Report: Roberts switched his vote on the mandate

posted at 5:01 pm on July 1, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Amazing what happens while your internet connection gets wiped out, isn’t it. Today’s breaking news is that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts originally voted to strike down the mandate in Obamacare, but then changed his mind and sided with the liberal members of the court. Or so CBS reports.

Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court’s four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama’s health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy – believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law – led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.

“He was relentless,” one source said of Kennedy’s efforts. “He was very engaged in this.”

But this time, Roberts held firm. And so the conservatives handed him their own message which, as one justice put it, essentially translated into, “You’re on your own.”

It’s a four page article with a lot to go through, but if you haven’t read it already, it’s probably worth your time. At least… maybe. This story may be true in its entirety, or at least in part, but there are a couple of things which have me holding back on it. First, it relies entirely on two “unnamed sources” which always throws up a red flag. And when it’s something this juicy regarding proceedings which are normally held closer to the vest than anything else in the nation, I have to wonder.

Second – as you’ll find out after you read through all the tawdry details – this is a dream story for CBS or anyone looking to derail conservatives. It’s got all the elements of a Victorian bodice-ripper: alliances, denials, betrayal, and most importantly it features prominent national conservative figures fighting with each other. The breathless entry about the rest of the “conservative justices” telling Roberts “you’re on your own” is the stuff of liberal journalistic legend.

When something looks too good to be true, it’s generally worth checking out further. But if it is, the conclusion the authors draw is stunning. The clear implication is that Roberts initially wanted to do away with the mandate but was reading the tea leaves of public opinion and abandoned his initial, principled stand under outside influence and out of a desire to maintain his reputation and that of the court. That’s a pretty serious charge.


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ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM
Okay, what do you call that extra money the government takes from the paychecks of people who don’t have kids? That’s not a “tax”?
TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Are too stupid to see the difference in letting some one keep more of their own money for a positive activity and fining some one for no activity at all?

You seriously cannot see the difference?

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 12:02 AM

However, if it was a big out of the blue surprise, is that normal behavior for Roberts? Does he has a history of abruptly changing his mind 180 degrees? If not, what happened for him to do something completely out of character?

farsighted on July 1, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Good question. Don’t be surprised when the answer turns out to be the Romney campaign since he is the ONLY ONE that became enriched from the decision.

Always follow the money when in doubt.

DannoJyd on July 2, 2012 at 12:17 AM

The problem with the “long game” theory that is being passed around is that legal precedent, even by the Supreme Court, is not usually provided by a single case – unless you have a strong majority. The opinions in this case, divided 4-1-4, are so convoluted and contain so much “dicta” (i.e.,non-holding commentary) that it will take several more cases related to the Commerce Clause, the taxing power, and the limits or ranges of those powers. So, Roberts is taking a big gamble. He would have had made a much stronger statement by the Court vis-a-vis the Commerce Clause if he had joined the other four conservative justices. In order for his or their ideas to stick as legal precedence at this point, another case will have to come before the court in which the question of the Commerce Clause and the extent of the federal government’s powers under it are again at issue. Roberts better hope that the balance of the court is in his favor when that happens again.

studentofhistory on July 2, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Are too stupid to see the difference in letting some one keep more of their own money for a positive activity and fining some one for no activity at all?

You seriously cannot see the difference?

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Are you’re now arguing for 0bamacare?

You let people keep more of their own money for a “positive activity” i.e. buying insurance.

You tax people for doing nothing.

Is that what you’re arguing for?

Irregardless, if you think the government can’t tax you extra for doing nothing, tell them to go jump in the lake. Let me know how that works out for you.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 12:18 AM

You mean to say that the Congress that was controlled by Pelosi/Reid was duplicitous? deceitful? dishonest? and untrustworthy?
Now there’s something I can believe.

lynncgb on July 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Iknowrite? I thought this was the Most Transparent Government™ evah!!!!!11!!1!!1!!!!one!!!!!11!

ctwelve on July 2, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Conservatives: “Save us, John Roberts!”

John Roberts: “Save yourselves…”

The American people elected the representatives who wrote and passed the Health Care Act. If you don’t like it, then work to vote them out and repeal the law. It’s unbecoming for any conservative to complain that a judge isn’t paying your rent, or putting gas in your tank. Buck up, and quite whining.

Roberts provided a good argument by ruling Obamacare a tax. Don’t waste it.

The Resolute Desk on July 2, 2012 at 12:33 AM

No, that’s:

Conservatives: “Do your job, John Roberts.”

John Roberts: “No, that might make me uncomfortable.”

rdbrewer on July 2, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Are you’re now arguing for 0bamacare?
You let people keep more of their own money for a “positive activity” i.e. buying insurance.
You tax people for doing nothing.
Is that what you’re arguing for?
Irregardless, if you think the government can’t tax you extra for doing nothing, tell them to go jump in the lake. Let me know how that works out for you.
TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 12:18 AM

That’s not a positive activity. I pay cash for my health services and pay on a catastrophic policy. Both options are being taken away from me and my family by this wretched law to force me into a system I refuse to be in. Reaching into my pockets and stealing more money away from me and my family to pay for others who pay nothing into the system for a minding my own business is not the same as allowing me two keep more of what I already earned. You are a fool and need to getup off the floor and wipe your chin. You look silly. No wonder Roberts is smiling.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:00 AM

The Resolute Desk on July 2, 2012 at 12:33 AM

If its not the courts job to strike down blatantly Unconstitutional laws to preserve the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence against a lying, over reaching Goverment, than what is the purpose of the court?

