Our personal liberties and the Constitution were dealt a severe blow yesterday as the Supreme Court of the United States upheld Obamacare in its entirety. The real kick in the teeth to conservatives and Constitution lovers everywhere was that Chief Justice John Roberts, a supposedly reliable “conservative” justice appointed by President George W. Bush, cast the deciding vote by siding with the leftists on the Court. Progressives come in all stripes, but his decision was a shocker.
What we learned yesterday from Justice Roberts is: a.) something is a tax when it’s convenient for it to be a tax; and b.) elections have consequences.
On the first point, all we heard during Congress’ pushing through of this “healthcare” law (from those doing the pushing) was how this was NOT a tax on the American people. The biggest pusher of all was Obama himself. During an interview with George Stephanopoulos, who was mysteriously overcome with the desire to be a real journalist, Obama was pressed on this issue over whether the law is actually a tax. George even quoted the dictionary definition of what a “tax” is and asked Mr. President to explain how it isn’t a tax—at which time BO mocked him for thinking that words actually mean things and for consulting a dictionary.
The reason Roberts gave for his support was that Obamacare doesn’t work if they try to use the Commerce Clause and mandate that everyone buy it. He did, however declare that as a tax, it would fall within Congress’ powers of taxation. Tossing the ball back to Congress, Roberts said, “It’s not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” If he believed that way the day before in ruling on the Arizona immigration law, Arizonans would now be able to protect their borders without hindrance.
Roberts’ poor choice sets a dangerous precedent that Congress can tax us for anything it wants- even things we don’t do- if it wants to do so. Not only that, but they don’t have to call it a tax (when they’re trying to pass it). Congress can have their cake and eat it too.
The four dissenting judges (Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas and Alito) didn’t buy that. In fact, they believed the whole thing should be thrown out. Kennedy wrote, “It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching. It creates a debilitated, inoperable version of health-care regulation that Congress did not enact and the public does not expect.” [emphasis mine]…and liberals were worried that Roberts would be an activist for the right?
On the second point, one far-reaching job of all presidents is the appointing of judges. Because they’re appointed for life, it’s very important they be questioned thoroughly and pressed on issues they attempt to dodge. The mainstream media and liberal political hacks were fearful of Chief Justice Roberts and his “right-wing” court a week ago. Today, they sing his praises. Back when he was being confirmed in 2005, it’s interesting to see what people were saying about him. You don’t often find a case where then-senator and now Vice President Joe Biden agrees with the likes of Ann Coulter…but it happened then.
As reported in an AP story from September 2005, Roberts answered many of his questions with an “on the one hand, on the other hand approach.” Senator Biden said to him, “You have managed to convince Senator Brownback (a conservative) that you’re on his side, and you have managed to convince Senator Kennedy (an ultra-liberal) you’re on his side.”
In an article from July 2005 Ann Coulter raised a red flag, calling Roberts a “blank slate”, and gave these strong words of warning to conservatives that turned out to be prophetic: “…we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.” That surely was the case yesterday.
This is why elections matter. Every vote (we hope) matters. Are you registered? Find out here, and get other conservatives, libertarians—anyone you know who is concerned about how things have been going these past few years. I’ve heard estimates that as many as 30% of active members of Tea Party and other pro-liberty groups are NOT registered to vote. This has to change this year if we hope to begin to change the course we’re on for the nation we love.
If yesterday wasn’t enough to get you to the polls in November, consider this: Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder.