Did Roberts really switch his vote for political reasons?

posted at 8:21 pm on July 2, 2012 by Allahpundit

At Bench Memos, Matthew Franck makes the case that there’s less to yesterday’s CBS bombshell than meets the eye:

But what does Crawford actually claim to know? Just the following:

that Roberts held one view in March, and a different one in May;

that one or more of the four conservative justices, notably including Kennedy, tried to win him back to their view;

that a month of trying to persuade him failed;

that Chief Justice Roberts “pays attention to media coverage.”…

This morning I reread the portions of Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion, and the dissenters’ opinion, pertaining to the taxing-power issue over the mandate. The second time around, I am more convinced than ever that Roberts has a fully plausible case that can be defended on principled grounds. That is not the same as an endorsement of its merits on my part, over against the dissenters’ view. But I do think that people might, just might, give him some credit for doing his duty to the rule of law as he understands it.

Another thing, says Franck: If Roberts ruled the way he did for purely political reasons, he was awfully dumb to do it so transparently, no? By switching late in the game and pissing off the conservative bloc, he all but assured the sort of irritated whispers that landed on CBS’s website yesterday, which will end up undermining his and the Court’s legitimacy. Totally counterproductive for a jurist-politician who’s concerned with the judiciary’s institutional credibility, which is why Franck thinks maybe he really did end up ruling on the merits. I don’t quite buy that, but he’s right that the “Roberts got scared” theory depends in part on the chief being an idiot, which no one believes. Surely Roberts realized from the beginning that there’d be a ferocious media campaign for the Court to uphold ObamaCare; the thought of the chief justice, who’s spent his entire career inside the Beltway, somehow underestimating the motives of the political press corps in a case this big is unfathomable. Was he watching “Hardball” one night in May when it suddenly occurred to him that if he rules the wrong way, the Times and MSNBC would call him a hack?

Don’t forget, either, that he’s stared them down before. Roberts voted with the right in the Heller case, which found an individual right to bear arms in the Second Amendment, and in Citizens United. He’s not afraid to break the media’s tender Democratic heart, and he had plenty of political cover to do it again here since Mr. Moderate himself, Anthony Kennedy, was firmly on the side of striking down the law. (Had Roberts stuck with his initial vote, it’s probably Kennedy who would have drawn most of the left’s opprobrium in the aftermath of the ruling.) Also, contra Ace, I don’t think his O-Care decision heralds a new dark age of 5-4 liberal decisions. If he had wanted to fully ingratiate himself with the left, he had an easy route: Simply join the four liberals in finding that the mandate was constitutional under the Commerce Clause too. He refused, even after the conservative bloc was so annoyed with him that they refused to acknowledge his opinion in their own draft. All of which is to say that if Roberts switched for political reasons, I don’t think it’s because he cares about Beltway cocktail parties. He cares that the Court be perceived as a nonpartisan/impartial broker and a huge surprise on a landmark case that everyone figured for a party-line vote is one way to do that. That doesn’t justify him voting for political reasons, assuming that he did, but I think it’s more complicated than Roberts wanting to impress the liberal intelligentsia.

My problem with Franck’s theory is that it doesn’t explain the tone of the conservative opinion. They were obviously royally ticked off; in her CBS piece, Jan Crawford notes how unusual it was that the dissent was unsigned and cites sources claiming that the four justices deliberately omitted references to Roberts in order to signal that they “no longer wished to engage in debate with him.” Over the weekend, Mark Levin flagged the fact that the four refused to join Roberts’s opinion even on the key point on which they agreed, that the mandate is an unconstitutional use of the Commerce Clause. The opinion seems to have been written as an expression of aggravation, all the more so in light of the quick leaks from the Court about Roberts flipping. Simple question, then: If Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito thought that Roberts had switched his vote in good faith, because he had honestly seen the merits of the tax argument, would they still have gone this route? Kennedy himself famously switched his vote in the Casey case that upheld Roe 20 years ago; for him to join a dissent that treated Roberts as if he wasn’t worth taking seriously suggests something unusual was going on, as if they thought his motives were illegitimate too and wanted to convey that by refusing to engage with his arguments. (Crawford writes, with exquisite vagueness, “At least one conservative justice tried to get him to explain it, but was unsatisfied with the response.” Unsatisfied with Roberts’s legal reasoning or unsatisfied with his apparent motive?) Hard for me to believe they would have shown this much pique, even in a big case, simply because Roberts flipped.

I think Jonathan Adler’s theory makes the most sense. Roberts didn’t get cold feet because he was worried about a nasty article about him appearing in The Nation, he did it because he couldn’t bring himself to torpedo a democratically-passed law this prominent, especially with voters able to elect a legislature devoted to repeal four months from now. That’s not an excuse — the guy had to re-write the statute to find that way on the tax question — just an explanation. Exit question via Orin Kerr: Who leaked?


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besser tot als rot on July 2, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Exactly

rik on July 2, 2012 at 9:25 PM

butterflies and puppies on July 2, 2012 at 9:19 PM

A voice of reason among the hyperbole.

Even Reagan got things wrong and got called a sellout for it.

thebrokenrattle on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 PM

“… especially with voters able to elect a legislature devoted to repeal four months from now.”

That’s basically what he said…

(paraphrasing)

“… You elected these people folks, and this is the type of crap that they pass.

You don’t like it, vote their a%%es out of office and fix it, don’t leave it all up to me…!”

Seven Percent Solution on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Difficulty isn’t the point I was making…..already the GOP gang of wimps are making excuses as to why it may be beyond their ability. I’m wondering if they have the ability to find their asses with their thumb on a good day. Mark my words, we’re going to hear more and more excuses of why they can’t do anything, or the time isn’t right, be patient, etc. You all know the drill, God knows we’ve heard it enough from this gang that we all should be able to recite it in our sleep. Is there anyone at all fighting for the American people??

MONACO1121 on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Am I the only one who knows who will play Roberts in Oliver Stone’s or Spielberg’s or Soderbergh’s next blockbuster ballbuster film?

texacalirose on July 2, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Roberts

FI

texacalirose on July 2, 2012 at 9:27 PM

And now it begins……Drudge just posted a story about Mitch McConnell telling a group of about 50 people that it will be next to impossible to repeal Obamacare. Anyone surprized?? Is Cryin’ John Boehner next? If this gang isn’t enought to turn your stomach, I don’t know what is.

Wobbly as McConnell is, the article has him saying he will do whatever he can, including using Reconciliation. The problem is, Reconciliation only pertains to matters involving the budget. There are other parts of the bill that are budget neutral, so they can’t eliminate them without a filibuster-proof majority.

If they can’t eliminate the mandatory coverage of people with pre-existing conditions because of a democratic filibuster, do you still want them to kill the mandate? It’s so painful watching private healthcare get strangled, that you want to do a mercy kill and shoot it in the head?

COME NOVEMBER, VOTE OUT ANY INCUMBENTS!! WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO SORT THEM OUT AND DON’T KNOW WHO IS TRULY CONSERVATIVE AND WHO ISN’T. VOTE CONSERVATIVE BUT PUT NEW PEOPLE IN OFFICE….ONE’S THAT WE HAVE A CHANCE OF CONTROLLING BEFORE THEY’RE CONTAMINATED.

MONACO1121 on July 2, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Yeah, lets have all the people who would otherwise vote Republican either sit out, or vote for people who are not on the Republican ticket, splitting the conservative vote. That’ll really get us the congressional majorities we need to kill this.

Also, there’s certainly no time to think, or turn off caps lock, for that matter. Thinking is for bleeding heart liberals, and only RINO squishes use lower case letters.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

You’re right. It was Alito’s seat. But, I’m pretty sure that I’d be happier with Mier’s in the seat right now than Roberts. And certainly would have preferred someone like Luttig.

besser tot als rot on July 2, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Again, it wasn’t a Roberts vs. Miers choice. We might as well wish for anyone to be in that seat right now. And, predicting how someone else might have voted is a dangerous game. At 9:59am last Thursday, everyone pretty much knew how Roberts was gonna vote, right? Not a single pundit predicted the exact outcome of last Thursday’s announcement. Not one. Miers could have done the same thing. Or anyone else, for that matter.

joejm65 on July 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Wobbly as McConnell is, the article has him saying he will do whatever he can, including using Reconciliation. The problem is, Reconciliation only pertains to matters involving the budget. There are other parts of the bill that are budget neutral, so they can’t eliminate them without a filibuster-proof majority.

If they can’t eliminate the mandatory coverage of people with pre-existing conditions because of a democratic filibuster, do you still want them to kill the mandate? It’s so painful watching private healthcare get strangled, that you want to do a mercy kill and shoot it in the head?

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

If there are parts of the bill that don’t concern the budget, then they presumably could not have properly been part of the first budget reconciliation. The whole bill was passed as a BR matter relating to a budget.

Wethal on July 2, 2012 at 9:33 PM

he did it because he couldn’t bring himself to torpedo a democratically-passed law this prominent

What ? Was he cryofrozen in 2009 and 2010 ?
Did they just thaw him out in 2012 ?

burrata on July 2, 2012 at 9:33 PM

My pet theory is that the court was asked by the states to look into the individual mandate and the Medicare expansion. Much was made of challenges over the Commerce Clause and there were split Circuits over that issue. Five justices appropriately decided that it was, in fact, justifiable to overturn the individual mandate on those grounds.

But in reading the 2695 other pages in Obamacare, Roberts had noticed that there was much worse riddled all through the thing. Since its drafters were going “not a tax, not a tax, not a tax” and “Commerce Clause, Commerce Clause, Commerce Clause” while they were putting it together, they had left it vulnerable to a whole host of challenges which never need rise to SCOTUS again. In the meantime, he’s getting personal speeches and daily op-eds and pressure up the yin-yang to uphold the law — which must surely be annoying.

So he talks to the other non-CC justices about a plan where “we’ll uphold it as a tax, and the thing’ll go up in flames as somebody else’s problem.” The other justices are appalled — when a court could bring clarity, to deliberately introduce confusion? when the law is clearly an overreach, to signal that such overreach is not the problem? when the public image of the court could be enhanced, to drag it through this mud? People could get killed while this thing self-destructs! Do you want that blood on our hands? But Roberts is adamant — he won’t be the one that gives the Administration an easy out — he’s going to let the SCoaMF-in-chief own this Screwed-up CoaMF.

Accounts for the last-minute switch, the annoyed justices, the confusion…..and it remains a betrayal, though not in the sense generally supposed.

cthulhu on July 2, 2012 at 9:33 PM

If Romney wins, whens he’s sworn in, he should thank Roberts for this.
Just sayin’.

B Man on July 2, 2012 at 9:23 PM

I don’t think so. Romney would have stomped Obama regardless of Roberts’s asinine majority ruling.

This is just frosting on the cake.

minnesoter on July 2, 2012 at 9:35 PM

The more I think about it the more Roberts reminds me of one of those serial killers who puts lipstick and all manner of makeup on dead bodies.

Doctor Victor Robertstein, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”

VorDaj on July 2, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Listening to Levin and he is not optimistic about reversing this trainwreck.

Blake on July 2, 2012 at 9:39 PM

If they can’t eliminate the mandatory coverage of people with pre-existing conditions because of a democratic filibuster, do you still want them to kill the mandate? It’s so painful watching private healthcare get strangled, that you want to do a mercy kill and shoot it in the head?

RINO in Name Only

Yes, I still want it killed.

Obamacare is intended to fail. There is no way – this mandate will cover the cost because (as has been pointed out) the “penalty” for refusing to buy the mandated coverage dwarfs the cost of that coverage.

When it doesn’t work – and it won’t – the left will say “see … we tried to use your precious markets to make this work and it doesn’t. We have to have single payer …”

Blow it up so we don’t get there.

BD57 on July 2, 2012 at 9:40 PM

So who will administer the oath to Romney ?
The same doofuss who mumbled like a smitten teenager when looking at Hussein ?

burrata on July 2, 2012 at 9:41 PM

COME NOVEMBER, VOTE OUT ANY INCUMBENTS!! WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO SORT THEM OUT AND DON’T KNOW WHO IS TRULY CONSERVATIVE AND WHO ISN’T. VOTE CONSERVATIVE BUT PUT NEW PEOPLE IN OFFICE….ONE’S THAT WE HAVE A CHANCE OF CONTROLLING BEFORE THEY’RE CONTAMINATED.

MONACO1121 on July 2, 2012 at 9:08 PM

A little nugget of calm wisdom from Milton Friedman

thebrokenrattle on July 2, 2012 at 9:42 PM

joejm65 on July 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

The diff is that next time there is big issue ,no one will know what roberts will do. You like that felling? The other side is beating us at this.

rik on July 2, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Here’s another exit question. How do you think Robbie would vote if they gave Roe second look and he was the lynchpin??Fugidaboutit

rik on July 2, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Just uploaded some audio of Hugh Hewitt explaining to Dennis Prager the possible motivations behind Roberts decision:


http://www.mrctv.org/audio/hewitt-explains-prager-justice-roberts-possible-thinking-behind-ruling

papa_giorgio on July 2, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Here’s another exit question. How do you think Robbie would vote if they gave Roe second look and he was the lynchpin??Fugidaboutit

rik on July 2, 2012 at 9:47 PM

People can be taxed if they don’t get atleast 1 abortion a year ?

burrata on July 2, 2012 at 9:51 PM

The second time around, I am more convinced than everthat Roberts has a fully plausible case that can be defended on principled grounds. That is not the same as an endorsementof its merits onmypart, over against the dissenters’ view. But I do think that people might, just might, give him some credit for doing his duty to the rule of law as he understands it.

Can anyone give me an example of Congress taxing inactivity?

I can’t.

Spliff Menendez on July 2, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Here’s another exit question. How do you think Robbie would vote if they gave Roe second look and he was the lynchpin??Fugidaboutit

rik on July 2, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I’m starting to think Roe vs. Wade will never be overturned.

Absolutely depressing.

terryannonline on July 2, 2012 at 9:52 PM

At 9:59am last Thursday, everyone pretty much knew how Roberts was gonna vote, right? Not a single pundit predicted the exact outcome of last Thursday’s announcement. Not one.

joejm65

Which tells you that the odds of someone else making the same ridiculous ruling as Roberts are slim to none.

If Romney wins, whens he’s sworn in, he should thank Roberts for this.
Just sayin’.

B Man

Thank him for what, making it look like Republicans are responsible for the massive tax increases that go into effect in 2014?

xblade on July 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Is there anyone at all fighting for the American people??

MONACO1121 on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 PM

I do my part but I don’t have any power.

My rep is super duper Kevin McCarthy ass kicker extraordinaire. he of “young guns” fame. So far not impressed.

arnold ziffel on July 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM

VorDaj on July 2, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Okay, who has the inevitable John Roberts as the Joker jpeg? Let’s post it and get it over with.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Who leaked to Crawford or who leaked the initial distribution of votes to obama in March? I know one thing with some certainty, that the left was privy to what was coming on 6/28, just as it was to all deliberations, starting with the initial vote. A fairly wide dem/lib circle knew that obamacare would be upheld and that Roberts would be that +1 in real time. Also, I have a hard time believing that an ex-Rehnquist clerk, associate counsel during Reagan years, deputy solicitor general for Bush sr, etc. (and let us not forget a champion wrestler) got all of a sudden scared…of obama and the media. WHy did he do it the way he did it ? CHarles Lane who followed him for a while thinks that he is playing chess, when everyone is playing checkers, so who knows. ANyway, a much more interesting question than who leaked to Crawford after the fact is: who was leaking to obama before that fact.

runner on July 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM

..here is an even more haunting question: do you suppose Obama knew?

Sometimes you guys are just too effing weird. News reports have O’Bonehead with his staff when the decision was announced — wrong — by CNN and Fox and he had “no visible reaction”.

No, of course he didn’t know what was unknowable.

Jaibones on July 2, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I think Jonathan Adler’s theory makes the most sense. Roberts didn’t get cold feet because he was worried about a nasty article about him appearing in The Nation, he did it because he couldn’t bring himself to torpedo a democratically-passed law this prominent, especially with voters able to elect a legislature devoted to repeal four months from now.

Having argued a number of cases before the Texas and US Supreme Courts, before my sanity returned and threw me into the calmer (and more profitable) waters of business, I do not for a moment buy that Chief Justice Roberts switched his vote mid-stream out of some concern over nasty articles and TV commentary. He had already suffered those slings and arrows in other controversial holdings, so what’s one more? Supreme Court justices, particularly CJs, not only think they are gods, they know they are, precisely why I put no credence in the concept that he changed his vote because of the ink and slurs to come.

Yes, no question, that he went extra-judicial here, tired as he should be of the tendency of so-called conservative legislators to punt their issues to the Court, as in McCain Feingold. I think he was sending a shot across the bow in this case, and an entreaty to the citizens to change course this November and get rid of those who would further endanger the Republic.

At the beginning of his opinion, he pointedly notes that the court “do[es] not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders.” He repeats this sentiment at the opinion’s close, but with a subtle variation. “[T]he Court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act,” he writes, for “[u]nder the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people.”

Yes, it is not what we expected of him based on his earlier rulings, slam dunks as they were, but could it be that Roberts was asking the people to render a verdict on the leaders who wrote the law in the first place? In any event, that is our ultimate quest, Roberts notwithstanding.

TXUS on July 2, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I hope Malta fuc*ing capsizes.

Jaibones on July 2, 2012 at 10:00 PM

terryannonline on July 2, 2012 at 9:52 PM

And why should a democratically-passed law be overturned???? It’s a tax paid by the freeloader(fetus)

rik on July 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Every man sees the world through their own unique optic. Roberts made his decision on just that.

Bmore on July 2, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Gosh I hope everyone is wrong, there is something so unseemly ab out SCOTUS being little more than a big stakes episode of “As the Stomach Turns”. I’m not sure it does us any good to speculate on the whys, the end results are bad enough.

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 10:06 PM

If there are parts of the bill that don’t concern the budget, then they presumably could not have properly been part of the first budget reconciliation. The whole bill was passed as a BR matter relating to a budget.

Wethal on July 2, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Nope. The bill was passed in the Senate without reconciliation, before Scott Brown was elected, ending their filibuster-proof majority.