These Justices are appointed and not elected so they are free from the sway of public(Liberal Elitists)opinion. Roberts didn’t do his duty. He made a decsion based on politics. That’s not his job.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:06 AM

That’s not a positive activity. I pay cash for my health services and pay on a catastrophic policy.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Well, I don’t think having children is a positive activity either. Just like you don’t think buying health insurance is a positive activity. However, our elected representatives disagree with both of us.

And, guess what? If I don’t have the kids, I’ll pay more in taxes whether I like it or not. Same goes for you, if you don’t buy health insurance.

In either event, you’ll be taxed for inactivity and pounding your keyboard while invoking the Constitution won’t change any of that one bit.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:09 AM

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Children are essential to the survival of any society.

God you’re an even bigger moron than first thought. Why do you hate children?

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:20 AM

And, guess what? If I don’t have the kids, I’ll pay more in taxes whether I like it or not. Same goes for you, if you don’t buy health insurance.

As some one already pointed out, everyone starts out at the same base rate. Your are allowed to keep more of what you earned of you better the society by having kids. That’s is no way the same as being fined for minding your own business. No one is adding an additional tax on top of what you already pay for not having kids.

I can’t believe anyone even needs to explain this.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Children are essential to the survival of any society.

God you’re an even bigger moron than first thought. Why do you hate children?

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:20 AM

So, you think the Constitution permits taxing for not doing some good things, i.e. having kids; but it prohibits taxing for not doing other things, i.e. buying health insurance, because that isn’t essential?

Remind me where that’s spelled out in the Constitution. Let me guess…. you got your juris doctorate online, right?

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Let’s try it this way:

As some one already pointed out, everyone starts out at the same base rate. Your are allowed to keep more of what you earned of you better the society by having kids insurance. That’s is no way the same as being fined for minding your own business. No one is adding an additional tax on top of what you already pay for not having kids insurance.

I can’t believe anyone even needs to explain this.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Does that help any? I feel like I’m talking to Nancy Pelosi.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:38 AM

It’s unbecoming for any conservative to complain that a judge isn’t paying your rent, or putting gas in your tank. Buck up, and quite whining.

The Resolute Desk on July 2, 2012 at 12:33 AM

The straw argments are strong with this one.

So we’re all big whiners for wanting the judical branch to act as a check and balance on the executive and legislative branches is that right? If we can no longer count on The Supreme Court as a firewall then why do we care about who appoints the justices?

Mitch Rapp on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 AM

All I have to say is that this should never have passed Congress to begin with. I will not blame this one man for what has happened. Afterall, whose real fault is this? It’s the American people for voting in those democrat majorities and Obama – hope this stings. And if they do it again, re-elect Obama and leave the Senate to the democrats – just desserts, I say. The American people have the ability to right this wrong by voting in Romney and a GOP Senate and if they drop the ball in November, they deserve everything they get! As for me, I am set for life with my healthcare needs, I don’t care either way. As for the rest of America, you get what you vote for……

BabysCatz on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 AM

Are you an atheist, T.H. ?

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Are you an atheist, T.H. ?

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:43 AM

No, why? Are you?

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:44 AM

All I have to say is that this should never have passed Congress to begin with. I will not blame this one man for what has happened.

BabysCatz on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 AM

.
Wow . . . . . thread winner?

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

Okay, what do you call that extra money the government takes from the paychecks of people who don’t have kids? That’s not a “tax”?

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

It’s a penalty! :)

The people arguing with you who say that Roberts ruling was an “expansion” of Congress’ power to tax make me think about people who’d get excited rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Despite whatever way anyone may wish to label a procedure, the net effect of tying tax credits/deductions to particular behaviors is that some non-activities end up getting penalized/taxed, while some are rewarded.

Saying this as someone who dislikes formalities, there is no getting around this – to argue otherwise is to play a semantical game which causes a person to be incongruent with reality.

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 1:46 AM

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:43 AM

.
No, why? Are you?

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:44 AM

.
No, I’m not.
Your arguments just above appeared to come off as such to me. But I’m imperfect, so I don’t read everything perfectly.

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:49 AM

Gotta’ cut out for sleep here . . . . . . pick it up later (may be).

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:55 AM

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 1:46 AM

I was never a big Roberts fan, although I sure appreciated Heller and McDonald. I was disappointed, but not shocked with his flip, I suspected either he or Kennedy might cave.

However, if folks are going to criticize the decision, they need to understand the Constitution a little better. You can argue it’s not a tax… you’ll lose, because a majority said it was, but you can argue that.

You can also argue Congress lacks the power to tax this “inactivity”. That case is harder to make, I think. Before arguing they can’t do it, I encourage the doubters to take a close look at Article 1, Section 8.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:56 AM

No, I’m not.
Your arguments just above appeared to come off as such to me. But I’m imperfect, so I don’t read everything perfectly.

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:49 AM

Actually, it’s just the opposite. I have never put my faith in men, or government. Those who do, will be disappointed.

I put all of my faith in the same Creator that inspired the Declaration of Independence, and I’ll believe to my dying day that all of my rights and freedoms come from him, not the government.

Yeah, you read that wrong. But, it’s late.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 AM

my rights and freedoms come from Him, not the government.

