It’s a tax: Delegitimization isn’t a Supreme Court problem

posted at 12:31 pm on July 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this our latest entry in the Great Hunt for Silver Linings series, post-Mandate-mas.  I’ll gather three wise men to muse upon the impact of the Supreme Court ruling, two of whom believe silver linings are easily found — and one of which believes the cloud to be even darker than we realize.  Let’s start with Glenn Reynolds, who moves from his Instapundit home today to argue at the Washington Examiner that the entire ObamaCare arc didn’t delegitimize the Supreme Court, as critics warned — but it did do real damage to the legitimacy other two branches of government:

With the focus on the Supreme Court’s opinion, it’s easy to forget the sleazy way that Obamacare was passed. But the Supreme Court itself points out one key aspect. Though President Obama pooh-poohed the idea that the mandate was a tax, the Supreme Court found that, in fact, it was. In an extended discussion with George Stephanopoulos back in 2009, Obama was adamant …

Obama had to reject that notion, since otherwise Obamacare’s tax increase would have represented a massive middle-class tax increase indeed, and one that violated his promise that families earning less than $250,000 a year would see no tax increases of any kind under his plan. Now the Supreme Court has basically said he lied.

Presidents lie?  That’s not entirely novel, of course, but this was the man who ran on nothing but Hope and Change.  Without that promise of reform, what exactly was Obama’s appeal?  Two years as a Senate backbenchers, preceded by seven years as a backbencher in the Illinois state legislature?  Speaking of legislatures, Congress didn’t exactly cover itself in glory, either:

And if the executive branch’s treatment of Obamacare was characterized by lies, the legislative branch didn’t look any better. Obamacare, remember, was rammed through in the teeth of popular opposition; when the special election victory of Scott Brown meant that Democrats no longer had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, the bill was squeezed through via a “reconciliation” procedure under the fiction that it was a budget bill, not substantive legislation.

Add to that the intense role of lobbyists and special interests in drafting the law, Nancy Pelosi’s famous remark that we’d have to pass the bill to find out what was in it and the rampant vote-buying (remember the “Cornhusker Kickback”?), and we have a process that was dishonest, corrupt and far less legitimate than any conceivable Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare.

So, at the end of the day, the legitimacy question rests not with the Supreme Court, but with Congress and the president.

We may not approach the same level of skepticism about government and the institutions of a democratic republic seen after Watergate, but we’re getting close.  For that, Obama and the Democratic leadership of Congress have only themselves to blame, although Republicans who controlled Congress from 2001-6 and broke their promises for spending restraint and smaller government shouldn’t be let off the hook, either.

Michael Barone, also writing at the Examiner, thinks that the court decision will spark a new energy into the conservative renaissance, now that the only option to opposing ObamaCare is the upcoming election:

Unhappy conservatives grumble that Congress can get around the declaration that a mandate is beyond Congress’ enumerated powers by labeling it a tax — or just by relying on five justices declaring it one.

But there’s usually a political price to pay for increasing taxes. That’s why Barack Obama swore up and down that the mandate was not a tax. It’s why Democratic congressional leaders did not call it one.

Chief Justice Roberts’ decision undercuts such arguments, now and in the future. Members of Congress supporting such legislation will be held responsible, this year and for years to come, for increasing taxes.

The backlash to the “it’s a tax” revelation will be instructive, if one takes shape in any significant form.  If not, the lessons might not be learned at all, but if it does, it will — as Barone says — make a great argument against Democrats in Congressional elections for years to come, and certainly in this one.  But more importantly, Barone argues, ObamaCare has pushed the pendulum of public opinion firmly away from big government, which had its own brief renaissance in the panic following the crisis in 2008:

Obama followed the New Deal historians in portraying history as a story of progress from minimal government to big government and in arguing that economic distress would make Americans more supportive of big government policies.

The unpopularity of Obamacare and the stimulus package have proven the latter assumption wrong. Most Americans are skeptical about the supposedly guaranteed benefits of centralized big government programs.

Finally, let’s look once more to the judiciary.  David Bernstein at SCOTUSblog acknowledges that conservatives lost when the court upheld ObamaCare on tax-power grounds.  He sees this as a last gasp of liberalism, though, with the court signaling a transition towards a conservative, limited-government approach — assuming that Mitt Romney wins the election:

Now that the Court has voted 5-4 to uphold the ACA, I want to suggest a different historical analogy, also focusing on 1936.  What if the Court’s ACA decision, like the Court’s controversial 1936 ruling invalidating a state minimum wage law, turns out to the last gasp of a dying constitutional regime? …

As important, the ACA litigation shows that ideas once deemed beyond the pale in “respectable” legal circles have now become mainstream among elite conservative lawyers.  Indeed, though the individual mandate was upheld, the five conservative Justices expressed a willingness to put real, substantive limits on the scope of the Commerce power (Lopez and Morrison were easily evaded). The five conservatives, plus two liberal Justices, also endorsed substantive limits on the Spending power, the first time such limits were applied to Congress since the 1930s.

Like the other Justice Roberts in the 1936, the current Justice Roberts unexpectedly voted with a 5-4 majority to continue the old regime.  But while the Justices continued to dance in 1936, the music had died.  Not only did the first Justice Roberts soon become a consistent vote to uphold New Deal legislation, but a series of FDR appointments unleashed a wave of liberal jurisprudence that ultimately went far beyond the Progressives’ original goal of keeping the courts out of economic matters.

