Today the Supreme Court allowed itself to be intimidated. Afraid that ObamaCare as written would throw the sickest patients out of their health plans a second time, the Court rewrote ObamaCare to save it—again. In doing so, the Court has sent a dangerous message to future administrations: If you are going to violate the law, make sure you go big.

The Court today validated President Obama’s massive power grab, allowing him to tax, borrow, and spend $700 billion that no Congress ever authorized. This establishes a precedent that could let any president modify, amend, or suspend any enacted law at his or her whim.

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Conservatives were left baffled after Chief Justice John Roberts saved Obamacare three years ago. On Thursday, as the George W. Bush appointee again helped President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement avoid a potentially devastating blow, they felt betrayed

“This affirms that Roberts is something very different than what conservatives and probably even liberals thought they were getting,” said Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, a group that presses for conservative judges. “I would expect people to be bitterly disappointed with Roberts … You can try to explain that away one time — people did try to explain it by saying he was intimidated … but it’s hard to see that happening twice.”

“I think he just doesn’t have the courage to follow the law when it leads to an uncomfortable place,” said Levey, who added that he is now convinced Roberts is drifting leftward. “Is Roberts as bad as Souter? Not yet, but who knows?”

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“Roberts told everybody he was just going to be an umpire and call strikes and balls, but now as justice he’s got two results-oriented decisions that go far beyond that role,” said Club For Growth President David McIntosh, suggesting his group will seek to avoid future nominations like Roberts. “What the Club does, in picking candidates, is look at their record, and look at not just what they have stood for on economic issues but what they’ll do in the future. What the Club will want candidates to ask their potential nominees is: Will they be faithful to the Constitution?”…

“We were very surprised by his reasoning in the NFIB case [in 2012 about Obamacare’s individual mandate], and we’re even more surprised by his reasoning here,” said Kazman, who largely coordinated the plaintiffs’ case. “Frankly, since the entire purpose of the Constitution was to impose restrictions on government, we see his ruling as a weakening of that.”…

“Republicans should be asked: knowing then what you know now, would you have voted to confirm Chief Justice John Roberts?” Shapiro wrote…

The anger at Roberts spanned generations, uniting all manner of conservatives in a distrust at the Republican establishment. David Limbaugh, the author and brother of radio host Limbaugh, asked why Republicans “end up with so many Trojan Horse Supreme Court appointments.” Sean Davis, a senior editor at the conservative web site The Federalist wrote bitterly that “every fancy conservative legal foundation said Roberts was the most amazing nomination ever.”

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“Roberts = Souter,” tweeted Matt Mackowiak, a Republican operative from Texas. Justice David Souter was appointed by former President George H. W. Bush, but conservatives later soured on his appointment after he moved toward the middle and voted to reaffirm Roe v. Wade…

Jonathan Adler, a conservative legal commentator and law professor, said Obamacare “now really is the law that John Roberts wrote.” Andrew Grossman, a legal adjunct at the Cato Institute, took it a step further and called it “RobertsCare.”

Fox Host Andrea Tantaros said the “judiciary, John Roberts included, is now just the water boy for the welfare state.”…

“The Roberts Court took the ACA to its Red Room of Pain and then alternatively tortured it and made love to it until it complied,” he tweeted. He added, “No need to wonder whether Chief Justice Roberts was a disastrous pick. He was. And yes, I told you so at the time.”

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To this, Limbaugh had to ask, “What does that mean for the rule of law? If the law doesn’t mean anything other than what the highest judge ruling on it says it means, then what is it worth?” Limbaugh also agreed on the implications of judicial activism, stating that Chief Justice John Roberts was “taking it upon himself to interpret this law politically, not reviewing it judicially. That equals the full politicization of the court.”

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The Supreme Court, however, decided not to take any chances on democracy, so — in an opinion long on insurance-economics analysis and short on statutory or constitutional reasoning — it effectively changed the statute. Why? Because of the entirely speculative real-world effects…

The end result is rule by bureaucracy, with the backing of the courts. Recall that the genesis of this case was the IRS’s unilateral act of writing regulations that contradicted the statutory language by extending tax credits to insurance purchased on federal exchanges. The bureaucrats defied the democratic process, only to see their defiance validated by the highest court in the land.

While this may be progressivism, it is not democracy, and it is certainly not the government as outlined in the Constitution.