Yeah, you read that wrong. But, it’s late.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Oops. Like I said, it’s late.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 2:02 AM

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:38 AM

No because you’re changing what I said like what Roberts did with this law. Kids are not a commodity sold by a private company. No one is forcing me to enter into a private contract against my will with the threat of a fine when I chose to have children.

I’m not going to argue this anymore as you can’t seem to understand the difference between human beings and product sold by an insurance company or being fined for minding your own business.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 2:07 AM

I’m not going to argue this anymore

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Good, I’m done too. I think we beat that lifeless nag long enough.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 2:11 AM

I was never a big Roberts fan, although I sure appreciated Heller and McDonald. I was disappointed, but not shocked with his flip, I suspected either he or Kennedy might cave.

However, if folks are going to criticize the decision, they need to understand the Constitution a little better. You can argue it’s not a tax… you’ll lose, because a majority said it was, but you can argue that.

You can also argue Congress lacks the power to tax this “inactivity”. That case is harder to make, I think. Before arguing they can’t do it, I encourage the doubters to take a close look at Article 1, Section 8.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:56 AM

I don’t think it’s hard to make – who do the people who say 0bamaCare wasn’t/isn’t a tax honestly believe won the debate about that between 0bamessiah and Stephanopoulos?

Congress taxes/penalizes inactivity all of the time. People here are trying to argue with you that doing so indirectly through tax credits/deductions is somehow different than to do so directly, which I find to be an exercise in silliness – it’s indicative of a mindset that encourages people to waste their creative energies trying to find workarounds in order to avoid certain labelings! As I said in my last post, I dislike formalities! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:12 AM

Supreme Court Supreme Crap. Tomato Tomotto.

Does it really matter how we got here as much as how we get out of this hell hole?

drfredc on July 2, 2012 at 2:15 AM

The problem with the “long game” theory that is being passed around is that legal precedent, even by the Supreme Court, is not usually provided by a single case – unless you have a strong majority. The opinions in this case, divided 4-1-4, are so convoluted and contain so much “dicta” (i.e.,non-holding commentary) that it will take several more cases related to the Commerce Clause, the taxing power, and the limits or ranges of those powers. So, Roberts is taking a big gamble. He would have had made a much stronger statement by the Court vis-a-vis the Commerce Clause if he had joined the other four conservative justices. In order for his or their ideas to stick as legal precedence at this point, another case will have to come before the court in which the question of

the Commerce Clause and the extent of the federal government’s powers under it are again at issue.

studentofhistory

The problem with the long game theory is that it’s so stupid, it sounds like something a lib would make up.

Does that help any? I feel like I’m talking to Nancy Pelosi.

TitularHead

You argue like her, so maybe you’re talking to yourself between posts.

xblade on July 2, 2012 at 2:17 AM

Sheesh, let’s try again:

The problem with the “long game” theory that is being passed around is that legal precedent, even by the Supreme Court, is not usually provided by a single case – unless you have a strong majority.

studentofhistory

The problem with the long game theory is that it’s so stupid, it sounds like something a lib would make up.

Does that help any? I feel like I’m talking to Nancy Pelosi.

TitularHead

You argue like her, so maybe you’re talking to yourself.

xblade on July 2, 2012 at 2:19 AM

I’m no expert in constitutional law. But a majority of America’s very highest authorities in constitutional law just found the Health Care Act to be… constitutional. Arguing the point further is fruitless and, frankly, ridiculous. You may feel the referee made a bad call, but the game’s tied and you’re third and goal. This is no time to punt.

Roberts just reframed Obamacare as the largest tax in human history. If conservatives and Republicans can’t leverage that to their gain, then they truly deserve another four years of Obama’s administration.

Run it up the middle.

The Resolute Desk on July 2, 2012 at 2:22 AM

I don’t think it’s hard to make – who do the people who say 0bamaCare wasn’t/isn’t a tax honestly believe won the debate about that between 0bamessiah and Stephanopoulos?

Congress taxes/penalizes inactivity all of the time. People here are trying to argue with you that doing so indirectly through tax credits/deductions is somehow different than to do so directly, which I find to be an exercise in silliness – it’s indicative of a mindset that encourages people to waste their creative energies trying to find workarounds in order to avoid certain labelings! As I said in my last post, I dislike formalities! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:12 AM

My biggest fear with this case from the beginning was that the SC would simply find the “penalty” was a “tax”. What I didn’t see coming was the decision to hear the case now. I assumed if it was a tax, they’d have to wait, until the tax became effective, before ruling.

I think the strongest case for finding the penalty was not a tax, was 0bama’s and Congress’s own words. If I were Roberts, I’d make them live with the fraud like Kennedy, Scalia, Alito and Thomas were willing to do. I think Roberts tried to split the baby down the middle, expose the fraud and send it back to the people.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 2:27 AM

papa_giorgio on July 2, 2012 at 12:03 AM

That article is what occurred to me too.
But at first I wouldn’t give it more thought because I was so wrong about the ruling itself, I thought ‘no, I shouldn’t think that.

The fact is, Roberts just gift-wrapped Romney’s presidential hopes.
It was both brilliant AND Hard-Core.

Here’s the deal: Let me expand on that article.
Roberts has fired up the conservative base like it hasn’t been fired up in decades. That’s a fact.

It’s also a fact that the economy MAY have slightly improved if Ocare was struck down. Now forget that happening.

So you have the economy continuing to be sluggish, which moderates and independents feel, PLUS you have the law staying alive which is pi$$ing off conservatives all over the country.

