It looks to me that there are some sweet lemons for conservatives in the ObamaCare decision. Before we burn the chief justice in effigy, let’s read the decision and think about the implications.
First of all, upholding ObamaCare is going to energize opposition to Obama, and the determination to elect a Congress that can repeal and replace it. Just a day ago, the MSM was telling us it would be a plus for Obama if the act were held unconstitutional because it would take the issue off the table and weaken his opposition.
On the other hand, as Rick Moran points out, “it gives Obama a big boost; everyone likes a winner.
I have no doubt that the same media will now proclaim it is a big victory, a change in momentum, a blow to the right. I also expect Sudden New Respect for Chief Justice Roberts. I am not going to hold that against him.
For one thing, the Court went nowhere near claiming the Commerce Clause means the feds can force us to do anything. The CJ and the majority (remember, by joining the majority he got to write the opinion) relied on the taxation power, by defining the mandate penalty as a tax. In other words, they seem to have in effect said, Yeah, the Democrats lied when they claimed they weren’t raising taxes. Big deal! What do you expect?
Lyle at SCOTUS Blog agrees with me:
The rejection of the Commerce Clause and Nec. and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress’s authority to pass social welfare laws. Using the tax code — especially in the current political environment — to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.
So in other words, the CJ protected us from the expanding the reach of the Commerce Clause, and let us know that we were lied to by the Democrats. And has handed us a big election issue.
Sometimes we win by losing. Call it the Zen of John Roberts.
Update with other opinions:
Mike Razar (corrected attributuion of this) is outraged by CJ Roberts:
You win some; you lose some. It is doubly painful to lose because of a betrayal by someone you admired and trusted. Caesar’s dying words were “Et tu Brute”. Judas Roberts has broken faith with everyone who cares about Constitutional freedom. Given the opportunity to at least slow two centuries of the assumption of dictatorial power by the federal government, Roberts has chosen to side with the Jacobins. His name henceforth is inexorably linked with Benedict Arnold, the one-time hero of Saratoga who mysteriously changed sides when his loyalty was most needed by General Washington. Nathan Hale must be sobbing in his grave today.
Just as the betrayal by Arnold ultimately did no lasting harm, history will record that this act of cowardice sparked a renewed commitment of our modern Tea Party patriots to the founding principles of liberty. Perhaps our righteous indignation will go beyond defeating the liberty challenged politicians in Washington. They should amend the Constitution, to clearly limit the powers of the federal government to tax and regulate the everyday lives of individual citizens.
For now, every Tea Party patriot should sign a petition calling for the resignation of Mr. Roberts.
Sara Goss disagrees:
The Democrats will be hailing the SCOTUS decision to uphold Obamacare as a referendum on Obama’s 1st term in office. What they won’t be mentioning is that Obamacare was upheld because Congress has the power to TAX. As has been said all along, if it looks like a tax and acts like a tax, then it’s a tax. And, it’s the largest tax ever imposed in a single shot on the American public.
Republicans should be dissecting this ruling and shouting from the roof tops that Obamacare was sold to Congress as relating to health care. When it was defended in court the main defense was that it was a tax. And, of course, Congress has the power to levy taxes. Going forward, we need to change all references from Obamacare to Obamatax. Because, as has been pointed out by SCOTUS, it’s not about health care, it’s about taxes.
h/t Erin Bonsteel