John Roberts

…go back to 2009. Olympia Snowe was the deciding vote to get Obamacare out of the Senate Committee. Had she voted no, we’d not be here now…

I’m Not Down on John Roberts

Erick Erickson

Having gone through the opinion, I am not going to beat up on John Roberts. I am disappointed, but I want to make a few points.

First, I get the strong sense from a few anecdotal stories about Roberts over the past few months and the way he has written this opinion that he very, very much was concerned about keeping the Supreme Court above the partisan fray and damaging the reputation of the Court long term. It seems to me the left was smart to make a full frontal assault on the Court as it persuaded Roberts.

Second, in writing his case, Roberts forces everyone to deal with the issue as a political, not a legal issue. In the past twenty years, Republicans have punted a number of issues to the Supreme Court asking the Court to save us from ourselves. They can’t do that with Roberts. They tried with McCain-Feingold, which was originally upheld. This case is a timely reminder to the GOP that five votes are not a sure thing.

Third, while Roberts has expanded the taxation power, which I don’t really think is a massive expansion from what it was, Roberts has curtailed the commerce clause as an avenue for Congressional overreach. In so doing, he has affirmed the Democrats are massive taxers. In fact, I would argue that this may prevent future mandates in that no one is going to go around campaigning on new massive tax increases. On the upside, I guess we can tax the hell out of abortion now. Likewise, in a 7 to 2 decision, the Court shows a strong majority still recognize the concept of federalism and the restrains of Congress in forcing states to adhere to the whims of the federal government.

Fourth, in forcing us to deal with this politically, the Democrats are going to have a hard time running to November claiming the American people need to vote for them to preserve Obamacare. It remains deeply, deeply unpopular with the American people. If they want to make a vote for them a vote for keeping a massive tax increase, let them try.

Fifth, the decision totally removes a growing left-wing talking point that suddenly they must vote for Obama because of judges. The Supreme Court as a November issue is gone.

Finally, while I am not down on John Roberts like many of you are today, i will be very down on Congressional Republicans if they do not now try to shut down the individual mandate. Force the Democrats on the record about the mandate. Defund Obamacare. This now, by necessity, is a political fight and the GOP sure as hell should fight.

60% of Americans agree with them on the issue. And guess what? The Democrats have been saying for a while that individual pieces of Obamacare are quite popular. With John Roberts’ opinion, the repeal fight takes place on GOP turf, not Democrat turf. The all or nothing repeal has always been better ground for the GOP and now John Roberts has forced everyone onto that ground. Oh, and as I mentioned earlier, because John Roberts concluded it was a tax, the Democrats cannot filibuster its repeal because of the same reconciliation procedure the Democrats used to pass it.

It seems very, very clear to me in reviewing John Roberts’ decision that he is playing a much longer game than us and can afford to with a life tenure. And he probably just handed Mitt Romney the White House.

*A friend points out one other thing — go back to 2009. Olympia Snowe was the deciding vote to get Obamacare out of the Senate Committee. Had she voted no, we’d not be here now.

Related: The Heritage Foundation argues for repeal.

Our response to this morning’s events? Angry. Disappointed. Then we decided, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Americans can never, ever again go back to sleep and let the devil do our work…

UpdateBy the Numbers: How Much in Taxes Will You Pay Because of Health Care Ruling, And How Much Is the Penalty?

READ: The Full, 193-Page Text of Supreme Court’s Decision on Affordable Care Act

John Boehner Responds to SCOTUS Ruling, ‘Republicans Will Work With a President Who Will Listen to the People’

Video, Transcript – President Obama: We’re Better Off Because We Had the Courage to Pass This Law

“It should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it was good politics. I did it because I believed it was good for the country.”

Obama knows what’s best for you.

Lawyer Who Argued Against Health Care Law Before Supreme Court Details What Ruling Means for Small Businesses

…Carvin acknowledged that he’s “had better days.” He addressed how the Supreme Court’s ruling will impact small businesses, including that it will lead businesses to refrain from employing more than 50 employees, pay onerous fees should they employ more than 50 employees, or drop health insurance entirely and pay the penalty.

ObamaCare stands: An overview of the law’s provisions

Dr. Manny Alvarez: Obama’s health care reform won’t fix our medical system

Home page at, 28 June 2012 at 1:53 PM EDT. Click on the image to enlarge.

From the Associated Press at YouTube:


Bwahahahaha…Pelosi: Senator Kennedy ‘Can Now Rest In Peace’

Update 2: ‘It is not our role to forbid it, or pass upon its wisdom or fairness’…

PDF of opinions

Justices Find Fault With Medicaid Expansion

Stocks Tumble after Ruling

From Drudge Report this hour:



Sarah Palin: ‘Obama Lies, Freedom Dies’…

Update 3: Slate: Obama Wins the Battle, Roberts Wins the War  The chief justice’s canny move to uphold the Affordable Care Act while gutting the Commerce Clause.

…the health care law was, ultimately, a pretext. This was a test case for the long-standing—but previously fringe—campaign to rewrite Congress’ regulatory powers under the Commerce Clause.

This is why the challenge to the ACA, and its progress through the courts, came as a surprise to Democrats and to mainstream constitutional scholars: Three years ago, there was no serious doubt that Congress had the power to impose the individual mandate…

…The scholars expected to see the court gut existing Commerce Clause precedent and overturn the individual mandate in a partisan decision: Five Republican-appointed justices voting to rewrite doctrine and reject Obamacare; four Democratic-appointed justices dissenting.

Roberts was smarter than that. By ruling that the individual mandate was permissible as a tax, he joined the Democratic appointees to uphold the law—while joining the Republican wing to gut the Commerce Clause (and push back against the necessary-and-proper clause as well)…


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