The conservatives on the Court have already rewritten the constitutional law of campaign finance, sovereign immunity, and more, but only tenuously with five vote majorities.  A 7-2 or better majority would expand those rulings, but, more important, expand conservative jurisprudence into areas not currently considered in play.  What would happen to the Contracts Clause with a 7-2 conservative majority? Could vouchers for religious grade schools become  mandatory, not just permitted?  What powers now denied to the states would be allowed, and what powers now allowed to the federal government would be denied? Or maybe disputes between more “activist” and less “activist” Justices, and between libertarian-leaning and more authoritarian conservative woulds mimic the infamous Douglas-Black-Frankfurter debates of the early Warren Court.  The Old regime would be overthrown, but progress toward affirmative conservative goals for an indefinite period of time.

We can only hope, but this points out the urgency of winning this next election.  Not only is the only and final opportunity to repeal ObamaCare, but the direction of the court over the next few decades does hang in the balance.  If by upholding ObamaCare the court changed the political dynamic and put Mitt Romney on the path to victory by enraging and engaging Tea Party activists, and if a President Romney gets a couple of conservative jurists on the Supreme Court, then Bernstein might well be correct.  But the only way to get to the only silver lining from this decision is at the ballot box — which may be the best outcome for a democratic republic anyway.

Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie interviewed Peter Suderman on Thursday, who also found some silver linings:

 


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The beast should’ve been killed by SCOTUS.

But, going forward, any new legislation can no longer be camouflaged as anything other than a tax. And politicians (Walter Mondale notwithstanding) cannot ever campaign on raising taxes without risking political suicide.

And any tax can always be repealed via reconciliation.

The one X factor is do we and the Republican establishment have the political will to do it? If not, we are well and truly screwed, if we aren’t already. And it all now boils down to NOVEMBER.

Rixon on July 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Rixon on July 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

^^^This

SparkPlug on July 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Roberts to Congress: ‘Do your job. We will not do your dirty work for you.’
Roberts to Obama: ‘You lie!’

n0doz on July 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

And it all now boils down to NOVEMBER.

Rixon on July 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

It always boiled down to November, but you’re right, it does.

Night Owl on July 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Indeed, though the individual mandate was upheld, the five conservative Justices expressed a willingness to put real, substantive limits on the scope of the Commerce power

Wrong, wrong, wrongity-wrong-wrong.

4 dissenting justices AND one separate Chief Justice expressed that willingness.

The opinion on Part III-A by Roberts and Roberts alone has the weight and force of fairy gas.

chimney sweep on July 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Had Just-Us Roberts not been determined to subject us to his ego and, er, brilliance he could have tossed out the Commie Care edict on the dishonesty and subterfuge of how it was “deemed” passed by Nanzi Pelosi.

viking01 on July 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Isn’t Ginsburg already 80 years old? It seems hard to believe that the next vacancy on the court will happen some time in the next four years….

cynccook on July 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Here’s a take on the Roberts’ ruling that I haven’t heard mentioned but one I think needs to be addressed.

What if Roberts did change his vote at the last minute. What if he did this because he saw that Kennedy was entrenched with the conservatives and what if Roberts, the chief justice, was tired of hearing about this being a Kennedy Court.

If the vote had been 5-4 to make the whole law unconstitutional, wouldn’t the talk today still be that Kennedy was the key to this court?

Now, nobody is talking about a Kennedy Court. It is a Roberts court. Could this last minute vote been an ego thing for Roberts?

dirtseller on July 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

The one X factor is do we and the Republican establishment have the political will to do it? If not, we are well and truly screwed, if we aren’t already. And it all now boils down to NOVEMBER.

Rixon on July 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I agree. However, how many people do you know who are willing to pay higher premiums, higher state taxes, higher federal taxes, higher payroll taxes, and a 40% tax if they have a “Cadillac” plan and on top of all this have what their insurance covers reduced?

Plus, look how they lied to the voters:

http://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/obamacare-tax-hikes.jpg

32 billion? No, 111 billion! That’s almost 4 x more than they sold it.

No economy and they want more of our money. Spit!

Blake on July 1, 2012 at 12:44 PM

There is no silver lining when a Justice/Judge is allowed to make law from the bench.

Roberts will be laughed at behind his back by the left and scorned by the right. The moderates, however, love him and they are the ones least likely to be aggressive enough to repeal the law.

Vince on July 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Without that promise of reform, what exactly was Obama’s appeal?

His skin. Don’t be so friggin naive. It’s embarrassing.

And the Third World Dog-Eating Retard has been a bald-faced liar since Day One. The worst liar America has EVER seen in the Executive. There is NO ONE else who even comes within earshot of the outrageous and incredibly idiotic and transparent lies that the Indonesian Imbecile has spewed as easily as breathing.

The Dog-Eater has lied about everything and those things he didn’t lie about he screwed up like a brain-dead 8 year old “profit and earnings ratios”, “reduce your premiums by 3000%!!”. The fact that ANYONE ever took this mental midget seriously is pathetic – and that includes major bloggers here who argued that the Indonesian Imbecile had a brain when it was always evident that he didn’t even have two brain cells to rub together, let alone a functioning organ for thinking.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This is all good and well, but in reality all Roberts had to do was rule that this disaster was unconstitutional which it is. Instead he tried to be too cute by half and we are stuck with this monstrosity. If we can’t throw Obama out in November this thing is never going away…

sandee on July 1, 2012 at 12:49 PM

The American electorate voting for overwhelmingly for Republican’s? Feh. See how outraged they were when Obama granted defacto amnesty last month. We’re doomed.

