As is so often the case, history is decided by the slimmest of margins. One man, with one voice, seated atop the highest court in the land made one decision and changed the course of this country’s future. If he had voted along party lines, he’d have been hailed as a hero. John Roberts would have been the savior of both our Constitution and our great Republic.
But he didn’t.
Now conservatives everywhere are pasting pictures of the Chief Justice on Benedict Arnold’s body and screaming in agony about the painful death of our country. It seems that life as we know it somehow ended with the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday.
Make no mistake; the ramifications of yesterday’s ruling are as broad as any we’re likely to every see. But, as usual, a new day’s dawn brings new clarity. At least for those of us who bothered to read the “Why” behind Chief Justice Robert’s decision…
What happened yesterday was an absolute masterstroke of political positioning that may prove to be beneficial in the long run. If conservatives would stop yelling, whining and basically acting like a baby with a toothache long enough to read his decision they’d see that his ruling DID protect the Constitution.
It is not the duty of the Supreme Court to interpret the appropriateness of a piece of legislation. They have no responsibility to decide the political landscape of this country from behind the bench. The justices were handed a piece of legislation that HAD ALREADY BEEN PASSED by all necessary branches of government. The decision of its worth to our country had already been decided. The scales of justice have no national allegiance, nor preference to political party. Forget your own petty alliances for a moment and remember that fact.
The words that no conservative, aside from myself, will ever admit:
The decision of Chief Justice Roberts was constitutionally correct. He decided that the ONLY way that the “Individual Mandate” passed muster is if it were applied as a tax since Congress does have the authority to levy taxation as it deems necessary. It would not, however, be constitutional if applied by Congress under the guise of the Commerce Clause. This decision is actually beneficial, long term, for conservatives in two ways:
1) Due to the nature of our legal system, once a precedent has been set, it is rarely overturned. By protecting the Commerce Clause from exploitation by Congress yesterday, he essentially protected the sanctity of the clause going forward. Any effort to utilize the Commerce Clause as a tool to expand government power has already been ruled against in the nation’s highest court.
2) Chief Justice Roberts made clear that Congress has, without question, the power to increase taxation. If Congress has the power to PASS taxes, Congress also has the power to REPEAL taxes. If conservatives win a majority in both houses in November a repeal of, at least, the individual mandate would have already had its legality borne out by the Supreme Court.
What Chief Justice Roberts did yesterday was sheer, unadulterated political genius. The ability of the Supreme Court to remove political affiliations from the discussion has been called to task frequently as of late. The American people (at least liberals) were losing faith in the impartiality of the Court. The court is not a tool to be manipulated by politicians to further their bidding. The constitutional duty of the court is to rule on the legality of the cases brought before it. It is the duty of Congress to make laws and the Supreme Court to interpret them. There can be no intersection of the two.
Resist the dime store scholars on Facebook who hear only that “Obamacare” has been upheld and immediately turn off their televisions to run screaming at the internet. Remove your emotions from the situation and read for yourself. Based on his explanation, the ruling of Chief Justice Roberts was not only sound legally, but also incredibly shrewd politically.
One can only assume that the Chief Justice considered the long term political disaster that would have resulted from a party line decision on such a controversial bill. If the bill had been overturned, in spite of it being passed wholly within the framework of our political system, conservatives would have been buried under the political fallout. The “Heartless Republicans” would have taken, for sheer political reasons, healthcare from millions of Americans. At least that is how the left would have framed the argument for years to come. Because of his decision conservatives still have a real chance at taking consolidated power back in November.
I only hope that conservatives expend as much energy electing officials to overturn this bill as they have screaming at the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts hasn’t just left the door open for repeal, he has placed a giant flashing sign above it for conservatives to follow. His decision should be a reminder to the American people that the fate of our country is in YOUR hands. Posting pictures on Facebook is NOT effective political activism and it is not the duty of the court to bail out your laziness.
At the end of the day Chief Justice Roberts protected the status and duty of the Supreme Court, protected a key portion of the Constitution and put the long term fate of the Affordable Care Act right where it belongs:
In the hands of Congress.