It has been 14 hours since the news broke that the ObamaCare mandate was held unconstitutional; at least that was the initial report. Unfortunately, the report was amended that the ObamaCare mandate was upheld 5-4 on the basis that the mandate was a tax. What was most shocking was the deciding vote was cast by Chief Justice John Roberts. There has been reasonable speculation Roberts was actually siding with Scalia’s opinion but changed his conclusion at the last moment. This allowed folks to wonder whether he was bullied by Obama or merely did not want to confront Obama and the Democrats. What ever the reason, Roberts exemplified judicial cowardice.
The apologetics, concerning Roberts’ decision, from the Left and the Right has been an assortment of wishful thinking and delusion. Glenn Reynolds compared Roberts to Chief Justice John Marshall in the Marbury case. Reynolds does point out that Senate rules do not allow a filibuster when the bill under consideration has to do with imposing or repealing a tax. Thus, if the GOP take the Senate and the presidency, they will not need 60 votes to repeal the individual mandate. Ezra Klein, of Journalist fame, praises Roberts for putting himself above partisan reproach. It is funny how such praise emanates from the political left when they get their way. Roberts will likely earn a “Profiles in Courage” award from the Kennedy family.
What Roberts and his apologetics missed is the version of ObamaCare that became law originated in the Senate. Article 1, section 7, clause 1 of the Constitution stipulates that all tax bills must originate in the House.
Some will continue to believe that such an omission was unintentional. I submit such omissions are intentional. After all, the Supreme Court decided in favor of McCain-Feingold in spite of the explicit language in the First Amendment which states: “Congress shall make no law …” . The same Supreme Court that can find rights of life and liberty for everyone but the unborn.
Some people will continue to look for silver linings in this decision. The end result is this decision allows Congress to tax inactivity. There are no limits now to what Congress may tax.
The Supreme Court, which used to be the buffer between a zealous Congress, an ambitious President, and the American people, has lost any sense of independence; something every American lost with this opinion.