The house then passed the Senate version, along with their amendments. The Senate passed the amendments with reconciliation.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Gosh I hope everyone is wrong, there is something so unseemly ab out SCOTUS being little more than a big stakes episode of “As the Stomach Turns”.

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 10:06 PM

I’m still holding out hope that this entire past week has all been a dream. At first, it seemed like a desperate wish, but lately, things have really started to take on that sort of bizarre turn that dreams often take just before you wake up.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

That was one fine, cogent analysis you wrote.

PatriotGal2257 on July 2, 2012 at 10:17 PM

TXUS on July 2, 2012 at 9:56 PM

But is that his job? Is that what Supreme Court justices are appointed to do? Pass it off to the voters? If that’s the case, what do we need a Supreme Court for?

Cleombrotus on July 2, 2012 at 10:17 PM

During the process of passing the bill, Republicans argued it was a tax, forcing Obama to run high and low swearing it wasn’t.

Once passed, several observers postulated that Roberts was the most likely defector among the Court’s conservatives because of his deference to federal assertions of power.

Now he agrees with our argument, and fulfills some expert observers’ prophecies, but it is some sort of scandal?

Seriously, we have an election in four months. The people decide. Cowboy up, you wimps.

Adjoran on July 2, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Every man sees the world through their own unique optic. Roberts made his decision on just that.

Bmore on July 2, 2012 at 10:05 PM

This one came out of his brown eye Mr. B.

arnold ziffel on July 2, 2012 at 10:18 PM

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I know, Justice Roberts shot J.R.! It’s a bad dream alright.

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Roberts has a fully plausible case that can be defended on principled grounds. That is not the same as an endorsement of its merits…give him some credit for doing his duty to the rule of law as he understands it.

I just don’t see anything about this decision or this latest gossip that justifies attributing any extra-judicial motivations to Roberts for this decision. Occam’s Razor shaves all the speculation.

In the meantime, I continue to be impressed with the number of mind readers who are also experts on Con Law and the Supreme Court.

In the long run, Robert’s motivations are irrelevant to the task at hand. The decision is what it is. To dismantle Obamacare, we have to take the White House and the Senate. Time to deal with it and get to work.

novaculus on July 2, 2012 at 10:21 PM

…Ruth Bader Roberts is despicable and political and not a justice.
Seems like Ann Coulter was right in 2005!

KOOLAID2 on July 2, 2012 at 10:21 PM

“The Switch in Time that Saved Nine”

John Roberts as the New Charles Evans Hughes, the Republican CJ in the 30s who correctly called FDR’s New Deal unconstitutional…until FDR began threatening him, and he folded like a Cheap Republican Suit.

james23 on July 2, 2012 at 10:22 PM

He should be forced to resign. It makes me sick.

Selling out an entire nation for some good press. Regardless of how much good press he gets, how many friends he makes in the media, his name will eventually be worth spit.

I am so sick of these people in the GOP. RINO’s and traitors, men of no character or virtue. Spineless in the face of evil.

America has 7 months to fix this, and if we don’t, it is truly over. The great experiment in self government, the greatest nation the earth has ever seen, will finally slip into oblivion.

JellyToast on July 2, 2012 at 10:25 PM

I read Matthew Franck’s column and tried to post a response. It was closed to comment, which should tell you something. Franck seems offended that anyone would accuse Roberts of lying. Well, I proudly accuse him of lying in his opinion: coming up with something that he clearly does not believe in order to justify upholding the mandate. It was dishonest like the whole Obamacare process and the dissenters knew it, which is they would not even acknowledge his opinion. This argument that Roberts didn’t want to overturn a democratically elected bill is bullshit when you think about McCain/Feingold; what he didn’t want was Chris Matthews going 24/7 over how he Roberts Court would have upheld Dred Scott, or overturned Brown v. Board. Face it: Roberts can be rolled. As Ann Coulter said about Sandra Day O’Connor, “Ours always go bad.”

senor on July 2, 2012 at 10:29 PM

What do Barack Obama and John Roberts have in common other than the fact that they both went to Harvard Law School?

They both took an oath to defend the COTUS and both have broken it.

One easy example for each:

Obama: Made recess appointments when the Senate could not possibly have been in recess pursuant to Article I, Section 9, the Appointments Clause, of the Constitution.

Roberts: Created a “tax” unlike the four permitted by Constitution (capitation, excise, income,and tariff).

Capitation: Direct tax on a person or property, but must be apportioned amongst the states under the US Constitution.

Excise: A tax triggered by a “taxable event” like a death or sale.

Income: Tax on income.

Tariff: Duties on imports and exports.

In National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius, the Court held that a “penalty” directly imposed upon individuals for failure to possess health insurance, though a tax for constitutional purposes, is not a direct tax. The Court reasoned that the tax is not a capitation because not everyone will be required to pay it nor is it a tax on property, rather “it is triggered by specific circumstances.”

So, it’s not a direct tax per the Court and it’s not an excise tax, income tax or tariff, so what is it?

Roberts’ new “tax” is the equivalent of the Warren Court’s discovery of a right to privacy in Griswold v Connecticut.

Resist We Much on July 2, 2012 at 10:31 PM

I think that Obamaleone brought Roberts’ brother over from Sicily and had him sit in the gallery.

justltl on July 2, 2012 at 10:31 PM

I think that Obamaleone brought Roberts’ brother over from Sicily and had him sit in the gallery.

justltl on July 2, 2012 at 10:31 PM

So funny. But Roberts is like Fredo.

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 10:38 PM

JellyToast on July 2, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Beautiful post JellyToast

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 10:40 PM

he did it because he couldn’t bring himself to torpedo a democratically-passed law this prominent, especially with voters able to elect a legislature devoted to repeal four months from now. That’s not an excuse — the guy had to re-write the statute to find that way on the tax question — just an explanation.

///////////

You and I have different ideas what passes as democratically-passed law. There was nothing democratic in the cornhusker kickback, the deal with Bart Stupek, the walking around money to certain re-election funds, the “you need to pass the bill to see what is in it, and all the rest. This was a dirty deal from the beginning and there is no excuse for Roberts to sit down and re-write a supposedly “democratically passed law” When does one guy in the judiciary get to do that without it being labeled what it is- judicial activism?

