Last Updated:August 19 @ 12:25 pm

Chief Justice Roberts Switches Vote... for Politics?

By Bobby Eberle

Could the 5-4 Supreme Court decision which upheld Obamacare have turned out differently? According to news reports, the answer is a resounding YES. The liberal group of justices were set, conservatives like Thomas, Alito, and Scalia were set as well. But Chief Justice John Roberts was supposedly ready to vote with the conservatives to strike down Obamacare... until he jumped ship.

As Jan Crawford reports for CBS News, "Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position."

Roberts formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy - believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law - led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.

"He was relentless," one source said of Kennedy's efforts. "He was very engaged in this."

But this time, Roberts held firm. And so the conservatives handed him their own message which, as one justice put it, essentially translated into, "You're on your own."

The question is... why? Why would a man who is nearly universally acclaimed for his intelligence and knowledge of the law go back and forth? Could it be... politics?

In a piece by Charles Krauthammer, the logic (or illogic) appears to be a balancing act Roberts is playing between being a constitutional conservative and chief justice -- the person charged with maintaining the integrity of the Supreme Court.

Why did Roberts 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 the individual coverage mandate is a proper exercise of the authority to regulate commerce.

That's Roberts, philosophical conservative. But he lives in uneasy coexistence with Roberts, custodian of the court, acutely aware that the judiciary's arrogation of power has eroded the esteem in which it was once held. Most of this arrogation occurred under the liberal Warren and Burger courts, most egregiously with Roe v. Wade.

Give me a break! Yes, Roberts and the court would take political heat for overturning Obamacare. But if it is unconstitutional... then guess what? It's unconstitutional! The job of the Supreme Court is to rule on the constitutionality of laws. Period.

As for John Roberts... he's bolting the country for a while. As noted in the AP story on GOPUSA, Roberts will be teaching a class for "two weeks in Malta, the Mediterranean island nation." Roberts joked, "Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea."

Roberts appeared Friday at a conference hosted by the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia Circuit, one day after the Supreme Court said the federal government can require citizens to buy health insurance. The impromptu 35-minute session featured Roberts answering alternating questions from Chief Judge David B. Sentelle, of the D.C. Circuit Court, and Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, who heads the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Neither judge asked Roberts directly about the health care decision.

Rather, Roberts responded with the Malta quip after Sentelle asked him whether he was "going to Disney World" now that the court has adjourned for the summer.

Whether it's Disney World or Malta... it's probably a good idea for Roberts to get out of town. As both Crawford and Krauthammer write, Roberts had more than just the law steering his decision. He had politics.

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102 Comments

  1. billwvComment by billwv
    July 2, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    Roberts would have been the least to be suspected of ‘treasonous’ actions, BUT nonetheless it is up to us as the voters and protectors of the U. S. Constitution to overrule the Supreme Court and Ozerocare. We have gone to the polls a lot of times to ‘set straight’ and correct laws and policies that we deem as intrusion into the very rights and freedoms that we have as American citizens.
    Now is the time to get ‘rid of Ozero’ and his failed policies.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 8:28 am

      Still, something doesn’t smell right in Denmark. Methinks something is rotten in Denmark. Almost sounds like a collusion somewhere along the line. If Roberts was just trying to save the ‘Respect’ of the Supreme Court’, he failed, miserably.

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    • BuzzComment by Buzz
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:36 am

      I will have to get the message up once again; however, it may be Roberts did us a favor..it is now a tax and we cannot be forced into exchanges…will take a look and try to get back to this site. This has to do with the over-reach of the Commerce Clause; now that it is a tax, that is limited and needs only 51 votes to repeal..our work is cut out, good strong Conservatives in both Houses. This is what Reid pulled in the Nuclear Option. The Commerce Clause limits ability to penalize States for inaction..now on another note..Jindal…has said he will not enforce Obamacare. Good for you Governor Jindal..each state should protect their states from this, the NDAA and the Agenda and do it now…

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

      He accomplished just the opposite. Now the integrity of Court is totally in doubt.

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    • 4limitedgovComment by 4limitedgov
      July 2, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

      Bad law does not automatically equal unconstitutional… The individual mandate was struck down with regards to the commerce clause… Roberts sided with the alito and gang… Victory #1. The state medicaid ruling now prevents federal gov from extorting/coercing cooperation out of the states by declaring unconstitutional the federal gov tactic to pull all funding if you don’t play their way… Roberts again sided with the conservative judges…Victory #2. Now the mandate is declared to be a tax, which I agree required a tortured twisted logic, but now it’s a tax and a tax on the middle class… Not politically healthy for the democrats whose side argued it was a tax and therefore constitutional… Now it’s in the hands of the voters to decide… Elect the right people and it will be overturned…. And when that is challenged…. Roberts will again side with the elected officials but alito and gang will be with him… My take… Two new shackles on federal power is a very good thing…

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    • johnsnareComment by johnsnare
      July 2, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

      It was truly a brilliant political move by Chief Justice Roberts. He made this abominable law, a 2012 election issue for Romney. Over 50% of Americans have no use for Obama care, and will certainly take that issue to the polls in November. Romney needs to hammer this home in the campaign, and remind America, that we are truly, the land of the free.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

      It was a tax and is a tax. That’s the reason for Obama’s need of 4000 new IRS Agents built into the mandate.
      But is it a legal tax, can and should the government be able to tax anyone for not doing anything. Roberts thinks so but I do not. Now Roberts has given the right for our legislators to tax as it sees fit. With No limitations.

      We say we can legislate this away, but can we? Even after this debacle at SCOTUS Obama’s approval rate (this weekend was 49 %) Obama and Co. got caught it the biggest US lie so far and his approval rate didn’t budge. Sure this has fired up the Conservative base but it’s also energizing and firing up the Liberal base so much, as they don’t want to give Obamacare and free anything up. I’d say both sides are fired up and will probably cancel each other out.
      When the GOP had both Seats of Congress and the White House how long did it take them to mess it up and lose all we had worked for (hint: not long). Even if we keep the House and get the Senate plus the WH how long can we keep it. Are we going to not have Obamacare, then have Obamacare and then not have it again, depending on who’s in control in Washington?

      Lincoln said it best “A Nation Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”. We are divided and nothing will change that. If we are to recover from this 4 years we will have to be willing to work hard and vigilant enough to not let the reins of power back to the Communistic Liberal Left. That is a full time job that the likes of our Founding Fathers had the internal fortitude to follow through with, but do we?

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      July 2, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

      If Roberts’ intent was to get voters to decide the issue, then how about over riding the Judicial activists that obviate the will of the voters in California and elsewhere through Judicial nullification? If this be the intent and inheritance of his court them perhaps it will be worth swallowing this bitter pill of a decision. You can’t have it both ways.

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    • Blu OwenComment by Blu Owen
      July 2, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

      It has long been said by lawyers that I know that the right question must be asked in the courts if you want the right answer. To me the constitutionality question that should be asked is if the Senate ignored Art. I, §7, cl. 1, of the Constitution with its amendment of H.R.3590, being that it replaced the complete wording of the bill. There have been precedents that have allowed the Senate to greatly expand legislation thru amendment but not any allowing the replacement of all the text.
      The court’s understanding of the origination clause is based on two central principles that tend to narrow its application to fewer classes of legislation than the House: (1) raising money must be the primary purpose of the measure, rather than an incidental effect; and (2) the resulting funds must be for the expenses or obligations of the government generally, rather than a single, specific purpose.
      On the first item the argument may be somewhat tenable at best but on the second I believe it would be indefensible as the bill has a single specific purpose and that is healthcare.
      If one reads the following link you might ask yourself the same question.
      http://democrats.rules.house.gov/archives/RL31399.pdf

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    • judyg46Comment by judyg46
      July 4, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

      And now “We the People” will have the IRA after us and our assets if we don’t buy insurance? Nice. Where is this all going to lead??? (rhetorical question)

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  2. MustLiveFreeComment by MustLiveFree
    July 2, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    Wouldn’t surprise me if some SEIU thugs “persuaded” Roberts to vote their way.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      July 2, 2012 @ 10:08 am

      Apparently in America it isn’t going to matter how the Supreme Court Justices vote, or even how the members of Congress and the Senate vote. What now matters is how “WE THE PEOPLE” vote in November to prove whether we are fit to do by peaceful means what our Fathers had to do by violent means. Those who continue to do surreptitious violence on our honestly earned personal property, violence on our economic security and violence on our honesty and attempts to honestly and above board find solutions to this nations problems, if left unchecked will only lead to violence in our streets. The choice is yours America. Are you up to the task of securing by peaceful means what our forefathers had to secure by war? We are fools to think for a moment your modern Socialist men are above or below such things so you better get off duff and cast ballots, before you cast away any more of your freedoms and ability to cast anything before an imperial government of oppression who would tell you what to think, what to eat, where to live, and who to serve.

      The thrashing sound of these Judicial switches by Justice Roberts bodes more like the sounds of a nation in self-flagellation than the painful but correction loving discipline in the government woodshed by a wise caring elder of the family.

