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Kudos to CBS… and How Often Do

You See that in the Green Room?

posted at 7:21 pm on July 1, 2012 by

In an startling and heartening burst of sanity, the CBS News Chief Political and Legal Correspondent, Jan Crawford, pens a piece reporting that, as many suspected, Chief Justice John Roberts originally voted with conservative justices to strike down the individual mandate.

Then some time later, he changed his vote to align himself with the liberal justices… after he had suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous importuning, bullying, and lightly veiled threats from Left-leaning news readers, from congressional Democrats, and from la Casa Blanca itself:

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….

Over the next six weeks, as Roberts began to craft the decision striking down the mandate, the external pressure began to grow. Roberts almost certainly was aware of it….

There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the Court – and to Roberts’ reputation – if the Court were to strike down the mandate. Leading politicians, including the President himself, had expressed confidence the mandate would be upheld.

Some even suggested that if Roberts struck down the mandate, it would prove he had been deceitful during his confirmation hearings, when he explained a philosophy of judicial restraint.

It was around this time that it also became clear to the conservative justices that Roberts was, as one put it, “wobbly,” the sources said.

The three conservatives (Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito) and the more libertarian Justice Anthony Kennedy, are evidently furious with Roberts for his betrayal of his first vote and throwing away the chance to put an emphatic exclamation point to the slap-back against the creeping cancer of the Commerce-Clause. So irate that the quartet utterly refused to join in any portion of Roberts’ opinion, even the parts with which they (separately) concur:

The conservatives refused to join any aspect of his opinion, including sections with which they agreed, such as his analysis imposing limits on Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause, the sources said.

Instead, the four joined forces and crafted a highly unusual, unsigned joint dissent. They deliberately ignored Roberts’ decision, the sources said, as if they were no longer even willing to engage with him in debate.

This is an amazing (and developing) story. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the internets; I am certainly unable to pronounce on the accuracy or truthfulness of Crawford’s analysis. But surprising congratulations are in order to her and to her employer, CBS News, for having the courage to grab the Big Stick by the tail and look the facts in the face.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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Comments

So, whats Constitutional or not depends on how a SCOTUS judge feeeels.
Brilliant.

Mimzey on July 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM

That’s nice, however accurate or truthful it may or may not be, but fat lot of good it does now.

PatriotGal2257 on July 1, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Great time to learn that Ronerts doesn’t have a back bone.

dforston on July 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM

What makes this a startling piece of sanity from SeeBS News?

rockmom on July 1, 2012 at 8:27 PM

So, whats Constitutional or not depends on how a SCOTUS judge feeeels.
Brilliant.

Mimzey on July 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Nope. That’s what the libs would like to have you believe.

NULLIFY THAT BASTARD.

gryphon202 on July 1, 2012 at 8:46 PM

That’s if you believe what they say. Considering that 10% of their stories are “human interest”, let’s run a reporter out to talk to the owner of the cat the firemen pulled from the tree, and the other 90% are Dem press releases, why should I give these guys any credibility whatsoever, much less kudos?

cthulhu on July 1, 2012 at 9:22 PM

“Stitch in time that saved nine” 2012.

SDN on July 1, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I just can’t get excited about this report. First of all, life isn’t really a soap opera. It is unlikely in the extreme that Roberts changed his opinion at gunpoint, because of something someone had on him.

Second, who cares? It’s done. The only thing official here is the majority opinion. All the rest is sound and fury, signifying nothing. Not that the majority opinion signifies much more, but the law apparently has all the clarity and cogency of Finnegan’s Wake now.

J.E. Dyer on July 1, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Second, who cares? It’s done. The only thing official here is the majority opinion. All the rest is sound and fury, signifying nothing. Not that the majority opinion signifies much more, but the law apparently has all the clarity and cogency of Finnegan’s Wake now.

J.E. Dyer on July 1, 2012 at 10:52 PM

The actual legitimacy of the United States Federal Government is at stake, I care.

astonerii on July 1, 2012 at 11:13 PM

The actual legitimacy of the United States Federal Government is at stake, I care.

astonerii on July 1, 2012 at 11:13 PM

What legitimacy? I think our government gave that up decades before I was born.

gryphon202 on July 1, 2012 at 11:30 PM

The actual legitimacy of the United States Federal Government is at stake, I care.

astonerii on July 1, 2012 at 11:13 PM

I care about that. I don’t care about mysteriously sourced melodrama created by CBS about John Roberts. What matters is what concrete thing we need to do next. There is far too much bathos and innuendo ruling our politics today. Unsentimental clarity and actionability are badly needed.

J.E. Dyer on July 1, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Unsentimental clarity and actionability are badly needed.

J.E. Dyer on July 1, 2012 at 11:30 PM

You may not like where that eventually leads.

gryphon202 on July 1, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Can’t mention the name Chief Justice John Roberts without the name Roger B. Taney coming to mind.

Each authored a travesty upon the rule of law, the Rights of individual citizens, and the Constitution.

coldwarrior on July 2, 2012 at 12:55 AM

Manchurian Supreme Court Justice ?

Fuquay Steve on July 2, 2012 at 6:29 AM

But surprising congratulations are in order to her and to her employer, CBS News, for having the courage to grab the Big Stick by the tail and look the facts in the face.

Wasn’t CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson the one that blew the lid off Fast and Furious?

eaglescout_1998 on July 2, 2012 at 7:09 AM

Do some of you feel like I do – that Roberts didn’t merely “flip” or “cave” … but that there is something deeper going on here? I wouldnt put anything past this crew in the White House.

tryptic on July 2, 2012 at 7:33 AM

I care about that. I don’t care about mysteriously sourced melodrama created by CBS about John Roberts. What matters is what concrete thing we need to do next. There is far too much bathos and innuendo ruling our politics today. Unsentimental clarity and actionability are badly needed.

J.E. Dyer on July 1, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Knowing the reason a Supreme Court Justice would sell out the constitution is an extremely important aspect of ensuring the legitimacy of the government. If it can be proven that Roberts’ ruled outside the constitution he could be impeached, removed from the bench, and the Supreme Court could regain some long lost legitimacy and start understanding its real purpose in our government. Much like a President who signed a bill handing out hundreds of billions of free dollars to companies under the guise of emergency should have been impeached. There is not one iota of discipline left in our federal government.

astonerii on July 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM

“Because a droid won’t rip your arms out of it’s sockets then he loses.”

princetrumpet on July 2, 2012 at 9:11 AM

I am certainly unable to pronounce on the accuracy or truthfulness of Crawford’s analysis. But surprising congratulations are in order to her and to her employer, CBS News, for having the courage to grab the Big Stick by the tail and look the facts in the face.

This makes zero sense.

If you don’t know the validity of what they’re selling, how can you congratulate them on their “courage”? Sarcasm?

bofh on July 2, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Something more sinister is at work here. I feel like it’s all being controlled by a small group of people who have no accountability.

SouthernGent on July 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Something more sinister is at work here. I feel like it’s all being controlled by a small group of people who have no accountability.

SouthernGent on July 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I share your suspicions.

PatriotGal2257 on July 2, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Something more sinister is at work here. I feel like it’s all being controlled by a small group of people who have no accountability.
SouthernGent on July 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The Matrix Inc., a subsidiary of the Bilderberg Group.

Marcola on July 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

If he caved due to being pressured he needs to go. We need those that will look to the Constitution to make their decions and not rabid partisans who bullied them.

Hard Right on July 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM