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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Musings After Midnight--So What Was Roberts REALLY Up To in the ObamaCare Ruling?

Good evening my dear friends. Some of you are reading this in the afternoon on a hot day during which you are staying indoors, as I am, enjoying the coolness of that God-sent invention, air conditioning.

These are supposed to be musings that I post after midnight on sleepless nights. But in this case, sleep overcame me before I was able to finish and get it posted.

But you can rest assured that the framework and direction for this post was laid well after midnight last night, lest I be accused of "lying" as some of my detractors are always quick to charge.

I would not under any circumstance wish to give them any more fodder for propagating that charge, although if I do, in fact, lie, as we all are prone to do at least on occasion, I am quite certain that my monitors will hop all over it in an attempt to discredit every single word that proceeds from my mouth.

So, I will make a sincere and proactive attempt to refrain from lying, especially now that I have so many out there who carefully parse every single word I write. Heck, I am probably the most honest person on the Internet now. I don't like to be called out for every little thing.

On a more serious note, and I do hope you caught the subtle humor in the discourse above, I have a few things to say in light of the Supreme Court ruling this week on ObamaCare.

I was quoted by both Yahoo News and the Atlantic Wire in resoundingly condemning Chief Justice John Roberts for issuing such a blatantly indefensible and incomprehensible majority opinion. I still condemn him for it, and I stand by what I originally said about him. He has betrayed us and is no more fit for the Court than the other Constitution killers who sit on the bench--Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsberg.

Now, I am fully aware of the nuggets within the Roberts ruling that can work to our benefit in the future. For one, the ruling robs the Obama campaign of an important rallying cry in the run up to the November election. Obama can no longer talk about those evil conservatives on the court who took away healthcare from granny after the law passed both the House and the Senate (while Democrats held supermajorities in both chambers I might add).

Obama, further, can no longer claim that those stingy, mean Republicans are intent on forcing citizens to suffer because of their greedy inability to show compassion for those who cannot afford insurance.

But wait a minute. The ObamaCare bill forces the poor to buy insurance they cannot afford, or else they get penalized for it by the IRS. Funny as to who turns out to be "mean," isn't it.

Nevermind, though. Facts are not pertinent to any argument made by progressives.

Obama would have, indeed, turned such a claim into a big campaign issue and probably would have gotten significant traction out of it. This he can no longer do because a Bush appointee on the court, a Republican, a self-described conservative who believes in strictly interpreting the Constitution, has allowed his healthcare reform bill to stand.

Further, I am well aware that Roberts has left us a gift within his ruling. By ruling ObamaCare to be a tax he has made it possible for Republicans to more easily repeal the law in Congress. By a simple majority vote Congress can repeal ObamaCare using a rule known as "budget reconciliation." Thus, rather than needing the usual supermajority to repeal ObamaCare, which would mean 60 votes in the Senate, Republicans now only need 51 votes to repeal.

And then of course there is the rather strongly worded statement by Roberts that the commerce clause can NOT be used to justify forcing citizens to purchase healthcare insurance or any other item or entity. This is a very important move, given that Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the court. In the ruling Roberts made it abundantly clear that Congress does not have the authority to force citizens to buy anything, and they certainly cannot use the commerce clause as an excuse to do so.

This one statement alone restores original intent to the interpretation of the commerce clause--something which the nation has not seen since the early 1930s.

In the years to come conservatives will thank Chief Justice Roberts for that gift that is tucked into the ruling.

Some conservatives have suggested that Roberts worded his ruling in the manner in which he did precisely so that liberals would be robbed of an important campaign issue thus making it easier for the Republican candidate to win the White House in November. Some have also suggested that Roberts ruled this way in order to make it easier for Republicans in the Congress to repeal the law. Still others have said he wished to protect the reputation of the court so that he would not be open to the charge of making highly partisan decisions, such as the Bush v. Gore ruling of 2000 under Chief Justice William Renquist.

While there are definitely some benefits to be gleaned from the ruling, as delineated above, none of them make sense from the standpoint of arguing intent on the part of Roberts. In order to accept the premise that the ruling was designed specifically to benefit conservatives, then one must accept the premise that Roberts intentionally went along with a very bad law, using very bad reasoning as justification for doing so, just so that our side can benefit down the road.

Such reasoning is sheer folly, my friends.

As the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Roberts is not only the guardian of the court's reputation, but he is generally viewed as the quintessential jurist, a person of exceptional legal skills who is uniquely qualified for the role. To believe that Roberts would risk his reputation as a jurist just to satisfy some progressive's vision of what the court's reputation should be defies all rationality.

Even Charles Krauthammer, who normally submits well reasoned, detailed explanations for these types of issues, fell into this trap of illogic by stating that as Chief Justice, Roberts felt he was forced to protect the court's reputation from the criticism that a ruling against ObamaCare was purely politically motivated.