Honestly, I don’t know how Romney could ask for anything more to run with.

Now, again, whether the country plays it’s role in this we need to wait until Nov to find out.

B Man on July 2, 2012 at 2:37 AM

xblade on July 2, 2012 at 2:19 AM

Yes, that sounded much better the second time.

BTW, how was the Mensa meeting tonight?

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 2:39 AM

was reading the tea leaves of public opinion

If Souter Roberts had been doing just that, he would have joined with Alito, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas and, together, they would’ve driven a stake through the obamanation’s obamacare. But he wasn’t and he didn’t…

Gohawgs on July 2, 2012 at 2:41 AM

My biggest fear with this case from the beginning was that the SC would simply find the “penalty” was a “tax”. What I didn’t see coming was the decision to hear the case now. I assumed if it was a tax, they’d have to wait, until the tax became effective, before ruling.

I think the strongest case for finding the penalty was not a tax, was 0bama’s and Congress’s own words. If I were Roberts, I’d make them live with the fraud like Kennedy, Scalia, Alito and Thomas were willing to do. I think Roberts tried to split the baby down the middle, expose the fraud and send it back to the people.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 2:27 AM

I think you did some good work with your analysis here – I guess you could say I’m saying that because I completely agree with what I highlighted! :)

My take on his mindset: Roberts mistake was to be too honorable, to contradict what his rude & nasty attackers from the Right have been saying – he rightfully saw 0bamaCare’s mandate for the tax it was, and instead of being silent about that as would have been best, he felt that in the name of integrity he had to be honest about it. It’s as though he foolishly let a confessed murderer go free because of a technicality instead of letting him receive his due justice by a hanging.

What I believe he didn’t stop to think about is that honesty and openness are different beasts – a person can be completely honest w/o being completely open, and, as you pointed out, he should have silently joined the other 8 Justices who didn’t care at all, at least not from a judicial POV, about the nature of 0bamaCare as a tax.

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 3:01 AM

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 1:49 AM

Actually, it’s just the opposite. I have never put my faith in men, or government. Those who do, will be disappointed.

I put all of my faith in the same Creator that inspired the Declaration of Independence, and I’ll believe to my dying day that all of my rights and freedoms come from him, not the government.

Yeah, you read that wrong. But, it’s late.

TitularHead
on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 AM

.
Caught this quick, on my way out the door . . . . . . thanks for setting me straight.

listens2glenn on July 2, 2012 at 4:27 AM

“…reading the tea leaves of public opinion…?” Huh? The fact is that the majority of voters want to get rid of the ACA.

mkenorthshore on July 2, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Did the Supreme Court’s Deliberations on Healthcare Leak?, The Volokh Conspiracy, July 1, 2012:

Now, though, CBS News tells us that the Chief Justice was the defenders’ only hope for a fifth vote — and one that started looking “gettable” right around the time of Senator Leahy’s remarks. Suddenly, the Senator’s remarks look a lot less foolhardy. In fact, they look like a miraculously prescient and well-timed gamble.

So well-timed and prescient a gamble that I can’t help wondering whether it was a gamble at all.

I’d like to be wrong. A leak about Court deliberations, especially a leak that went only to one side in a pending case, would truly be a scandal.

petefrt on July 2, 2012 at 7:34 AM

Now I have one MORE photograph that causes revulsion in me when I see it. That goofy grin doesn’t help, either. Makes me wonder if he’s all there.

Cleombrotus on July 2, 2012 at 7:36 AM

So. I have to ask. What exactly did we get for supporting George W. Bush again?

All of you people out there who argue how important it is that we join the team even if the nominee is not conservative and vote for the “R”. The argument is that we at least get supreme court justices, right?

That’s the argument isn’t it?

What did “compassionate conservatism” and George W. Bush get us exactly? No Child Left Behind? Medicare Part D? Until Obama, the most spending ever? Selling us (which I supported, foolishly, at the time) on the idea that Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan would embrace civilization, freedom, rule of law and democracy if we just freed them from tyranny?

What did we get from W? We got nothing. We got Obama. We got Roberts.

So, why exactly are we supposed to support Mitt again? because the supreme court is at stake? because you believe they will repeal Obamacare?

I was reluctantly climbing on the Mitt bandwagon, but this crap about Roberts and how the “elite” republicans really operate makes me realize, I don’t care anymore. Romney is going to be to the left of W. The GOP in congress isn’t going to do anything – they never do. They tell us they will, but they won’t.

No, with Romney and a GOP congress we’ll get amnesty. We’ll get tinkering with Obamacare. We’ll get other stupid crap. We won’t get anything conservative. No gov’t program will be cut. No serious structural reforms of SS, Medicaid or Medicare will happen. No spending will be cut. No real tax reform will happen.

Screw them all.

Monkeytoe on July 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM

I don’t think you’ll find many limitations in the Constitution or S.C. precedent, other than on the apportionment of direct taxes and the uniformity of indirect taxes, some of taxes on exports, and the basic General Welfare requirement.

TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 9:11 PM

B.S. Go back and read the entire Constitution, not just the Article I Section 8 taxation clause. There are TWO parts to this question…

1) Is it Constitutional to raise revenue through a specific tax?
2) Is it Constitutional to spend that tax revenue in a specific way?

Even if you accept Robert’s argument that it is permissible under #1, please cite the Article, Section and Clause that authorizes spending that money on a government bureaucracy to administering healthcare. You won’t find it.