Mr. Arrogant on July 1, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Now, nobody is talking about a Kennedy Court. It is a Roberts court. Could this last minute vote been an ego thing for Roberts?

dirtseller on July 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

On Face the Nation this morning, CBS legal correspondent and Supreme Court watcher Jan Crawford seems to have confirmed the theory that Chief Justice John Roberts originally voted to strike down the individual mandate before switching his vote, and that a sustained effort was made by the dissenters to win him back, to no avail.
“I have sources that say Roberts initially sided with conservatives to strike down the individual mandate,” Crawford said. “Roberts, I’m told by my sources, switched sides. There was a one-month campaign to bring Roberts back into the conservative fold, led, ironically, by Anthony Kennedy.”

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Disclaimer: didn not read this thread thoroughly. Thought I would add this, however, on how this sack of crap ACA will be a BIG TAX on those making less than $120K per year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixRRuzmxzTg&feature=player_embedded#!

The War Planner on July 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The beast should’ve been killed by SCOTUS.

But, going forward, any new legislation can no longer be camouflaged as anything other than a tax.

Rixon on July 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Sure it can. Because it doesn’t have to become a “tax” until Benedict Roberts decides so. Benedict Roberts not only destroyed the language and the nation but gave free license to the putrid left to lie, lie, lie as much as they want and not have to worry about being held to their words, or the actual structure of their “laws” at the SCOTASS.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

chimney sweep on July 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

It is very confusing since the assenters seemed to disagree.

Cindy Munford on July 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

David Bernstein at SCOTUSblog acknowledges that conservatives lost when the court upheld ObamaCare on tax-power grounds. He sees this as a last gasp of liberalism, though, with the court signaling a transition towards a conservative, limited-government approach — assuming that Mitt Romney wins the election:

We need a constitutional amendment to limit Congress’ power over taxation.

Another one too limit the Commerce Clause would be good too.

rbj on July 1, 2012 at 12:52 PM

A Princess Bride President.

A Dread Pirate Roberts Chief Justice.

And Congress? Humperdincks, all.

It is about damn time Conservatives of all stripes and independents, citizens with any sense of the importance of what is happening to our Nation stand up to this President, this Congress, and say simply, “My name is the United States, you killed my Nation, prepare to…” Well, you get the picture.

coldwarrior on July 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

We can only hope, but this points out the urgency of winning this next election. Not only is the only and final opportunity to repeal ObamaCare, but the direction of the court over the next few decades does hang in the balance. If by upholding ObamaCare the court changed the political dynamic and put Mitt Romney on the path to victory by enraging and engaging Tea Party activists, and if a President Romney gets a couple of conservative jurists on the Supreme Court, then Bernstein might well be correct. But the only way to get to the only silver lining from this decision is at the ballot box — which may be the best outcome for a democratic republic anyway

…there we go!

KOOLAID2 on July 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

If the Executive Branch routinely lies, cheats, and violates both the law and the Constitution without penalty; of course their legitimacy is not questionable, but non-existent.

If the Legislative Branch aids and abets the Executive, and fails in its most basic function, using the budget and Article I powers to reflect the will of the people to balance the Executive, if in fact they have refused to vote a budget and routinely insult and ignore the wishes of their constituents; they are not legitimate.

If the Judicial Branch twists itself into knots to avoid holding any individuals or institutions in the Political Class to account for their acts against the law, the Constitution, or ethics, and rules functionally that the words of the Constitution mean nothing so long as the government gets what it wants, and that there is no limit on what the government can do with the power to tax; what is their legitimacy?

Only 22% of Americans believed that the Federal government had the “consent of the governed” several days before the Obamacare ruling took all limits off of government.

http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/june_2012/22_believe_government_has_consent_of_governed

I suspect that the percentage is somewhat lower now.

If the law and the Constitution are routinely ignored and have been for years, what source of legitimacy does a government have that relies solely on taxation, threats, and physical coercion for obedience?

And what is the point where duties of obedience and loyalty to such a government are no longer binding?

Subotai Bahadur on July 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Sorry Ed, Jazz, et. al…..no sale. Admittedly I am a short-game, checkers-not-chess kinda fella, but you do not win by losing, ever. Does this mean my Patriots really won the two Superbowls vs. the Giants because the games were, like, close or something?

All this will do is embolden an already emboldened leftist agenda to push the envelope more and more. They have been fighting to win for near 100 years. What do we have? Hope that our current crop of RINO congresscum will find a set and actually fight for our principles. Good luck with that one.

Flag is flying upside down here. Happy Independence from pesky freedom Day.

Huckabye-Romney on July 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Lies were told, laws were broken, ethics and morals thrown
aside, what’s new?

Who or what is going to hold our government accountable for
their actions? How and why do they keep getting away with this?
Behind every deceitful action Obama and his band of merry thugs get away with, there are “thug elves” running around in the
whacko liberal socialist/communist/marxist underground training camp itching for their idea to be next in the shredding of our liberty.

Amjean on July 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

It seems to me that it was 4 Justices ruling for and 4 Ruling against with one making stuff up. A tie keeps the law intact but what makes the mandate a tax? Who collects the tax/penalty? If the IRS collects, it’s a tax, right?

Vince on July 1, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Someone over at Ace wrote:

Either Roberts is a Machiavellian genius at 3-Dimensional chess or he got beat at tic-tac-toe by that chicken in the Chinatown museum.

As for silver linings, silver linings are what we the people must do for ourselves and force our party to do.

NOVEMBER

Rixon on July 1, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Without that promise of reform, what exactly was Obama’s appeal?

He was black ??

burrata on July 1, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I am not so optimistic. We have become a nation of parasites living off the tax of others. Immigrants flock here for food stamps, free housing and FREE medical care on hospitals built by American charities or tax dollars. There are already calls in Washington to nationalize doctors.(Remember Hillarycare?) Because everyone knows it is only a matter of time before doctors stop taking free-loading patients and private medical insurance become a thing of the past, mere government agencies taking a cut. More than 80 hospitals that were undergoing construction have announced plans to cease operations and building. Employees will soon face more government “taxes” to fund health care. Like Britain, we will soon be importing doctors from third world countries such as Iraq and Egypt. Totally unqualified, with little or no English and American/Christian/Jew? women haters to boot. Manufacturing is fleeing California, Washington, Oregon, the Northeast and emerging blue States like Colorado. Washing DC responds by decrees prohibiting the opening of factories in right-to-work States. But it cannot prevent these manufacturers from simply leaving the country, and that is what businesses in Massachusetts are doing by the boat load because of targeted insane taxes. If the government has an unlimited ability to tax, as punishment, it will do so. Expect oil and gas to leave America for Canada. Expect electricity fees rise so such extreme that businesses simply start laying people off in droves.And then it will get worse.

pat on July 1, 2012 at 12:57 PM

If Roberts is of the unbalanced mind to change his vote and screw the country simply to tweak Anthony Kennedy then he needed to be off the case and recused himself every much as blatant Oblamer shill and freaky perjurer Kagan.

viking01 on July 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

But Reuters/Ipsos poll today says the public opinion on Obamacare has improved don’t you know, especially with those pesky Independent voters …

sandee on July 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

ObamaCare has pushed the pendulum of public opinion firmly away from big government, which had its own brief renaissance in the panic following the crisis in 2008:

Yup.

58% Say An Overly Powerful Government Is A Bigger Danger Than A Weak One

Flora Duh on July 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

It seems to me that it was 4 Justices ruling for and 4 Ruling against with one making stuff up. A tie keeps the law intact but what makes the mandate a tax? Who collects the tax/penalty? If the IRS collects, it’s a tax, right?

Vince on July 1, 2012 at 12:56 PM

On Fox News Sunday, one of the panelists called it a 1-4-4 decision. Sounds about right.

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Roberts to Congress: ‘Do your job. We will not do your dirty work for you.’
Roberts to Obama: ‘You lie!’

n0doz on July 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Roberts to the U.S. Constitution: “You don’t really mean what you say.”

Roberts to his oath of office: “I didn’t really mean what I said.”

AZCoyote on July 1, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Here’s a take on the Roberts’ ruling that I haven’t heard mentioned but one I think needs to be addressed.

What if Roberts did change his vote at the last minute. What if he did this because he saw that Kennedy was entrenched with the conservatives and what if Roberts, the chief justice, was tired of hearing about this being a Kennedy Court.

dirtseller on July 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I think it’s more like he changed his vote because the FBI was on overtime to get something on Robert’s or his family. With the Baraka Gang the simplest solution is usually the most dastardly.

TugboatPhil on July 1, 2012 at 1:00 PM

We need a constitutional amendment to limit Congress’ power over taxation.

Another one too limit the Commerce Clause would be good too.

rbj on July 1, 2012 at 12:52 PM

We have them. Benedict Roberts just changed the definition of “tax” to be all-expansive and beyond any reason. You can’t legislate or formulate any written law to guard against people who are willing to destroy the language. That is the fatal problem that we’re confronted with. And it is fatal.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

If Roberts is of the unbalanced mind to change his vote and screw the country simply to tweak Anthony Kennedy then he needed to be off the case and recused himself every much as blatant Oblamer shill and freaky perjurer Kagan.

viking01 on July 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Now he should be impeached. He violated his oath by re-writing the law to fit the conclusion he wanted. He didn’t have the judicial fortitude to do what was right, but caved to Obama’s and the MSM’s bullying. Coward through and through. He should learn a lesson from Kennedy who’s always said that the tie goes to freedom.

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

But the only way to get to the only silver lining from this decision is at the ballot box — which may be the best outcome for a democratic republic anyway

i.e. Then the Consitutional Republic is already lost. Yay! Victory in defeat!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM

For those, who didn’t see it last night:

Pic of the Day: Thanks, Obama.

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/07/pic-of-day-thanks-obama.html

M2RB: Twisted Sister

LOL!

Resist We Much on July 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM

A Princess Bride President.

A Dread Pirate Roberts Chief Justice.

And Congress? Humperdincks, all.

It is about damn time Conservatives of all stripes and independents, citizens with any sense of the importance of what is happening to our Nation stand up to this President, this Congress, and say simply, “My name is the United States, you killed my Nation, prepare to…” Well, you get the picture.

coldwarrior on July 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

“Inconceivable.” – The Republican Party leadership.

oldroy on July 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM

At this point, our best bet is to get the Federalist papers translated into Mandarin and learn to love eating new and unusual things after the move…

trubble on July 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Okay… help me understand. Most of you agree with 0bama? You think the money you’ll have to pay to the IRS for failing to buy health insurance isn’t a “tax”?