Happy Nomad on July 2, 2012 at 8:28 PM

~~~~~~

Stop making so much sense! Itwas just wrong, AND activism, for Roberts to decide that the mandate was really a tax…I don’t see how he was able to do that! He was an enabler.

ellifint on July 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM

I feel for the Constitution in the National Archives.

No one pays any attention to it anymore…

What a waste…

Electrongod on July 2, 2012 at 8:53 PM

You know, it’s funny; I thought of that myself. And how sad it is to have that document so well cared for and revered, yet it is treated as meaningless.

Alana on July 2, 2012 at 10:48 PM

So funny. But Roberts is like Fredo.

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 10:38 PM

No, he’s Tom Hagen, actually, and no war-time consigliere.

TXUS on July 2, 2012 at 10:50 PM

I’m reminded of an old saying….”(fill in the blank) is too smart for their own good.” This explains Roberts perfectly. As I can hear my mother saying the same to me, I usually ended up in a worse position than I began, and so will Roberts.

moonsbreath on July 2, 2012 at 10:54 PM

For crying out loud. There are a myriad number of taxes, penalties, and credits that go far beyond Article I, Section 9. Single people pay more tax than married people. People without children pay more tax than people with children. People who rent or who own a home with no mortgage pay more tax than people who have a mortgage. Interest on home loans is tax deductible, but interest on auto loans isn’t. There are also tax credits for purchasing things such as energy efficient windows and solar panels. A tax credit for buying something is functionally the same as a tax for not buying something. Both involve the government manipulating peoples purchasing decisions, not raising revenue.

This new tax may be something we haven’t seen exactly before, but it isn’t substantively different from many taxes we have seen for a long time. Just one more example of social engineering through the tax code.

This is why it was not a stretch nor ws it rewriting the statute to find this is a tax and to find it constitutional.

rockmom on July 2, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Nope. The bill was passed in the Senate without reconciliation, before Scott Brown was elected, ending their filibuster-proof majority.

The house then passed the Senate version, along with their amendments. The Senate passed the amendments with reconciliation.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 10:11 PM

The Senate and House each passed a different version of Obamacare. They could have gone to conference committee (CC bills can’t be filibustered), but that required unanimous consent, to which Jim DeMint objected.

So the Dems had to do budget reconciliation. Since the Obamrcare bill was reconciling a budget bill, it had to originate in the House. The House had sent over a bill on some other budget matter, which Reid amended down to an emtpy shell with an HR number and a title.

Then he amended the shell again to insert the language that the Dems had agreed upon in their private CC. That amended shell version was passed, and went back to the House for a final vote.

Both versions were passed under budget reconciliation, as the CBO had been given massaged numbers so it could have to score the whole bill as a revenue-saver; BR required that the bill be so scored.

Wethal on July 2, 2012 at 10:58 PM

As a lawyer, I can tell ya he did it for political reasons, with a lower case “p”. It is painfully obvious that he was concerned with the appearance of his court, the “Roberts Court”, and how they would strike down Barry and the Libs signature piece of legislation and face a media onslaught as a result. If he ticked off the right, they would do what they are doing now – looking at him sideways. If he ticked off the left, he and the court would face a non-stop media barrage of “illegitimacy” claims for months or even years. Remember the Bush years?

To “defer” to legislation that was “democratically passed” is so laughable that it doesn’t merit consideration. A piece of legislation thugged through using procedural tricks, deception and outright bribery, which had to be done even though the one party that passed it had a SUPER majority? Please, spare me. You go too far with the comedy, man.

It appears that, like the four “right” leaning justices, he realized that, legally, the bill had to fall in total. But he knew what that would mean, politically. So he tried his damnedest to come up with a decision that gave a little to every side, and as a result, issued a “political” decision, not a “legal” decision that does more harm than good, and opens up numerous legal questions that creates more uncertainty than certainty. Certainty should be the focus of law, especially from a Supreme Court decision. Don’t believe the “Roberts plays 5th Dimensional Chess” bullshiat. If people have to explain how smart the guy is, he ain’t smart. And he could have solved more problems with this one ruling instead of laying all sorts of legal traps as his defenders claim he did. He didn’t – he farked up and legislated from the bench. Face it.

Either he flipped due to “threat” (good luck proving that), or due to political pressure. Period. He’s not a liberal, but he did them a solid regardless. I read the opinion – my guess is, he was iffy on severance of the mandate, and thought he bill might be saved without it. The other 4 justices explained that wasn’t legally viable, so he flipped on them, and found it a tax, even though it clearly isn’t.

The other 4 right-leaning justices didn’t even join his decision. That’s like getting up and leaving the room when he farts – they don’t want his stink on them. That’s why the “shooting down the Commerce Clause” portion isn’t a 5-4 majority opinion, and is just advisory, so we don’t have that to depend on. This is no victory, for anyone really.

He feared having “his” court overturn Barry and the libs crowing achievement, and all the hell it would bring down on him. He made a political decision, not a legal one. That’s why the law and legal analysis doesn’t back him up. It doesn’t make sense legally, only politically. And that betrays his motive.

Saltyron on July 2, 2012 at 10:58 PM

I think that Obamaleone brought Roberts’ brother over from Sicily and had him sit in the gallery.

justltl on July 2, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Stolen from Belmont Club, poster ‘ricki’:

“In the speculation about what caused Roberts to turn, I can’t help thinking about a scene from the movie Eight Men Out, which was about the 1919 World Series and the conspiracy by several members of the White Sox to throw it.

Before one game, a pitcher who was not involved in the conspiracy was approached by two mobsters who told him that he needed to lose the game. He basically told them to get stuffed.

On game day, when he took the mound, he looked over to his wife in the stands and saw the two men sitting next to her, smiling at him.

He threw the game. It doesn’t take much, if one is sufficiently ruthless.”

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 11:02 PM

For crying out loud. There are a myriad number of taxes, penalties, and credits that go far beyond Article I, Section 9.

This is why it was not a stretch nor ws it rewriting the statute to find this is a tax and to find it constitutional.

rockmom on July 2, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Really? If you are going to assert that there are “a myriad number of taxes, penalties, and credits that go far beyond” a certain article and section in the Constitution, one would think that you could at least cite the correct article and section when doing so. It is not Article I, Section 9. The Taxing and Spending Clause is Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 and it specifies which taxes are permitted under the Constitution with the exception of income taxes, obviously, which are permitted under the 16th amendment.

