats took great pains to avoid any reference to it as a tax, realizing it would otherwise not have passed through Congress.

Only when it came before the Supreme Court, and in the mind of one judge, the chief justice, was it defined as a tax.

And what kind of tax?  The Constitution allows the federal government to tax income or issue excise taxes, but nowhere does the Constitution give the federal government authority to tax non-activity (as in not buying health insurance).  So not only did Roberts rewrite Obamacare, he created a new tax out of whole cloth, a dangerous precedent.

To add further to the confusion, he also decided that while it was a tax and therefore constitutional under the federal government’s taxing power, it was not a tax in terms of the anti-injunction clause, which forbids lawsuits against taxes until they are actually imposed.

It was, in effect, a legal shell game.  Roberts had an outcome in mind and was determined to invent a way, no matter how contrived, to find Obamacare constitutional.

And so why was Roberts, a brilliant man, so anxious to pass Obamacare, even to the point of incoherence?  Was he concerned that a 5-4 decision to strike down Obamacare would have tarnished his court as “partisan” or “political,” yet content to deliver a 5-4 decision anyway, only upholding the horrid thing, and in a way that damages the Constitution?  Was it a fear of criticism from liberal pundits, editorial writers, and Democrats?

It must have been, for his own obfuscations could not have escaped him.

But in avoiding the inevitable calumny, Roberts has compromised himself and subverted the Constitution; he has set enormously harmful precedent, burdened the nation with a disastrous law, aided Obama in his reelection efforts, and failed to do his job: which is not to curry favor with editorial writers and Democrats, but to uphold the Constitution...

 

Comments

  • Margaret Wiltrout

    January 16, 2014

    Thank you for this. I couldn't agree more.

  • Jason Decker

    January 17, 2014

    Excellent. Just excellent.

  • karen gioscia

    March 16, 2014

    Good Afternoon Dr. Moss, Although I cannot agree with your stated opinions, I am not commenting on this particular blog. However, as a strong supporter of the democratic process, I must suggest to you that more of your opinions must be posted (no matter how much I disagree with them) Your potential constituency must become aware of all your positions.

    Sincerely and go Yankees
    Karen Gioscia

  • karen gioscia

    March 16, 2014

    Good Afternoon Dr. Moss, Although I cannot agree with your stated opinions, I am not commenting on this particular blog. However, as a strong supporter of the democratic process, I must suggest to you that more of your opinions must be posted (no matter how much I disagree with them) Your potential constituency must become aware of all your positions.

    Sincerely and go Yankees
    Karen Gioscia

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