Congress and SCOTUS continue to ignore the plain text of the Constitution and ignore the 2nd half of the Constitutionality argument.

dominigan on July 2, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I put all of my faith in the same Creator that inspired the Declaration of Independence, and I’ll believe to my dying day that all of my rights and freedoms come from him, not the government.

Yeah, you read that wrong. But, it’s late.

TitularHead on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Thank you for reminding me of what should be my real priorities. God bless TitularHead.

dominigan on July 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Monkeytoe on July 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM

If it wasn’t W it would of been McCain. What is that old saying, can’t win for losing?

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Those cocktail parties must be amazing for Roberts to sell out the United States Constitution. I’m sure Roberts’ membership in the Harvard Club is safe and sound now that he came down on the right side of “elite” opinion.

Punchenko on July 2, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Venting…

Do you know what I find the most discouraging about this ruling? I no longer believe that I can make a difference. That I can no longer effect positive change in returning our country to our prosperous roots.

I initially thought this would create a landslide for Romney… and I’m sure it will. But it has also invalidated the only argument pro-Romney supporters have… that of Supreme Court picks.

I have gone back and forth about whether I would support Romney. He wasn’t my first, second or even third pick. Shortly after the SCOTUS decision, I had decided to vote for Romney. But now that I’ve had longer to think about it… I’m not going to. I am going to write in my vote and do so with a clear conscience. What is really going to change with Romney? Nothing, not even with SCOTUS picks. Instead, I will vote for who I want to vote.

It no longer matters. There is no way to save this country. It will collapse. It will be ugly and bloody. I will be prepared, but many won’t.

Maybe the inevitable TEA Party rallies this summer will change things at the state level… but I’m not holding my breath.

dominigan on July 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Monkeytoe on July 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Well stated.

dominigan on July 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

No, with Romney and a GOP congress we’ll get amnesty. We’ll get tinkering with Obamacare. We’ll get other stupid crap. We won’t get anything conservative. No gov’t program will be cut. No serious structural reforms of SS, Medicaid or Medicare will happen. No spending will be cut. No real tax reform will happen.

Screw them all.

Monkeytoe on July 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM

So no, you are screwing the American people. We can NOT abide this pres and the people surrounding him, (look at ayers, wright, jarrett) for another 4 years. This country will be like greece, france, etc. You mark my words, Romney will be nothing like any of them. He will have a conservative congress (please G-d) and they will work together to get this country back.

Bambi on July 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM

So, in other words, Roberts did not do his job – he purposely violated his oath to uphold the Constitution, in order to help obama. What is even more troubling is how, if true, Roberts could have “read the tea tea leaves of public opinion”, and chose to uphold a law which the vast majority of Americans vehemently oppose and which the vast majority of Americans accurately view as a shocking evisceration of the U.S. Constitution and our freedoms – it simply makes no sense. Roberts has destroyed himself and the Supreme Court with this ruling, and he has caused irreparable damage to America.

Pork-Chop on July 2, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Someone’s got the goods on J.R.

There is NO EXCUSE, though, for J.R. trying to “strong arm” Kennedy. How un-judicial.

stenwin77 on July 2, 2012 at 9:12 AM

And here lies the problem with the Supreme court. It would be too easy for organized crime to bribe or threaten a memeber into voting a certain way. This is why character matters.

Redglen on July 2, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Monkeytoe on July 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Welcome to reality. So many are still in denial and think that this can be turned around through the political process despite all the evidence to the contrary.

It’s like Mark Steyn said. Every once in a while the Republicans are in office but never in power. They simply preside over a vast Progressive infrastructure that just continues to grow and is never turned back.

Romney will not save us.

My hope is in God as well. Not man.

Cleombrotus on July 2, 2012 at 9:17 AM

In other words it,s more important to have the NYT,Washington Post,NBC,MSNBC,CNN and the rest of the liberial media to whrite good things about you than to uphold the US Constitution.God help us.

logman1 on July 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM

The tax issue was in the controlling opinion. He has four others who signed on, so it is precedent.

ctwelve on July 1, 2012 at 11:49 PM

They did not sign on to it. They think the mandate is constitutional under the Commerce Clause. They did not sign on to Roberts’ opinion regarding the Commerce Clause, or on his opinion the mandate is a tax. They simply agreed the mandate was constitutional, for different reasons. Roberts’ opinion the mandate is a tax is not legally binding precedent.

If a future ruling on Obamacare hinges on whether or not the mandate is a tax, Ginsburg, Souter, Kagan, and Sotomayor are not bound by their vote in this case. They can vote it is not a tax without contradicting themselves.

farsighted on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM

You know who we need?!? We need somebody who NEVER flips, a SEVERE conservative! We Need Mitt Romney!! I’ll bet you guys anything that we will NEVER read a headline like this again if we vote Mitt Obamney…I mean Romney!

dom89031 on July 2, 2012 at 9:38 AM

The Fact that John Roberts in an unprincipled Obama Jock-Sniffer and decided to solicit the Love of The Mainstream Terrorist Media rather than do the job he was appointed for – has LITERALLY Made Me Physically Sick.

The fact that there are people HERE and ELSEWHERE trying to BLAME George W. mmmmBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH for this ruling show that there as psychotics who haven’t taken their medication being allowed to murmer their fever-dream hallucinations into the pulbic megaphone without constraint.