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

There’s no silver lining in the decision, but there is an unwitting consequence: no one is legally obligated to pay the mandate’s penalty. The ACA says nothing about the penalty being a tax, and no one is obligated to pay a tax that has not been passed by Congress. If the penalty is in fact a tax, then the ACA needs to be re-written to reflect that. On the other hand, if the ACA remains as written and the penalty is not a tax, no one is obligated to pay it because the ACA as written was not upheld as constitutional. Hence, no one has to pay the penalty. Note that this is not civil disobedience, because there is nothing to disobey here; there literally is no law that says we have to pay a tax if we do not purchase insurance, and the law we do have was not upheld as constitutional.

Bill Ramey on July 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Now, nobody is talking about a Kennedy Court. It is a Roberts court. Could this last minute vote been an ego thing for Roberts?

dirtseller on July 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I don’t think its ego necessarily, but I think this was Roberts vs. Kennedy all the way. I think that uppermost to Roberts was not overturning the entire law, and since Kennedy had frequently voted for severability before, Roberts expected him to this time. But he didn’t. So Roberts felt he had no choice but to allow the mandate to stand, but on the narrowest grounds possible, in order to uphold the rest of the law. He really doesn’t think the Court should ever throw out an entire 2,000 page law just because two clauses are unconstitutional. It is Congress’ job to go back and fix it.

If you go back and read Roberts’ opinion, you can easily see it reading exactly the same had it tossed the mandate and the Medicaid expansion but kept the rest of the law.

So in my mind, we have Anthony Kennedy to thank for this result, not John Roberts. We could have gotten the mandate tossed, but Kennedy would not agree to keep the rest of it.

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 1:06 PM

..and that includes major bloggers here who argued that the Indonesian Imbecile had a brain when it was always evident that he didn’t even have two brain cells to rub together, let alone a functioning organ for thinking.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM

..although I don’t agree with you 100% on all things, your the passionate in your comments over the past couple of months is extremely persuasive.

The War Planner on July 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM

This is all starting to sound like Lawrence O’Donnell declaring that the real winner of the WI recall election was Barack Obama.

We lost. We didn’t kind of lose, we lost, period. To keep pretending otherwise is just kind of embarrassing. And I know every single one of you would rather have had Obamacare struck down than the supposed “long game victory” that we got.

Any victory on the Commerce Clause front will not stand for long. It can and will be overturned the second there’s a 5-4 liberal majority on the court, which is extremely likely should Obama win.

pauljc on July 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Isn’t Ginsburg already 80 years old? It seems hard to believe that the next vacancy on the court will happen some time in the next four years….

cynccook on July 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I was thinking the opposite: It seems very likely that the next vacancy on the court will happen some time in the next four years. If Obummer manages to pull off his re-election, do you think Ginsburg will pass up giving him the chance to replace her with a like-minded justice? This adds even more urgency to November.

KS Rex on July 1, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Okay… help me understand. Most of you agree with 0bama? You think the money you’ll have to pay to the IRS for failing to buy health insurance isn’t a “tax”?

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

It’s not a “tax” (we don’t tax inaction) and it’s not Constitutional. Period. It’s wrong in every single way.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:08 PM

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I’m pretty much in agreement with impeachment for Roberts and a mental status evaluation, too, but be sure the clown stays (even if declawed) at least until the end of January of next year. We don’t need another subnormal hack like Kagan deciding what those freedom-loving plebes outside the Beltway shall do.

viking01 on July 1, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Okay… help me understand. Most of you agree with 0bama? You think the money you’ll have to pay to the IRS for failing to buy health insurance isn’t a “tax”?

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Apparently, they do agree with Obama because the most important thing now on the Right is to trash John Roberts.

Glenn Reynolds is right – John Roberts just called Obama a liar, and did it in a way that makes Obama completely unable to respond to that.

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

The Great Hunt for Silver Linings

A.k.a. Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Will this fire up tea partiers? I’m hearing a lot of “what does it matter anymore” when the topic of November comes up. Even if Obamacare is fully waived and repealed, there is judicial precedence to allow the federal government to do whatever it wants under the guise of taxation. And if the law in question isn’t a tax, then, hell, just call it a tax! No BFD! See? Obamacare is a tax and it isn’t a tax, just as it’s a BFD and it’s no BFD. Arm yourself, even if only to be able to hunt for your sustenance.

86 on July 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

However you feel about Robert’s decision, he has firmly placed our future into our own hands. If we fail in November it will be our fault. Be vigilant and be sure to vote for freedom.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

On the other hand, if the ACA remains as written and the penalty is not a tax, no one is obligated to pay it because the ACA as written was not upheld as constitutional. Hence, no one has to pay the penalty. Note that this is not civil disobedience, because there is nothing to disobey here; there literally is no law that says we have to pay a tax if we do not purchase insurance, and the law we do have was not upheld as constitutional.

Bill Ramey on July 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

..this and the enigmatic remark Roberts issued about (as someone characterized it above) “don’t expect me to do your dirty work for you” are two of the more haunting aspects of this decision.

The War Planner on July 1, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Glenn Reynolds is right – John Roberts just called Obama a liar, and did it in a way that makes Obama completely unable to respond to that.

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Anyone who didn’t know that the Indonesian Dog-Eater was a pathological liar, already, is an idiot. We didn’t need Benedict Roberts destroying what little was left of America to make that simple point.

The fact that Barky’s lawyer was arguing to the SCOTASS that it was a “tax” was enough that Barky was calling himself a liar (even though that argument was incorrect and should have resulted in the lawyer arguing it being tossed out of court and disbarred for intentionally lying to the court).

