Roberts Ruling Reflux: Tortured Logic
By: Jeff Katz
As I sit down to write this, it is a little more than one week since the Supreme Court of the United States handed down their decision on President Barack Obama’s “health care” law. It really is essential to place the words health care in quotes, since Obamacare has precious little to do with health care or the ability to access it. The goal of this misnamed “Affordable Care Act” was always to grow the size and scope of government and have the federal leviathan stand between you and your doctor. With the Supreme Court’s assent that is exactly what will happen.
In more than two thousand pages of language which the chief congressional sponsor confessed he does not understand, the ability of private American citizens to visit the medical providers of their own choosing is squashed. The former speaker of the house admonished her minions that it was necessary to pass the bill to see what was in it. As a member of the political landed gentry she’s already in a special class and one can only assume that her coverage includes lifetime botox treatments. Of course, the law also specifically exempts a number of groups, with the common thread tying them together being their vocal and visible support for the current occupier of the Oval Office.
Obamacare imposes more than twenty new taxes on middle class families. Despite the tales told by various leftist hacks and flacks, these new taxes will be imposed on working people to pay for all sorts of “free” care for those who are not burdened by alarm clocks or time cards.
Like millions of Americans, I anxiously awaited the decision from the Supremes. It was sad to think that a woman who actually helped to craft the legislation and draft the legal arguments to defend it would be allowed to sit in judgment of her own handiwork, but Ms. Justice Kagan’s vote counted as much as the other eight justices. None of us were shocked when the uber left activist justices voted to uphold this monstrosity nor were we shocked when those who take their oaths seriously voted to strike it down. It was refreshing to see that Mister Justice Kennedy was on the right side, and amazing to see the Chief Justice making nice with the Ruth Buzzi Ginsberg crowd.
When it became clear that the deciding vote to impose government controlled health care was cast by John Roberts, my head began to swim. My initial reaction was to shout “whiskey tango foxtrot” followed by exclamations that we had another David Souter. I read and re-read what Roberts had written. I was heartened to see that he had been able to take steps to reign in the commerce clause.
I also thought that he had delivered an incredible civics lesson when he essentially said, hey it’s not my job to tell you whether something is a good law or not. He threw this back on the voters when he pointed at the people and fundamentally said, look you wanted hope and change, you got it and if you don’t like it then throw the bums out. This would have been a victory, but of course, he did not stop there.
Using logic which can only be described as tortured, the Chief Justice then decided that the Obamacare mandated penalty was not really a penalty at all, and would only pass constitutional muster if it were a tax. Of course, the Obama legal team had argued it was not a tax and every leading democrat including Obama, Pelosi and Reid had gone to great lengths to declare it was not a tax. It is what happens next that is so important and dangerous. Instead of allowing the legislative and executive branches to go back and rewrite the law to meet the constitutional standard, Roberts simply did it himself. With one vote, he actually became the most activist judge in history.
We’re told that Roberts sees himself as the custodian of the Supreme Court and its legacy. He is concerned that the Court has been painted as a political, rather than a legal institution, because of cases like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United. But in an attempt to remove the Court from the world of partisan politics, he has given credence to the main stream media narrative that those two cases were something other than judicial. He has fully allowed the worst of political demagogues to win the day.
Since the decision was handed down, the world has not stopped spinning but the United States as we knew it has changed. We’ll now have to wait and see if patriots can convince politicians to act. Obamacare has forced us through many of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief already. Denial, anger, bargaining and depression. Americans must work hard to make sure that we don’t get to acceptance.