Resist We Much on July 2, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Saltyron on July 2, 2012 at 10:58 PM

As a lawyer (too), I agree with you.

Resist We Much on July 2, 2012 at 11:13 PM

A Constitutional Amendment to correct this offense would be inadequate, since the Roberts Court has thrown the Rule of Law into the gutter/sewer. There was no- and is no– authority for Roberts to do what he did, yet he did it; and it is now considered “law”.

Obama can’t wait to be re-elected, to repeat, over and over. Make sure he is stopped.

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Great points. Also the history lesson was a great reminder that if we don’t learn from it, we’ll repeat it. Seems we have been on our way for some time. CJ Roberts really gave us a push. What a betrayal. Sort of makes me think he’s working for Obama.

bluefox on July 2, 2012 at 11:17 PM

This is why it was not a stretch nor ws it rewriting the statute to find this is a tax and to find it constitutional.

rockmom on July 2, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Wrong. If it is a new form of tax, that’s up to the legislature to pass it as such. It wasn’t – and as the dissent noted, it was a mandate, placed in the oeprative section of the bill, not the revenue portion:

And the nail in the coffin is that the mandate and penalty are located in Title I of the Act, its operative core, rather than where a tax would be found—in Title IX, containing the Act’s “Revenue Provisions.” In sum, “the terms of [the] act rende[r] it unavoidable,” Parsons v. Bedford, 3 Pet. 433, 448 (1830), that Congress imposed a regulatory penalty, not a tax.

More evidence of legislation from the bench.

Saltyron on July 2, 2012 at 11:19 PM

As a lawyer (too), I agree with you.

Resist We Much on July 2, 2012 at 11:13 PM

We aren’t alone, brother. Having discussed it a large number of colleagues since Thursday, the vast majority of which agree with us, be they liberal or conservative. Many of whom have FAR more years of experience than I, including experience with judges who are “swayed” in their decisions for political motives. It is very, very disheartening. I don’t have much pride in my profession at the moment.

Saltyron on July 2, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Roberts is the only one who claims the mandate is a tax – the only one. And the only reason he did is because he knew that is the only way it would be constitutional.

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 2, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Yep.

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Wasn’t the vote 5 to 4 for upholding the Mandate as a tax?
It still wasn’t/isn’t Constitutional.

bluefox on July 2, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Roberts is a fool and we may well all of us suffer for the stupendous stupidity of this blackguard.

You are a fool, Roberts!

Sherman1864 on July 2, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Every man sees the world through their own unique optic. Roberts made his decision on just that.

Bmore on July 2, 2012 at 10:05 PM

That reminded me of a verse in the Old Testament where every man did what was right in his own eyes. Didn’t work very well then either:-)

bluefox on July 2, 2012 at 11:48 PM

In National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius, the Court held that a “penalty” directly imposed upon individuals for failure to possess health insurance, though a tax for constitutional purposes, is not a direct tax. The Court reasoned that the tax is not a capitation because not everyone will be required to pay it nor is it a tax on property, rather “it is triggered by specific circumstances.”

So, it’s not a direct tax per the Court and it’s not an excise tax, income tax or tariff, so what is it?

Resist We Much on July 2, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Is it really clear that the tax has to fall into a particular category, though?

I’m not a lawyer, so it’s probably dangerous for me to wade in here, but Section 8 doesn’t seem to indicate that every tax has to fall into one of 4 categories, from my possibly flawed reading, anyway:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;

The “and” seems to indicate that duties, imposts, and excises are simply additions or further examples of taxation power. It doesn’t say that the first word, “tax”, is a synonym for “direct tax”, and it wouldn’t make any sense to treat it as such, since these are later prohibited by section 9. So I assume Roberts’ argument is that “tax” is a broad term for robbing us in whatever creative ways congress sees fit.

I still think you’re basically right, but I’d think the heart of the problem isn’t that Roberts invented a new kind of tax, but that he flagrantly ignored section 9′s prohibition of direct taxation via some tortured BS about the tax only being applied to some people under certain circumstances. How could that in any way make it not direct?

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 11:49 PM

In the long run, Robert’s motivations are irrelevant to the task at hand. The decision is what it is. To dismantle Obamacare, we have to take the White House and the Senate. Time to deal with it and get to work.

novaculus on July 2, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Exactly. It doesn’t matter why he betrayed the Constitution and the Country, he did. We have a LOT of work to do, that is certain!

bluefox on July 2, 2012 at 11:54 PM

This is why it was not a stretch nor ws it rewriting the statute to find this is a tax and to find it constitutional.

rockmom on July 2, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Wow! Haven’t you read anything about this ruling???????

bluefox on July 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM

That was one fine, cogent analysis you wrote.

PatriotGal2257 on July 2, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Also bluefox, thank you both.

It’s time to get very serious. It is now down right scary.

If Roberts decided this on his own, he’s not competent, or is sick.

If he did this out of fear, from the WH and/or the press, we are in deep, deep trouble and no longer a free country.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2012 at 12:11 AM

It’s time to get very serious. It is now down right scary.

If Roberts decided this on his own, he’s not competent, or is sick.

If he did this out of fear, from the WH and/or the press, we are in deep, deep trouble and no longer a free country.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Another distasteful possibility is that he did this at the request/suggestion of the Republican bigwigs.

sharrukin on July 3, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Think about it. You’re John Roberts. You’d like some celebrity status. After all, you’re the Boss of the Court.

So everyday you look in the papers and turn on the TV to see if they’re talking about you. But in the rare moments you’re mentioned, it’s all negative.

By golly, they’ve even associated you with those crude racist Tea Baggers!
That will not do. You want to be adored. You want to rub elbows with all the beautiful people. You want to attend parties with all of Barbara Boxer’s Hollywood friends.

But you can’t do that because Tea Baggers Are Not Welcome. So you need to send a clear signal that you are not with the Tea Party. You will make sure everyone knows whose side you’re on. You will join the liberals on the Court. Yes, that will do nicely.

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 3, 2012 at 12:27 AM

novaculus on July 2, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Totally agree with you.

butterflies and puppies on July 3, 2012 at 1:07 AM