Stop kidding yourself. Roberts did nothing good for anyone. SO he affirmed what Barky’s own lawyer was aruging … Big whoop. He killed America and the utility of English as a governing language in the process.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM

…We don’t need another subnormal hack like Kagan deciding what those freedom-loving plebes outside the Beltway shall do.

viking01 on July 1, 2012 at 1:09 PM

At the risk of being redundant, Roberts is Kagan with a penis.

Rixon on July 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

So in my mind, we have Anthony Kennedy to thank for this result, not John Roberts. We could have gotten the mandate tossed, but Kennedy would not agree to keep the rest of it.

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Pure speculation ‘mom. Good as any I guess. But the bottom line is something like this has never been done. It’s a mockery. We always pooh-pooh the legislation from the bench thing. That is exactly what Roberts did.

And Six Fingered Count Rugen in the white house will just simply say “It’s not a tax. And it is constitutional.” And our pansy party reps and senators just may not do a thing.

It will collapse of it’s own weight within a few years. But that is only after we’ve past the economic point of no return. We’re toast.

oldroy on July 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

The War Planner on July 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Thanks, War Planner. The passion isn’t intended. This has all so absolutely infuriating that it’s unavoidable.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

It’s not a “tax” (we don’t tax inaction) and it’s not Constitutional. Period. It’s wrong in every single way.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I have news for you. It is a tax. You can stand there at the plate and stomp and scream all you want, but the ump just called it a strike. It’ll go down in the books as a strike, whether you think it was in the strike zone, or not.

Personally, I thought it was a tax from day 1. I thought 0bama lied to Stephanopoulos. I think 0bama fooled you and many others with his promise that it wasn’t a tax.

Nevertheless, agree, or not. It is now, officially, a “tax”. Might as well quit kicking a screaming and get ready for the next pitch.

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

It’s a tax:

…and now the Democrat whores/hoards…don’t want to talk about it!…move on…

KOOLAID2 on July 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

He killed America and the utility of English as a governing language in the process.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM

So Romney, our only chance at fixing this, is your man now?

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Once upon a time tar and feathers was the answer.

Feathers are cheap.
How much did petroleum go up today?

viking01 on July 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I just don’t get all of the conservative fuss about what happened in the supreme court decision.

The government has from the beginning taxed us and then used the money to pay a private contractor (defense, interstates, etc.) yet no one complained that we weren’t being taxed. So now with Obama care the government is saying that we must send the money directly to a private contractor, and so now this is not a tax?

I applaud what Roberts did. It prevented a lie from continuing, and now it is up to us through elections to set things straight.

CaliforniaRefugee on July 1, 2012 at 1:19 PM

A couple of years ago, the apparatchiks in Brussels decided that water didn’t hydrate.

Imagine:

Congress decides to tell people that they shouldn’t drink water, especially on hot days. It acknowledges that it doesn’t have the authority to mandate that people abstain from drinking water, BUT, if they do, they will be “taxed.”

This legislation is signed into law by the American President, who is a cousin of Herman van Rompuy, the President of the European Council in Brussels.

In a previous Congress, a bill was passed that said Americans should not drink any more than 16 ounces in total of juice, soda, alcohol, and milk per day because all are having an impact on health care costs. It acknowledged that it didn’t have the authority to mandate that people abstain from drinking water, BUT, if they did, they would be “taxed.”

This legislation was signed into law by President Bloomberg, the First Jewish President, who was criticised mightily by some, but that wasn’t “racist.”

So, as a result of these two laws, people will be limited to drinking less than 16 ounces in total of juice, soda, alcohol, and milk per day and no water or pay a tax.

As Ben Franklin said, “nothing can be said to be certain in this world, except death and taxes.”

Resist We Much on July 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I have news for you. It is a tax. You can stand there at the plate and stomp and scream all you want, but the ump just called it a strike. It’ll go down in the books as a strike, whether you think it was in the strike zone, or not.

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

An ump can call a beanball a strike. It gets recorded as a strike. It doesn’t make it a strike, but it makes it sure that you’re going to get beaned the next time you’re at bat. But … at least it’ll be a “strike” when you get your head taken off.

So Romney, our only chance at fixing this, is your man now?

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Yes, I’m voting for Mittens. He won’t fix anything, but the Dog-Eater is the worst sort of offense to humanity there is. As to the future of the American Socialist Superstate … that will be resolved, though not in any pleasant way – though it will be easier under Mittens.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Nevertheless, agree, or not. It is now, officially, a “tax”. Might as well quit kicking a screaming and get ready for the next pitch.

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

That’s right. Now we focus on getting rid of as many of the problem folks in DC as possible and start fixing this mess.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Apparently, they do agree with Obama because the most important thing now on the Right is to trash John Roberts.

Glenn Reynolds is right – John Roberts just called Obama a liar, and did it in a way that makes Obama completely unable to respond to that.

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

He deserves to be trashed for what he did. To say that the individual mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to re-write it. Roberts was willing to rewrite the bill to avoid striking down the mandate. It’s not his job to redraft laws under the guise of judicial restraint. It’s his job to interpret them as they were written, no matter the political fallout. And in re-writing the bill, he allowed the government to take over 1/7 of the economy and subjected millions of people to “death panels” as Palin so succintly called it.

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

So Romney, our only chance at fixing this, is your man now?