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    • CarmineComment by Carmine
      July 2, 2012 @ 10:40 am

      MustLiveFree, the same thought occured to me and I’m sure to many others. Had the same thought about Hillary during the ’08 election. If you notice about a month before the convention she seemed to back off on the campaign. Did some of Mr o’s people talk to her and Roberts?

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    • notsolargemargeComment by notsolargemarge
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:08 am

      Yes….we must make sure we all vote and stay vigilant….finding out which senators in our districts are decepticons and which are constitutionalists…also…..we must continue to refer to this as OBAMAS TAX…..or rather THE AFFORDABLE CARE TAX….(aka:unaffordable care tax)……put this on your vehicle…..use it in correspondence…….tshirts and bumper stickers …..we must all continue to pound it into our daily life that this is a humongous TAX…..and that Obama is a humongous liar and perverter of our system and constitutional laws…..

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    • judyg46Comment by judyg46
      July 4, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

      Nor would it surprise me if Roberts and his family weren’t threatened by any of the thugs in office! I’ve read an awful lot about how those things have and still are happening! Scary.

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  3. gilplynComment by gilplyn
    July 2, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    Roberts isn’t stupid and may well have had some reasonable arguments for why he voted the way he did. That said, I cannot give him a pass. This is simply too important. I think it’s impossible to understate the ramifications of this bill. It’s effects will be profound and long-lasting. Roberts had the power to put the brakes on this disaster, and for whatever reason, he did not. I am tired of listening to conservatives try to somehow twist this into some positive thing. I do not see any silver lining. I don’t think it necessarily means Romney is going to win the election. I certainly don’t think there is any chance it will be repealed. We are stuck with it. It’s socialism straight up and it’s here to stay. When Obama, Pelosi and Reid cooked this thing up and resorted to extortion, duress and every form of illicit means to get it passed, they effectively created a huge concrete block and put it around the neck of the American people. Justice Roberts just kicked us off the boat and into the water. I now refer to him as Justice Judas Roberts. This 4th I grieve for my country.

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    • jeffpatComment by jeffpat
      July 2, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

      “Roberts had the power to put the brakes on this disaster, and for whatever reason, he did not”

      He didn’t put the brakes on it, because regardless of his personal opinion, he has the responsibility to uphold the constitution. The individual mandate is a tax, and congress has the authority to impose taxes. Kudos to Roberts for upholding the constitution, even when it goes against his personal views.

      You’re right – this is a form of socialism – just as free education, highways, police protection, Medicare and social security are. Do you believe all these programs should be banned? Would we be a better and freer society without them?

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

      Apples and oranges. Free education is not free, and it’s state (NOT FEDERAL) Police protection is local and state – not Federal. Highways are a federal function started for the Security and protection of the US (a Federal Function). And we all know Medicare and SS are broke and need fixing. Once those who’ve paid into them are out of the system, yes they should be banned and the free market should take their place.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

      What do you mean you don’t see any chance it will be repealed? There is a damn good chance if Romney wins the election and the Republicans win 51 senate seats. It’s not that unlikely, so we need to think positively about this!

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  4. willyrhoComment by willyrho
    July 2, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    To give the decision any real tenacity requires Roberts to be on the Liberal side. The powers that rule the World gave him the choice Gold or Lead. This is how they always operate. The easy way to steer 10 Trillion dollars over the next 10 years is to pay a Traitor a Couple of Billion. That is seen all the time in this world and yes in this country too. Example: Viagra patent extended another 7 years after being extended for 2 years. That is about 12 Billion dollars from profit for Pfizer’s. Do you suppose that judge might have gotten a few Bucks in an offshore account or do you think the Ruling was, as Messiah in chief said, “It is the Right Thing to Do”. Anyway, You judge for us or all your family dies horrible deaths and if you do judge for us, a Billion dollars a year will be put in an Offshore account as long as you live.

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  5. pypypypyComment by pypypypy
    July 2, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    Whether he did or did not, or perhaps the “intimidation” got to him, no one knows for now but him. It is all irrelevant now. When is it that we Americans need someone to bail us out? If we want something done, we do it ourselves! Therefore if you dont want ObamaCare, the only way is to vote him out of office, put Govt Romney their and we make sure we hold his feet to the fire and hold him accountable!

    in hindsight, I think Justice Roberts unintentionally did all of us a huge favour. Remember SCOTUS sided with BO twice last month which should tell us that we cant rely on anyone but ourselves!

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    • BobinmsComment by Bobinms
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:59 am

      I don’t think I can stand any more of his favors.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

      Regardless of whether it turns out that he did us a favor in the long run, what he did was still disgraceful and what’s to stop him from doing something like this again? It’s not up to the Chief Justice or any other Supreme Court Justice to decide a case based on how he believes the public will perceive the integrity of the court.

