by Eileen | 5:30 pm, June 28, 2012 | Comments Off
Alright, no background needed. Obamacare, with the individual mandate is upheld 5-4. Everyone predicted a 5-4 split, but everyone was sure Kennedy or Sotomayor would be the swing vote. I can’t recall anyone predicting what actually happened. Had all the ‘certain’ votes to strike the law gone along with the program, the law would be dead today. Kennedy dissented. Roberts didn’t.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, as they say.
I’ve already heard from several wondering if Roberts’ vote to uphold the law is a sort of Trojan Hose maneuver to galvanize the GOP. Maybe, but is it really sensible to give a lawyer that much credit?
Given that the eminent Chief Justice is unlikely to explain himself anytime soon, I will offer a competing explanation for his vote.
Quite simply, the man is a big government social conservative appointed by George W. Bush. At his core, John Roberts really has no problem with a government that tells people how to order their private lives and abuses taxing and lawmaking authority to punish dissenters.
Nowhere in the brand of conservatism that Roberts espouses is any sort of fundamental respect for privacy, no core belief that the government proper function is to constrain itself, no idea that there are area no politician has any business poking into. Justice Roberts and the President who appointed him are damn far from that sort of libertarian thought.
Roberts’ willingness to punish Americans for failing to make a private decision the way the state thinks they should make it may just stem from the fact that he more or less believes the average person ought to take direction from his betters.
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