It’s beyond insane.

williamg on July 2, 2012 at 9:41 AM

I know that it might not be popular to defend Roberts on this thread, but….I have heard speculation that Roberts had enough votes to overturn the individual mandate, but not enough votes to overturn the whole monstrosity.

From a fiscal perspective, Obamacare WITHOUT the individual mandate is EVEN WORSE than Obamacare with it. With the bans on pre-existing conditions, people could wait until they get sick to buy health insurance (which pretty much negates the whole purpose of insurance). This puts the health insurance industry into the dreaded “death spiral”, where the increasing cost of health insurance makes healthy people less inclined to buy it, and only sick people can even consider buying insurance.

This would destroy the health insurance industry, leaving government-run “healthcare” as the only alternative. Roberts saved us from that fate.

I know that it was tempting to hope that the SC would do our job for us, but the bottom line is this: In a republic, the legislature has the primary responsibility for writing the laws. If we really want this horror show to go away, we should be doing everything in our power to get the right people into Congress.

SubmarineDoc on July 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

The mandate is only Constitutional as a tax. Roberts did to ObamaCare what if the last Roberts Supreme Court had done to Social Security we wouldn’t to this day have people in the country believing Social Security is for retirement purposes. He exposed the liberal deceit before people could become addicted to the benefits. Social Security and ObamaCare are both entitlement programs which are taxes used by liberal politicians to control the populace and which will bankrupt the country. We won’t get rid of one, but perhaps we have time to get rid of the other if we make use of the time we have. November is all that matters right now.

txmomof6 on July 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

They did not sign on to it. They think the mandate is constitutional under the Commerce Clause. They did not sign on to Roberts’ opinion regarding the Commerce Clause, or on his opinion the mandate is a tax. They simply agreed the mandate was constitutional, for different reasons. Roberts’ opinion the mandate is a tax is not legally binding precedent.

If a future ruling on Obamacare hinges on whether or not the mandate is a tax, Ginsburg, Souter, Kagan, and Sotomayor are not bound by their vote in this case. They can vote it is not a tax without contradicting themselves.

farsighted on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Part IIIc was the section on taxation, on which Roberts, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagen joined, which makes it controlling. The trap here is because that is the controlling argument, and Roberts uses an earlier argument (in dicta) that he couldn’t use Taxation until Commerce and Necessary and Proper were disposed of, the findings on Commerce and Necessary/Proper carry weight, even if they are dicta. They carry even more weight because the conservative wing wrote a dissent concurring with his findings on Commerce and Necessary/Proper.

Since lower courts will defer here, the real question is how the liberals will vote in the future. They’ve agreed it’s a valid exercise of the taxing power, even though they don’t agree it was necessary.

So there’s some good.

ctwelve on July 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM

ctwelve on July 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM
Not to mention didn’t Ginsburg write a dissent on the CC reasoning? Doesn’t this mean that the CC reasoning was the majority ruling and not dicta?

txmomof6 on July 2, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Not to mention didn’t Ginsburg write a dissent on the CC reasoning? Doesn’t this mean that the CC reasoning was the majority ruling and not dicta?

txmomof6 on July 2, 2012 at 10:02 AM

No, it’s still dicta since the conservative wing wouldn’t join him on those parts, even though their dissent agrees with these points in full. It’s a very strong dicta though, since there’s a majority who agree. Confusing, right?

Personally, I don’t really understand why the conservative wing didn’t join him in the portions they agreed with; that would have made the Commerce ruling fully binding, instead of just a very strong encouragement.

Possibility: perhaps the liberals threatened not to concur on the taxation finding if they formed precedent on Commerce and Necessary/Proper? I have no idea. My overall impression is that the whole situation exploded at some point, and nobody could put humpty back together again.

ctwelve on July 2, 2012 at 10:12 AM

So after trying to sort through an unlimited amount of opinion and guessing on why Roberts did what he did, it appears to come down to the fact that he’s just a pompous jack-ass that lives in a vacuum and feels that this is all based on the “idea” of what the supreme court needs to be, which by the way is exactly the same way King Obama believes about the office of president. Meanwhile, congress is totally sunk in its own muck.

So who is watching out for the American people?

Hening on July 2, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Before you know it we’ll have a VAT, television licence fees, increased gasoline tax, etc. etc. etc. to pay for this crap… Just a matter of time…

Pest on July 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM

The Fact that John Roberts in an unprincipled Obama Jock-Sniffer and decided to solicit the Love of The Mainstream Terrorist Media rather than do the job he was appointed for – has LITERALLY Made Me Physically Sick.
The fact that there are people HERE and ELSEWHERE trying to BLAME George W. mmmmBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH for this ruling show that there as psychotics who haven’t taken their medication being allowed to murmer their fever-dream hallucinations into the pulbic megaphone without constraint.
It’s beyond insane.

williamg on July 2, 2012 at 9:41 AM

:)

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I don’t really understand why the conservative wing didn’t join him in the portions they agreed with; that would have made the Commerce ruling fully binding, instead of just a very strong encouragement.

Why should they have? IIRC, this ruling does nothing to reverse the use of the Commerce Clause to extend government power in the way it has been used for decades — namely, extrapolating an activity into interstate commerce and thus liable to Federal controls. It only said that you cannot create an activity and then order people to engage in it, that this was just a little too far for the use of the CC, but nothing is reversed or even challenged.