Justice Alito to Justice Roberts:

“Oh and by the way ….You lie, too!”

Sherman1864 on July 3, 2012 at 6:18 AM

Mothers don’t you let your babies grow up to be Roberts….

Sherman1864 on July 3, 2012 at 7:52 AM

It’s called “Pulling a Roberts” on someone; only scum do that kind of thing….

Sherman1864 on July 3, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Nope. The bill was passed in the Senate without reconciliation, before Scott Brown was elected, ending their filibuster-proof majority.

The house then passed the Senate version, along with their amendments. The Senate passed the amendments with reconciliation.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Nope, if that were true, the tax would be unconstitutional.

Harry Reid took a previously voted on HOUSE bill, gutted it through the amendment process, and used reconciliation to only need 51 votes. The entire bill was passed by reconciliation, the entire thing can be repealed the same way.

Animal60 on July 3, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Whatever his motivation, Roberts is confused about the nature of the Judiciary… If a law is unconstitutional it is unconstitutional, regardless of how many people like it or hate it. His job is not to decide how it will play itself out in the press, or even among the citizenry.

http://www.imperfectamerica.blogspot.com/2012/07/there-is-no-silver-lining-justice.html

imperfectamerica on July 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Circumstantial evidence would indicate that Roberts was either intimidated by Democrat threats or that he was influenced by a desire to be called a great man by the NYT and the WaPo. The majority decision certainly puts in doubt his much vaunted brain power—his reasoning wouldn’t get him through a freshman class on logic. Embarrassing. So, one must logically conclude that the man has no character. As Krauthammer pointed out last night, if his inane argument that the court can’t correct the legislative and executive excess on Constitutional grounds, then the court is useless.

When I read that opinion, my first thought was: Oh, good. Democrats steal elections, register illegals to vote numerous times in the same election and those of us who honor the law must “pay the price”? I’m sure that’s going to be Robert’s argument when Obama starts building the camps and putting Republicans and conservatives in them: “You people voted for the man, so fix it.”

Welcome to Cuba. Except there’s absolutely no place that will take us or save us. No flotilla, no freedom.

Portia46 on July 3, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Roberts didn’t get cold feet because he was worried about a nasty article about him appearing in The Nation, he did it because he couldn’t bring himself to torpedo a democratically-passed law this prominent, especially with voters able to elect a legislature devoted to repeal four months from now. That’s not an excuse — the guy had to re-write the statute to find that way on the tax question — just an explanation.

Well that makes me feel a lot better knowing that Roberts will simply go to any length to uphold a law, even if his opinion gives the Government powers it never possessed nor was intended to possess.

Allah, don’t forget about the Arizona case ruling. Listen to Mark Levin’s Monday (6/25) broadcast and his Thursday (6/28) broadcast, and let us know if you aren’t worried about about a lot of future 5-4 and 6-3 votes where Roberts joins Ginsburg, Breyer, The Wise Latina, and Kagan (Kennedy is always a a wild card but CAN usually be counted on to come down on the side of the individual).

blindside on July 3, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I haven’t posted for a long time; but I do not understand this ruling. Congress doesn’t have supreme taxing power, isn’t it against the law to tax certain things? Like a tax to vote? None of this makes any sense. Does anyone know what happens to the younger citizens who are paying into medicare will they still be forced to pay into the system; and what becomes of SCHIP? Is that program redundant now?

OliverB on July 3, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Nope, if that were true, the tax would be unconstitutional.
Harry Reid took a previously voted on HOUSE bill, gutted it through the amendment process, and used reconciliation to only need 51 votes. The entire bill was passed by reconciliation, the entire thing can be repealed the same way.
Animal60 on July 3, 2012 at 8:38 AM

I don’t know where you got this idea from. The Senate voted 60-39 to end debate, and the voted 60-39 to pass Harry Reid’s gutted bill. This was in late 2009. The House passed this precise Bill, and Obana signed this precise bill into law, in March 2010. No reconciliation was used to pass this. This is a matter of public record.

I hate to cite Wikipedia, but:


PPACA passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and two Independents voting for, and all but one Republican voting against.[13] It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against the bill.[14]


The Senate failed to take up debate on the House bill and instead took up H.R. 3590, a bill regarding housing tax breaks for service members.[162] As the United States Constitution requires all revenue-related bills to originate in the House,[163] the Senate took up this bill since it was first passed by the House as a revenue-related modification to the Internal Revenue Code. The bill was then used as the Senate’s vehicle for their health care reform proposal, completely revising the content of the bill.[164] The bill as amended incorporated elements of earlier proposals that had been reported favorably by the Senate Health and Finance committees.
Passage in the Senate was temporarily blocked by a filibuster threat by Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, who sided with the Republican minority. Nelson’s support for the bill was won after it was amended to offer a higher rate of Medicaid reimbursement for Nebraska.[127] The compromise was derisively referred to as the “Cornhusker Kickback”[165] (and was later repealed by the reconciliation bill). On December 23, the Senate voted 60–39 to end debate on the bill, eliminating the possibility of a filibuster by opponents. The bill then passed by a party-line vote of 60–39 on December 24, 2009, with one senator (Jim Bunning) not voting.[166]
On January 19, 2010, Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown was elected to the Senate, having campaigned on giving the Republican minority the 41st vote needed to sustain a filibuster, even famously signing autographs as “Scott 41.”[127][167][168]

RINO in Name Only on July 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I don’t know where you got this idea from. The Senate voted 60-39 to end debate, and the voted 60-39 to pass Harry Reid’s gutted bill. This was in late 2009. The House passed this precise Bill, and Obana signed this precise bill into law, in March 2010. No reconciliation was used to pass this. This is a matter of public record.

Just to be clear, by “this precise bill” I mean th main bill, without the amendments that the house added. Those were in a separate bill, which DID require reconciliation.

RINO in Name Only on July 3, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Generations of law students, and likewise, generations of college students taking any survey course in American history that focuses at all on constitutional law, have been at least exposed to varying articulations of the doctrine of judicial restraint — the necessity, indeed the obligation of courts, as inherently the least democratic of our governmental institutions, to avoid substitution of their personal views on policy, for the judgments articulated by the political branches, i.e., the Legislative and Executive branches in our federal system.

