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Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Roberts Did It

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.
Read the rest here.

3 comments:

Chris Jones said...

This analysis is spot-on. Speaking as a libertarian-leaning conservative, I don't much care for the health care law; but the Chief ruled correctly, for exactly the reasons that Krauthammer stated.

Every conservative who has railed against "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench" for decades should be cheering this ruling. I know I am. This is what "deferring to the political branches" -- what we have always said we wanted the courts to do -- looks like.

Visibilium said...

Roberts is too enraptured with fine distinctions that he missed the idea that forbidding an action, but permitting a penalty for abstaining from that action, is a distinction without a difference. He's a circus freak.

Visibilium said...

Let me put it another way. Roberts said that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, but that penalizing those who don't submit to the mandate was oke. He forbade the mandate, but permitted the penalty.