Jurists like Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy, and others like them, are not charged with the task of considering political ramifications when making a ruling. Their only task is to determine the constitutionality of a law placed before them, regardless of the political fallout.

If Roberts made his decision based upon a perception that progressives would hammer the court hard over a ruling against ObamaCare, then he has failed miserably to fulfill his duty as a jurist, especially since he is viewed as an originalist who is primarily concerned with the original intent of the Framers.

Further, a mere cursory scan of the Roberts decision is a lesson in Twilight Zone styled fantasy. The bill as presented before him was never presented as a tax in its written form, in spite of the fact that Obama lawyers argued in their oral presentations that it is, indeed, a tax. But oral arguments aside, the Justices are charged with dealing with the actual law that is presented in writing before them.

This is where Roberts veered off into the Twilight Zone.

As if to reach up and grab it out of thin air, Roberts focused on ObamaCare as a tax and ruled on it as a tax.

Where did such a notion come from? It is not in the bill. The bill is a mandate forcing citizens to buy health insurance. And if they refuse, they will be penalized through the IRS.

The fact that the IRS happens to be the agency charged with the task of assessing penalties does NOT automatically make it a tax. In order to qualify as a tax, ObamaCare would have to withhold a certain amount of money from our paychecks to pay for the program. THAT is a tax. A penalty for failing to obey some government body in buying health insurance is NOT a tax. It simply means you are being punished for failing to bow down to the masters in Congress who have had the audacity to tell you that you must purchase a health insurance policy whether you can afford it or not.

And this is where Roberts goes so far off the rail as to suggest mental instability. His reasoning is deeply flawed. He accepted the bumbling, laughable arguments of Obama lawyers who sounded more like Keystone cops than attorneys, when they argued one day that ObamaCare is a tax and argued the next day it is not a tax.

Any competent jurist who is worth his salt would have rejected such a display outright, and forthrightly at that.

This is why the dissenting Justices were entirely nonplussed over the Roberts drivel. Anthony Kennedy stated that what the court did was illegal. Antonin Scalia stated that there is no way rationally to conclude that a mandate to buy insurance is a tax.

In short, they too questioned Roberts' sanity in this ruling, even charging that the Chief Justice went as far as to engage in illegal activity by approving the law.

THAT does NOT "protect the reputation of the court" as Krauthammer laughingly claimed the day of the ruling. At the very least it damages not only the reputation of the court in accepting a law that is so preposterous that it would be hilarious were it not reality, but damages the reputation of the Chief Justice himself who is now open to having his fitness for the Court called into question.

However, there is another explanation that lurks beneath the surface here that warrants careful consideration, one that could potentially absolve Roberts from his sins but at the same time pose a dire and dangerous scenario for the country.

This President is known for bullying the court. We saw it in his first State of the Union speech, which was so outrageous that Justice Samuel Alito shook his head and said "NO!" under his breath. Millions of Americans saw it on TV as it happened.

When the ObamaCare law finally reached the Supreme Court, Obama continued with the bullying, threatening the court with all sort of highly questionable activity for a president--including the threat of writing an Executive Order to force the law on us even if the court ruled against it.

We have no way of knowing for certain what took place behind the scenes in the days leading up to the ruling.

But what we DO know is that at first, late last week and early this week, it appeared that the court was set to rule against the law. And some legal scholars have noted that in Antonin Scalia's dissent, he writes as if his is the majority opinion and Ginsberg's is the dissenting opinion, suggesting that Roberts only changed his mind and decided to throw in with the liberals at the very last minute.

This is most unusual.

But why did it happen?

It is no secret that Roberts was under intense pressure. This was widely reported in most major news outlets. But what, exactly, was the nature of that pressure?

A jurist with the exceptional skills and flawless reputation of Roberts would not under any circumstance deliberately damage that reputation with such a flimsy majority argument, UNLESS something happened behind the scenes that forced his hand.

We know that Antonin Scalia has received death threats during this session. Was Roberts threatened as well? And by whom?

Consider the background of the Obama team. Rahm Emanuel looms large. Remember he is known for sending the Mafia symbol of a dead fish wrapped in newspaper to a pollster in Chicago who wrote a critical piece about him in the newspapers.

Obama, Rahm, and a host of others in the Administration are widely known to bully critics, reporters, and others unless they fall into lockstep and march to the orders of "the One."

And remember that this very week Obama issued yet another threat to the court about the ObamaCare ruling. It was after that last threat that Roberts was said to change his mind and vote for the law.

This goes back to my last entry in this series, Musings After Midnight, a post I entitled, "A Dire Warning from the Ground," in which I relayed a disturbing warning I received by keeping my ear close to the ground, a warning that had to do directly with a lethal attack against this Republic by evil forces with malevolent intent.

As one good friend of mine who has been in politics all his life told me, "I don't put anything at all past these people. Nothing. Keep that in mind going forward. We are in real and imminent danger."