And OTH Roberts MASSIVELY expanded Government power by deciding that they could mandate behavior and tax non-compliance to achieve the same thing, thus taxing non-activity for the first time ever!!

It’s a Lose-Lose, I see no silver linings in this awful decision, just another loss of individual liberty…will we ever notice when the last link in the chain has been fastened on us??

EasyEight on July 2, 2012 at 10:38 AM

You folks do know what a “John Roberts” is in military slang, right?

mojo on July 2, 2012 at 10:48 AM

ctwelve on July 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Roberts’ opinion may carry some weight, but it is not binding legal precedent.

Which means there is a lot of wiggle room. Roberts’ proclamation can be side stepped by constructing a plausible counter argument. I bet Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito all could construct such plausible arguments. Attorneys, judges, and justices are good at that. In fact, many make a living doing that.

Does anyone really think left leaning judges will not be able to find a way around Roberts’ edict if necessary? Because is is not binding legal precedent they can do that. In fact, right leaning judges may do the same, because they may not agree with Roberts that A) it is a tax and/or B) that Congress can pass such taxes.

Roberts has created a mess.

farsighted on July 2, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Do any of the Jews commenting have a really good breakdown of the obama health care plan, that would really speak to the Jewish people?

There are NY Jews married into the family and they are so thrilled that this will be the law and we have to abide by it.
Any help would be appreciated.

Bambi on July 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I, John Roberts, do solemnly swear to make decisions based on perception of the court and not the Constitution, so help me Judas.

rjoco1 on July 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM

By all means JazzShaw. Let’s “hold back” on this conspiracy that has documented proof supporting in the strange wording in the dissent written as the Court’s opinion, and other evidence (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/06/more-evidence-that-scalias-dissent-was-originally-written-to-be-the-opinion-of-the-court.html) while HotAir TOTALLY continues to ignore a 6 month law enforcement investigation conclusively proving forgery of documents by the President or the President’s team.

Keep it up HotAir. You’re living up to your name everyday.

PolitiJim on July 2, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I have heard speculation that Roberts had enough votes to overturn the individual mandate, but not enough votes to overturn the whole monstrosity.

Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito wanted to throw out the entire statute

I know that it was tempting to hope that the SC would do our job for us

SubmarineDoc on July 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

“Our job” is to interpret the constitutionality of laws that come before us without regard to politics, pressure, or the repuration of the court? Who knew.

Kataklysmic on July 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM

repuration reputation

Kataklysmic on July 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito wanted to throw out the entire statute

Kataklysmic on July 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM

That is the gut wrenching heart breaking part of this mess.

We could not have hoped for more from those four justices.

And Roberts threw at all away.

farsighted on July 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM

That is the gut wrenching heart breaking part of this mess.

We could not have hoped for more from those four justices.

And Roberts threw at all away.

farsighted on July 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Right. And that is why I put no stock in this ridiculous “long game–3 dimensional chess!!1!” theory. If this ruling in any way benefitted conservatives, the conservative justices on the court wouldn’t have made such a point to run away from it like it was the plague.

Kataklysmic on July 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM
Okay, what do you call that extra money the government takes from the paychecks of people who don’t have kids? That’s not a “tax”?
TitularHead on July 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Are too stupid to see the difference in letting some one keep more of their own money for a positive activity and fining some one for no activity at all?

You seriously cannot see the difference?

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 12:02 AM

They’re both examples of getting taxed for doing nothing… in one case you aren’t having kids and in the other you aren’t buying insurance. I think a flat tax solves the whole problem. And conservatives may not want to hear this but taxes should not be used to compel behavior, insurance, babies or otherwise because it becomes too difficult to argue that your incentives are virtuous and the others aren’t. I understand that behind every law, especially social ones, they are to push for more of a certain behavior,but this is what happens when the Jeannie is out of the bottle!

tammyloc on July 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM

So the conservatives had a 5 justice majority at the first ballot, to which the Teleprompter and MSM began a campaign of spin, lies, and distortions. The worst part is IT WORKED!

Who thinks that this won’t be repeated time and time again now that Roberts has shown himself to be craven? The only defense now is for President Romney to add a couple of more conservative justices so that the next time a major case comes before the court, we can keep five votes if Roberts once again craves the affection and approval of the left.

I could have handled Kennedy caving. This is just about too much!

Russ in OR on July 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

His public opinion was the Washington DC – NY media elite – not the opinion of the country.

They still hate it.

Ithink the only way to defeat the DC liberal elite will eventually require marching on the d**n place.

Zomcon JEM on July 2, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Roberts=Coward

neyney on July 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Roberts, like almost everyone else in gov, seems to be in it to win it… for his/herself, for whatever reason…and the “little people” be damned, which he just, personally, has done to us. This decision has destroyed all respect I had for the courts…with a really little “c”, supreme (small s) or others. What a boonfaggle.

limmo on July 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM

The Soros/Old media/We won’t like you, exalt you, or be your friends if you don’t think like we think you should think (SOW) establishment got to Roberts. In an attempt to make the court look good to some, he’s made it look really, really bad to many, many more. Yet, to the SOW, you only have to look good to them to be “legitimate.” Roberts bought into that. He cared about them, not us, not the majority, or at least a one half. I’m thinking of three more letters to describe him, but won’t type those.

limmo on July 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM

He likes his front row seat at the SOU address…..

ultracon on July 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

This would destroy the health insurance industry, leaving government-run “healthcare” as the only alternative. Roberts saved us from that fate.