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Yes, I’m voting for Mittens. He won’t fix anything, but the Dog-Eater is the worst sort of offense to humanity there is. As to the future of the American Socialist Superstate … that will be resolved, though not in any pleasant way – though it will be easier under Mittens.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

We, the People will force Romney to do the right thing if need be. I think he will be good as POTUS. I believe he really does love this country and that is a fine starting point.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM

The lawless regime was likely to pack his court, or somehow relegate it to irrelevancy, and was only looking for a pretext. I think Roberts wanted to avoid the scheme, avoid whatever precedent it would set, and help ensure the replacement of the regime this fall.

Sekhmet on July 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

It’s a tax: Delegitimization isn’t a Supreme Court problem

The Supreme court is last in line for extremely good reason, bad, harmful legislation must stop there because what’s harmful is also anti-Constitutional.

If that legislation which is stopped is so important it can be passed again and made better but to bend over backward to validate a death blow to our freedom is wrong and anti-Constitutional of itself.

Speakup on July 1, 2012 at 1:25 PM

You can only tax people so far. People who are just getting by but getting by on their own will now not be able to afford their own insurance. There are alot of different aspects of this and I won’t bore you but the negative repercussions from this are far and wide.

Reagan sure had it right: The scariest thing for a person to hear is “Hi, I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

Blake on July 1, 2012 at 1:25 PM

We, the People will force Romney to do the right thing if need be. I think he will be good as POTUS. I believe he really does love this country and that is a fine starting point.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I believe he loves America, too, but I don’t believe he will do any of the truly hard and difficult work to return this nation to being the United States. Mittens will be the POTASS, President of the American Socialist Superstate, as that is now what we live in and that is how the “rules” are for this nation.

Repairing this and returning us to a Constitutional Republic would involve arresting, trying and punishing all the people who perverted this nation. I don’t think Mittens has it in him. But, as I said, Barky is an affront to civilization. To be taken down by a retard and incompetent like that is the ultimate insult – something that goes far beyond the irreparable damage that’s already been done.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM

What’s next? Are the hyenas going to raise money for the creep’s reelection off of Brian Terry’s dead body?

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

That’s right. Now we focus on getting rid of as many of the problem folks in DC as possible and start fixing this mess.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM

And I wouldn’t limit that to liberal/socialist Democrats either. An argument can be made that a squishy RINO is far worse to the cause of freedom than a genuine lib.

I hope Romney is listening.

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Repairing this and returning us to a Constitutional Republic would involve arresting, trying and punishing all the people who perverted this nation. I don’t think Mittens has it in him. But, as I said, Barky is an affront to civilization. To be taken down by a retard and incompetent like that is the ultimate insult – something that goes far beyond the irreparable damage that’s already been done.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Romney was my 3rd or 4th choice at the beginning but after the primary it does seem that he is the best to get the monster out of the WH. That being the goal.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Roberts dumped it back in Congress’ lap essentially forcing them to call it a tax. He also told them with his non-concurring concurrence that CC and N&P won’t fly.

Hey, I can dream.

marinetbryant on July 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Romney web site:

As president, Mitt will nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. These justices hold dear what the great Chief Justice John Marshall called “the basis on which the whole American fabric has been erected”: a written Constitution, with real and determinate meaning. The judges that Mitt nominates will exhibit a genuine appreciation for the text, structure, and history of our Constitution and interpret the Constitution and the laws as they are written. And his nominees will possess a demonstrated record of adherence to these core principles.

Please, someone get to Romney and tell him to fix this.

scrubjay on July 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

If by upholding ObamaCare the court changed the political dynamic and put Mitt Romney on the path to victory by enraging and engaging Tea Party activists, and if a President Romney gets a couple of conservative jurists on the Supreme Court, then Bernstein might well be correct.

And if the Cubs win the world series, and then if Jennifer Aniston agrees to date me…

One “conservative” stood in the way if killing the largest liberal power grab in US history. There’s not one person fired up to vote out Obama that wasn’t fired up already before the ruling so net vote gain: 0. There is no guarantee Romney will get elected, no guarantee this will get repealed if he does, and no guarantee his scotus picks won’t be worthless traitors like Roberts.

Unless you’ve deluded yourself into thinking one in the bush is better than 100 in the hand there is no silver lining.

Kataklysmic on July 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM

What’s next? Are the hyenas going to raise money for the creep’s reelection off of Brian Terry’s dead body?

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Blindfolds that say “I love obambi”.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:33 PM

He deserves to be trashed for what he did. To say that the individual mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to re-write it. Roberts was willing to rewrite the bill to avoid striking down the mandate. It’s not his job to redraft laws under the guise of judicial restraint. It’s his job to interpret them as they were written, no matter the political fallout. And in re-writing the bill, he allowed the government to take over 1/7 of the economy and subjected millions of people to “death panels” as Palin so succintly called it.

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

If he did rewrite the bill, (and I take issue with that but I think it’s a reasonable way to look at it) he did it not to save the mandate but to save the rest of the bill. It’s becoming pretty clear that he wanted to kill the mandate but he didn’t think it was appropriate to toss the entire bill over it. He could not get 5 votes for that. I happen to agree with that position, so I am most disappointed with Anthony Kennedy right now. If Kennedy had agreed to keep the rest of the law, the mandate would have fallen.

The rest of the law is simply not unconstitutional. I hate it as much as anyone else here, but it should not have been thrown out in its entirety.

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Unless you’ve deluded yourself into thinking one in the bush is better than 100 in the hand there is no silver lining.

Kataklysmic on July 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Please, no more Bushes.