Thus, it is time for the multi-millions of citizens who engaged in the Tea Party and other rallies to take to the streets yet again between now and election day. This nation is under attack from within. And real Patriots are sorely needed to step up to the plate to defend it.


Rev. Paul said...

You're correct: Chief Justice Roberts' ruling makes little sense at all, and flies in the face of logic.

Anonymous said...

I think he is a "sleeper" put there to do just what he has done.

jtsooner said...

I'm thinking that some leftist operatives, in true Chicago mafia style, blackmailed the Chief Justice with some personal info. "Naked pictures" if you will or some other info. that would damage the Court.

Welshman said...

Not so sure about that one, sooner. It seems a bit of a stretch to me. The more I have pondered over this the more I think Roberts caved to unprecedented pressure to side with the liberals so that Obama could get his healthcare law done.

It is a completely detestable ruling that has caused me to relegate Roberts permanently to the ash heap of liberal dismantling of the Constitution.

While this has been going on for years, Roberts may well have just put the final nail in the coffin.

And despite my early speculation about the law being easier to repeal, it is still going to be very VERY difficult to get it repealed.

I heard just today that Republicans have only a 50-50 chance of taking the Senate in 2012.

jtsooner said...

It is definitely a stretch but the sad thing is that I would not put it past them. They are capable of anything.

On a different note, with their flip flopping on the penalty/tax issue they seem to validate George Orwell. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

They seriously remind me of Bagdad Bob during the first gulf war.

hippiechic said...

While I agree that the ruling and the while Obamacare is ludicrous and unconstitutional, when I hear words like, "they are capable of anything" and other paranoia, you lose me. I think the so called, "patriot act", s even more dangerous than Obamacare and that my friends happened under Bush. Maybe, "these people" include democrats and Rapunlicans. To be a true patriot and defender of the constitution is to be Libertarian.

Dr. Ron Polland said...

Hippiechic said, "when I hear words like, "they are capable of anything" and other paranoia, you lose me."

No, you lose yourself and sense of objectivity. It's not your fault, having been so conditioned by the Left and the mainstream media that any criticisms of leftwing politicians by conservatives in the US, including the organized crime capital of Chicago, Illinois, are false, to begin with, and are "conspiracy theories" if there is any hint of pre-planning and coordination mentioned in their observations.

Now, pay attention, please.

Why do you think there is a distinction made between organized crime and every other crime?

It is because these charges are firmly rooted in directly observable and traceable behavior and not some manufactured character assassinations pulled out of the ether just to score political points.

If you don't believe this premise, then Al Capone was a legitimate businessman. Hem, like Obama, got his career going in Chicago, and it is not hyperbole or over-generalization to label other politicians in Chicago as being corrupt.

The rap sheets there are long and wide, and the fact that the Illinois State legislature impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich for trying to get some direct monetary compensation for selling Obama's open seat in the Senate when Obama's seat in the Senate was obtained by physical threats, voter manipulation, and dirty tricks (and never got reported by the MSM) should tell you that politics in Chicago is anything but honest.

The lleftwing uses the word, "racist," and "rightwing conspiracy theory" on a daily basisto hide the very real and very nefarious behavior of Barack Obama, and to protect him from any investigations.

It only takes two people to conspire, so the fear of the term "Conspiracy theory" is totally irrational when, in fact, that is exactly how things got done in 2008 until the present.

In spite having irrefutable concrete evidence of Obama's White House and the mainstream media working collaboratively to falsify the news, it does not get reported because reporters' jobs, income,. credibilities, and pysical well-being are threatened if they do.

It is not a "conspiracy theory" when people gather, like the 400+ Journolist blog or listserv who plotted to kill all negative stories about Obama, to plot how to get Obama elected by whatever means they can get away with; and, as the deliberate killing of Andrew Breitbart and attacks on other people critical of Obama that it is not paranoia if thre really are people out to get you.

Mary Lou said...

Excellent article
Mary Lou

lloydmillerus said...

"Further, I am well aware that Roberts has left us a gift within his ruling. By ruling ObamaCare to be a tax he has made it possible for Republicans to more easily repeal the law in Congress."

NOT TRUE! The point is just obiter dicta with NO FORCE OF LAW OR EVEN PRECEDENT!

Welshman said...

Well, as I stated I find the ruling to be abhorrent. However, it IS easier to repeal, assuming as the powers that be do that the law is now the law of the land. But, as you and I both know, no law that violates the Constitution is valid. Wish everyone else felt that way.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article followed by thought-provoking comments. There is still one other possibility floating in my head: a question of ego. Did Robert's ego take over and he could not resist the urge to grab this moment to make history and place his name in the spotlight - to stand out from the from his fellow jurors? I'll never forget the self-pleased smirk on his face. I could see ego in combination with a sudden desire (from hell)to appear open-minded and magnanimous.