by Charles Krauthammer
It’s the judiciary’s Nixon-to-China: Chief Justice John Roberts joins the liberal wing of the Supreme Court and upholds the constitutionality of Obamacare. How? By pulling off one of the great constitutional finesses of all time. He managed to uphold the central conservative argument against Obamacare, while at the same time finding a narrow definitional dodge to uphold the law — and thus prevented the court from being seen as having overturned, presumably on political grounds, the signature legislation of this administration.
Why did he do it? Because he carries two identities. Jurisprudentially, he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the court’s legitimacy, reputation and stature.
As a conservative, he is as appalled as his conservative colleagues by the administration’s central argument that Obamacare’s individual mandate is a proper exercise of its authority to regulate commerce.
That makes congressional power effectively unlimited. Mr. Jones is not a purchaser of health insurance. Mr. Jones has therefore manifestly not entered into any commerce. Yet Congress tells him he must buy health insurance — on the grounds that it isregulating commerce. If government can do that under the commerce clause, what can it not do?
“The Framers . . . gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it,”writes Roberts. Otherwise you “undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers.”
3 Responses to Commentary: Why Roberts Did It
If you can pretend that mandate is a tax, what can’t you pretend is a tax?
Fuck Roberts. Pussy.
99% of the American population is too stupid, ignorant and apathetic to realize or care what just happened.
You mean I’m a 1%er? Woot!!