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Please, someone get to Romney and tell him to fix this.

scrubjay on July 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I already did, but I think it will probably take more than just one tweet from me.

Flora Duh on July 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

so I am most disappointed with Anthony Kennedy right now. If Kennedy had agreed to keep the rest of the law, the mandate would have fallen.

The rest of the law is simply not unconstitutional. I hate it as much as anyone else here, but it should not have been thrown out in its entirety.

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Wow. Simply wow. So now it’s Kennedy’s fault. There’s contortion and then there’s what you just wrote. And you got your law degree from where?

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Now the Supreme Court has basically said he lied.

…and, thus, has legitimized the sausage which Obama is, a mixture of Muenchhausen, Pinocchio, Orwell and Machiavelli. Such charlatans must be defeated and mocked out of town, so as to not repead.

Ed, and all here, and all whom you speak with, please, please, please quit naming it ObamaCare. It has nothing to do with care.

Name it ObamaTax, or ObamaFraud.

ObamaTax…because it is the biggest tax in world history, on the middle class. Because it is a regressive tax Obama hates the middle class and the poor. Propagate this, 24 hours a day, until Nov. 6.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

rpead = repeat

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Kataklysmic on July 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM

If if SCOTUS had overturned ObamaCare, Obama would have a real good arrow in his quiver to use with independents that he needs be be re-elected to protect the people from an activists conservative court. The Dems were gearing up big time for this possibility. Roberts pulled that arrow away. So yes, the SCOTUS decision does help Romney get elected.

CaliforniaRefugee on July 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I already did, but I think it will probably take more than just one tweet from me.

Flora Duh on July 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Romney might view what Roberts did as a big gift for him. If we are smart it will be.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I said it many time. In all this travesty Kennedy is the only hero, though unsung. History will prove this right.

rockmom, I have historically loved you and still do. On this topic you have been most astray.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

“…one that violated his promise…”

Obama would violate his promise?

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

timberline on July 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM

If if SCOTUS had overturned ObamaCare, Obama would have a real good arrow in his quiver to use with independents that he needs be be re-elected to protect the people from an activists conservative court. The Dems were gearing up big time for this possibility. Roberts pulled that arrow away. So yes, the SCOTUS decision does help Romney get elected.

CaliforniaRefugee on July 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM

So prior to Thursday you we’re hoping it would be upheld?

Kataklysmic on July 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM

From the opinion of Chief Justice 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 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.

If Obama is re-elected, he will pack the Supreme Court with liberal justices. And then, it’s over for the conservative cause for at least a generation.

Holding Obamacare unconstitutional is nothing compared to that. Roberts took a calculated risk to ignite the electorate so that Obama is defeated. If that happens, Obamacare is repealed, and conservatism prevails with the Supremes.

The quote is a call to action.

ultraloser on July 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM

If if SCOTUS had overturned ObamaCare, Obama would have a real good arrow in his quiver to use with independents that he needs be be re-elected to protect the people from an activists conservative court. The Dems were gearing up big time for this possibility. Roberts pulled that arrow away. So yes, the SCOTUS decision does help Romney get elected.

CaliforniaRefugee on July 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM

+1,000

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Romney might view what Roberts did as a big gift for him. If we are smart it will be.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Well, I sent this link along with the suggestion, just to give them something to consider.

Approval Ratings for Supreme Court Slip Following Health Care Ruling

Flora Duh on July 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

So prior to Thursday you we’re hoping it would be upheld?

Kataklysmic on July 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I think most of us ot a lot of us never thought about the “tax” option.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

The entire law is a charade, the way it was put together, shoved down the throat of all, the lies, the pretenses, the charlatanry with the crooks in the senate, the tax/no tax videos, the exemptions, the fact that Obama and the congress exempted themselves, the unlimited power Sibelies has, not only on the money, but the decision over life and death, treatment, who gets it, who doens’t have to think about, the payoffs to the unions, McDonalds, Maine, the pharma and medical companies who supported it, the “pass it so we can find out what’s in it”..on and on…and never to forget the ‘tax’ language Roberts added in order to keep it ‘constitutional’…a horrific court precedent.

Kennedy wanted it all thrown out becuase it is simply crookery. Basta.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Approval Ratings for Supreme Court Slip Following Health Care Ruling

Flora Duh on July 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Good lady of ours, this has little meaning now. Not saying this against you, just in general. This is what is more scary now and necessitates fighitng day and night until Nov. 6.

More approve of it after the SC modified/forced it to be upheld.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Well, I sent this link along with the suggestion, just to give them something to consider.

Approval Ratings for Supreme Court Slip Following Health Care Ruling

Flora Duh on July 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

I think that article is actually a good sign. I hope people are angry and engaged this November. I know I am.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I think most of us ot a lot of us never thought about the “tax” option.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

So you prefer this ruling to it being overturned then?

Kataklysmic on July 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM

It’s crap. Roberts screwed us.

SurferDoc on July 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Republicans who controlled Congress from 2001-6

Republicans did not control the Senate in 2001 and 2002.

Republicans controlled the House and Senate from 2003-2006.

farsighted on July 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Now we are picking on Kennedy?

Let’s blame the bill’s originators: the Obama thug socialist
regime, Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, etc.

Amjean on July 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Good lady of ours, this has little meaning now. Not saying this against you, just in general. This is what is more scary now and necessitates fighitng day and night until Nov. 6.

More approve of it after the SC modified/forced it to be upheld.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I don’t believe a thing from rooters.

VegasRick on July 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM

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