Justices on the Supreme Court come and go, and some have taken a decidedly narrower view of the necessity for exercising judicial restraint, but the “rules”, as first cumulatively articulated by Justice Louis Brandeis in his concurring opinion back in 1936 in ASHWANDER v. TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, 297 U.S. 288 (1936, still inform the members of the Court, and judges in our federal system. Or they should . . .

Just for starters, the following certainly explain the Roberts approach in this case:

. . .
4. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record, if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of. This rule has found most varied application. Thus, if a case can be decided on either of two grounds, one involving a constitutional question, the other a question of statutory construction or general law, the Court will decide only the latter.
. . . . (citations and irrelevant matter omitted)

and

7. ‘When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question, and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised, it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided.’
. . . . (citations and irrelevant matter omitted)

For decades now, conservative commentators have railed against judicial activism of the kind that has given lip service to any notion of judicial restraint.

Whatever else you might want to say about the Roberts opinion, it cannot be attributed to a sudden shift on his part to somehow embrace the “progressive” ideology embodied in ObamaCare. A majority of the Court now seems to have erected a sturdy corral around the expansive dreams of those who have for far too long longingly looked to the “Commerce clause,” and to the “necessary and proper clause” as legitimate sources for exercises of expansive federal power.

The way to eliminate ObamaCare is through the ballot box.

In the mean time, the highly personal attacks on Roberts, many of which are expressed in this thread (e.g., Sherman1864 on July 2, 2012 at 11:34 PM) are nothing more than cheap imitations of the personal invective that has been so unconvincingly spit out on comment threads everywhere by our nasty little “progressive” brethren over the years. There really is no difference — they can’t think of anything intelligent to say, so they just throw a childish tantrum in the form of a comment.

Trochilus on July 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Who knows what possessed Roberts to do what he did? Maybe it’s simply that he wanted his kids to have social lives in lib-heavy DC or wherever they live.

fgh on July 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Why try to “deep thought” this? Roberts responded to things every human feels. But we hope to appoint judges with strong enough ethics and character to stand up to adversity.

Roberts did what judge Robert Bork explained activist judges do in his book “The Tempting of America”. Roberts finally decided what he wanted the result to be and worked backwards to find a path. That’s why his explanation is so weak. Roberts is obviously a small man in that he knew the abuse that would be brought down on him from liberals should he rule to strike down the law. But let’s try not to out think ourselves. Roberts feared the Liberals in the media and in Washington more than the other side. He did not want to face being excommunicated from the Washington social scene and excoriated in the liberal press forever.

He made a personal choice to place his personal life before the country. It’s plain and simple. One doesn’t need to over think this.

artman1746 on July 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

The ironic thing is Roberts ignored the Anti-Injunction Act and did what Kennedy accused him of, ‘changing the Mandate into something it wasn’t', to help Obamcare to survive….and how does Obama ‘thank’ him? by telling roberts he got it wrong, that his mandate is NOT a tax.

What Roberts SHOULD do now is call for a press conference and tell America he made it a mistake, based on Obama’s continued denial that this is a text. since he has no alternative but to acknowledge the President’s intent for the bill, it is NOT Constitutional and struck down.

easyt65 on July 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Obama wants his ‘cake’ and to eat it, too. he wants Obamacare but does NOT want to be seen as instituting the largest tax in history, a tax that DOES violate his promise of not raising taxes on the Middle (and Lower) Class(es).

easyt65 on July 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

…meanwhile Roberts has set a president and has handed Obama/the government a massive new power, specifically the ability to conduct behavior modification through taxation.

“Anone who listens to/visist web sites of Drudge, Rush, Hannity, etc will have to pay a ‘tax’ for doing so because Liberals don’t like that behavior…?!”

easyt65 on July 3, 2012 at 11:57 AM

The message from Chief Justice Roberts is going over a lot of people’s heads.

If you voted for Obama and the Party of Tax and Spend, the Supreme Court can’t save you from yourselves.

If you stayed home on election day because of your oh-so-principled self righteousness, and let Obama and the Party of Tax and Spend win by default, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

You are the “traitors”.. You are the flip-floppers.. It’s YOUR inaction that’s now costing you a pretty penny.

Don’t blame Roberts or the Supremes for the havoc you yourselves have caused.

Let it be a lesson in the future.

franksalterego on July 3, 2012 at 12:16 PM

artman1746 on July 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

It appears to me that if anyone is trying to “deep think” this, it is you.

What possible evidentiary support or basis do you have for ANY of this?

. . .
Roberts finally decided what he wanted the result to be and worked backwards to find a path. That’s why his explanation is so weak. Roberts is obviously a small man in that he knew the abuse that would be brought down on him from liberals should he rule to strike down the law.
. . .
Roberts feared the Liberals in the media and in Washington more than the other side. He did not want to face being excommunicated from the Washington social scene and excoriated in the liberal press forever.

He made a personal choice to place his personal life before the country. It’s plain and simple.

Trochilus on July 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Stop wasting your time.
Of course it was political.
He’s a second-class hack. Look at his idiotic AZ ruling.

TexasJew on July 3, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Robert’s statement that the SC can’t save us from ourselves is a copout. He did this out of cowardice, to avoid confrontation with Obama in the fall. Then he has the gall to put this off on America. His job is to uphold the Constitution. Period. Anyone saying that Roberts is right is affirming that Congress can use taxes as a weapon to force people to do whatever our dear leaders want us to. It’s that simple.

avgjo on July 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM

People do not easily change their opinions when they are formed by deeply held philosophical beliefs even when under political pressure to do so.
Blackmail is another story, however, and it would not surprise me if Obama, just like the KGB, had successfully compromised a Supreme Court Justice. Being a “Supreme” does not change the fact that a person is susceptible to human weaknesses. The KGB would use money, sex, or whatever to gain influence and power over their targets. Obama, who has been mentored by more than one Marxist, would be more than just aware of these techniques of control. This would be much more serious than mere “political pressure”.

bindare on July 4, 2012 at 9:14 AM

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