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I know, I know, the Affordable Care Act is moral and decent so that’s all that matters. Liberals demand we govern by empathy-based jurisprudence rather than anything resembling the founding principles. If you care about the latter more than the former, the fact that Justices are aping the consequentialist arguments of the Left and then working backwards to make their legal justifications is probably the worst sign for checks and balances yet.

Imagine for a moment if a Supreme Court Justice argued that The Defense of Marriage Act was passed to improve marriage and not destroy it, so we must focus on the former rather than the latter and uphold any retroactive provisions the Bush Administration had cooked up to make the law work right?…

Once we pass massive pieces of legislation that effectively hand entire industries to regulatory agencies we are allowing the executive branch to govern in any way it sees fit. That said, it’s doubtful that SCOTUS would allow the same rationalizations used for King v Burwell to be employed for any legislation it found distasteful. Though Republican presidents keep nominating judges that disappoint conservatives, you can be assured that Hillary Clinton will not disappoint liberals with her picks.

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In effect, [Roberts’s argument] is a version of the president’s argument: Obamacare is not so much a particular law as an overarching desire “to improve health insurance markets” and so if at all possible it should be taken to mean whatever one believes would be involved in doing so. From the beginning of its implementation of this statute, that Obama administration has treated the words of the statute as far less relevant than the general aim of doing what it thinks would improve health insurance markets, and today the Supreme Court essentially endorsed this way of understanding the law and suggested it is how judges should think about laws more generally too.
 
This understanding of the role of the judge threatens to undermine the rule of law in the American system of government, because it undermines the central place assigned to written law, and to the legislator, in that system. Ironically, I think the Chief Justice intends his decision to be deferential to the Congress—to keep the Court’s footprint small in this arena by not reading laws in ways that require large transformations in the forms of their administration. But in effect, this is more contempt than deference. While it would seem to suggest that the will of the legislator should guide the system, in fact it means that the word of the legislator does not govern the other branches. It implies that Congress should have just passed a law that said “health insurance markets shall be improved,” and then left it to the executive agencies to decide how they wish to do that while judges nod in approval…

In this way, the Chief Justice’s strange and gratuitous argument stands to make King v. Burwell a more significant case than it could have been even had the Court ruled for the plaintiffs—a case that diminishes our constitutional system and that exacerbates what is at the moment its most significant problem: the weakness of the Congress.

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[T]his SCOTUScare ruling presents an accurate reflection of the reality in Washington: that American politics no longer has real checks and balances. The rules no longer apply. Words mean whatever we say they mean at the time that we say them, neither more nor less. Welcome to the Cartman presidency, where the executive does whatever he wants, up to and including making IRS bureaucrats decide a multi-billion dollar issue. Think the text means exactly what it says? Judicial fiat says lol, jk.

In the context of a nation governed by men and not laws, arguments from the establishment about process, restraint, and the normal give and take of what used to be the American political system for most of the Twentieth Century are going to become weaker and weaker. For the faction that demands dramatic change, the gradualist approach favored by Republican leaders who yearn for the status quo politics of the before time – before the bailouts, before Obama, before the Tea Party – is revealed as a myth.

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In the wake of Roe v. Wade, and after bitter fights over the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas nominations, conservatives thought they had figured it out. The right created an impressive infrastructure and network to identify and promote conservative lawyers, clerks, and would-be judges. And along the way, conservatives settled on a judicial criteria that went something like this: Judges should interpret the law, not legislate from the bench. John Roberts was supposed to be the perfect example of someone who had come up through the ranks, and would render decisions accordingly.

The irony here isn’t that a Republican-appointed Supreme Court chief justice has twice preserved the landmark legislation of Barack Obama. The irony — and heartache, for conservatives — is that on both occasions, Roberts has had to employ judicial gymnastics to rationalize his decision. In the King v. Burwell decision, Roberts chose to ignore the letter of the law — no matter how specious or unintentional the letter may have been — and instead, divine the law’s intent…

As Carrie Severino, chief counsel to the conservative Judicial Crisis Network and a former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, said in a statement:

If “established by the state” doesn’t mean “established by the state,” next we’ll be seeing the administration defining “up” as “down” and “left” as “right.” And if the chief justice is willing to join the court’s liberals in this linguistic farce, it’s time we admitted that our national “umpire” is now playing for one of the teams.

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Via Newsbusters.

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“The system that our founders put together, which was follow the Constitution and three equal but separate branches of government that each have their own specific role, is over,” Beck said on his radio program. “We no longer live in that America. That is done now.”

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