SubmarineDoc on July 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Nope, not at all. Government programs never have to show a profit, and as soon as private employers start dropping health insurance coverage altogether in favor of shedding the cost, everyone will move to the govt program, and private sector insurance will be unable to compete because the playing field not only will not be level, it will be heavily tilted.

I’d say if BHO is re-elected this happens by 2016 to 2017 or so. Roberts didn’t save us from anything.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on July 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Welcome to reality. So many are still in denial and think that this can be turned around through the political process despite all the evidence to the contrary.

It’s like Mark Steyn said. Every once in a while the Republicans are in office but never in power. They simply preside over a vast Progressive infrastructure that just continues to grow and is never turned back.

Romney will not save us.

My hope is in God as well. Not man.

Cleombrotus on July 2, 2012 at 9:17 AM

That’s nutty thinking – 51 votes to repeal in the Senate is all that’s needed now…it can be repealed easily, unless you’re a fatalist who believes it’s impossible for the GOP to win the House, Senate, and 0bamessiah’s throne in November…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I have had little respect for the Courts in this country for a long time.

Roberts’ flip, and this decision itself, just reinforces in my mind that we don’t live in a nation of rule of law – but in a nation of who you know.

Every major decision of the supreme court resolves around issues that should be slam dunk easy cases. That they are not demonstrates that they are political decisions.

Is it a tax? Can congress order you to buy things?

These are easy questions. that there are 5 supreme court justices who pretend otherwise, and rule as they do, means there is no rule of law.

I wouldn’t spit on roberts, ginsberg, and the rest if they were on fire. That is how little I respect them and their legal reasoning.

I see it every day in the practice of law. Outcomes depend more on the judge you draw then anything else. Is the judge an idiot (there are plenty of those)? Plaintiff friendly? Defendant friendly? Are you practicing on the other attorney’s turf, where they know the judges and you don’t?

Sure, there are still cases where the rule of law is applied, but there are way too many where it is the rule of the judge that applies. And, saying “you can appeal it” is ignorance at best. You can’t depend on an appellate court being any better (i.e., look at the supreme court) then any other court, and appeals are expensive.

The reality is that SCOTUS has had too much power for too long. And, because of that, the Constitution has almost no meaning any longer. It means only what 5 idiots on the bench for life claim it says.

Which means we have no legitimate rule of law. We have only the whim of the majority.

this is what the liberals always wanted. they have hated the constitution since at least FDR. That is why they came up with the concept of a “living constitution”.

America is doomed to follow the European nations down the path to 20%+ unemployment regularly and lousy health care. And then we are all going to end up like Greece.

And, even after all of that happens and the liberal policies bankrupt the country, liberals will still claim it is because taxes aren’t high enough and we don’t spend enough.

Monkeytoe on July 2, 2012 at 5:57 PM

That’s nutty thinking – 51 votes to repeal in the Senate is all that’s needed now…it can be repealed easily, unless you’re a fatalist who believes it’s impossible for the GOP to win the House, Senate, and 0bamessiah’s throne in November…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I save my beliefs for Church. when it comes to politics I stick with the facts:

Romney Urged Obama to Adopt the Individual Health-Care Mandate

Just as a dog will return to its vomit you can rest assured that Romney will support 0bamacare while speaking out of the other side of his mouth. They didn’t label him Sketchy for no reason ya know!

“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”

Mark Twain

DannoJyd on July 2, 2012 at 8:54 PM

ctwelve on July 1, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I’m sorry but where in the Constitution does it give the Federal Goverment the power to tax us for existing? I’m not trying to be sarcastic, I just need to know.

jawkneemusic on July 1, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I thought that was the definition of tax.

More seriously, the argument that it was only Constitutional if based on the tax power is intellectually defensible. But it wasn’t written or created as a tax, so how was Roberts justified in declaring it a tax.

If he had stricken down the ruling with an opinion that said it could only be justified as a tax, then it would have been up to Congress to rework it as a tax and resubmit it. A new tax-based ObamaCare would have had all the cons associated with taxes that we’ve already seen, and would have failed. I don’t think conservatives would have been nearly as angry.

But instead, Roberts declared it a tax on behalf of Congress so he could salvage the law. This makes it look like he was after any excuse to uphold the law.

As it happens, as disappointed as I am in Roberts, and as much as I believe he made a foolish decision, this is not the catastrophe some are suggesting. But it’s definitely a betrayal.

I don’t know why exactly Roberts ruled like he did. But he was obviously trying to avoid striking down ObamaCare. If you can answer the question, “Why did Roberts want to uphold ObamaCare,” then I think you’ll have the answer to why Roberts did this.

And while it may sound like a conspiracy theory, it’s quite plausible there was an under-the-cover threat of a political smear involved. From most, that would be a bizarre conspiracy theory. For Obama, it’s pretty much his M.O.

There Goes The Neighborhood on July 3, 2012 at 9:52 AM

That’s nutty thinking – 51 votes to repeal in the Senate is all that’s needed now…it can be repealed easily, unless you’re a fatalist who believes it’s impossible for the GOP to win the House, Senate, and 0bamessiah’s throne in November…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I don’t think it’s impossible for the GOP to win congress and the WH. I have no faith they will repeal Obamacare. None whatsoever. I don’t even believe it will be a priority to try, let alone something anyone will expend political capital on.

Monkeytoe on July 3, 2012 at 10:36 AM

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