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    • Steve HartmanComment by Steve Hartman
      July 2, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

      If Roberts rules for the right, he inflames liberals far beyond mere irritation. They explode and keep it up through November. Conservatives say: “We Got’Cha” and move on the gloat for a week or so – then become complacent as they always do.
      And remember! Obama attorneys argued that the mandate “was” a tax, even though they and Obama said it wasn’t a tax to get it through Congress.
      Roberts also said that it was not the court’s job to determine what was good or bad for Americans. It was only its job to rule.
      Finally, if the mandate had been overturned, we would see a continuing pick-up in the economy because business would have again started hiring – the Sword of Damacles removed from over their heads. Now the economy will continue to stay deflated until the election.
      Because of Roberts ruling we now have conservatives fomenting at the mouth and that will continue through November. We also have Romney bringing in huge sums of money MORE than would have been the case had the decision gone the other way. Romney is now bringing in more money than Obama. Obama is literally begging for money at this point and it’s only July!
      Personally, I think Roberts was brilliant and gave conservatives their absolute best chance for victory in November.
      And who knows. The House will vote to wipe out Obamacare. There are enough democratic senators on the hot seat that it is “possible”… though agreed, not probable that survival of their seats becomes more desperate than Obamacare and they too, vote Obamacare down prior to Nov. just to save themselves.
      Last, remember! The commerce clause was struck down. That means states do not have to comply with Obamacare in the Medicaid department. This throws the entire ACA into a potentially unworkable tizzy because some states will balk. I think Roberts ruling was terrific!

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    • joelinpdxComment by joelinpdx
      July 2, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

      I prefer to believe that Justice Roberts did Republicans an immense favor. If Obozocare had been overturned it would have been an issue for a couple of days and then faded. Now, it is the issue — second only to the economy — that will get Obozo defeated in November.

      And, I impress upon you, that we must defeat Obozo in November. The candidate who gets our vote on November 6th will appoint up to four justices to the high court in the next four years. Do we want Obozo packing the court with liberals?

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

      joel: We still have to get control of the Senate to repeal Obamacare. That means the Republicans have to pick up at least three seats.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 3, 2012 @ 11:39 am

      The BIGGEST tax hike in the history of the United States with the government’s ability to do it over and over again, is not, a favor to us, anyone, nor America!.

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  6. Kenneth AdamsComment by Kenneth Adams
    July 2, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    The Democrats and the Obama administration, have been very successful in labeling anyone who disagrees with their agenda as racist. Instead of doing his duty, and upholding the Constitution, Roberts caved to the pressure. He did not want to be the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to shoot down the signature legislation of the first black President. So now instead of being Commerce Claused into governmental oppression, we can be Tax Claused into governmental oppression. I fail to see this decision, as anything but a dark day for freedom and America. He has neither upheld his or the Courts integrity. It will be his legacy.

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  7. JavajoyComment by Javajoy
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    I feel deserted by John Roberts. I do believe he was overly influenced (intimidated) by the Obama administration. Never in a million years would I have thought our Government could FORCE us to purchase anything. Even more disturbing is the fact that there are many other taxes contained within the ACA and no one is saying anything about them.

    Furthermore, I have yet to see what kind of policies the ACA will provide and what those policies will or will not cover. I want to know for sure that abortions will not be covered with my tax dollars and that illegal aliens will receive no benefits under this act, but have heard much to the contrary and do not know who to believe. It concerns me that I might not be eligible for the same drugs my husband was taking when his cancer was diagnosed or that I might be denied dialysis based on age and life expectancy. The young won’t concern themselves with that.

    Also, I simply do not agree with young adults staying on parents policies until age 26 when they can be shipped off to war at 18 and can’t drink alcohol until they are 21. No one has even addressed the increase in those parents insurance premiums. They act like it is a freebie when it isn’t. Next I expect the age to raise to thirty. There is a time when children should be considered grown and responsible for themselves.

    No matter your political leanings things are either Constitutional or not Constitutional. Your political persuasion should have nothing to do with it. Just call me a dreamer!And, President Obama should have put on his big boy pants and kept his nose out of it.

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    • notsolargemargeComment by notsolargemarge
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:14 am

      Great comments javajoy……..I agree…..and once again….we need to remedy this in November at the voting booth….

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  8. bgannyfComment by babs
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    I have read a summary of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform that was put in place during Romneys watch. I am afraid that if we are expecting him to repeal Obama Care, we are going to be in for a shock – because there is not that much difference between the two. He will not repeal something that he originally put in place, in his own state.

    Perhaps we have been given the gift of being able to reject it at the state level now.

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    • cagirlComment by cagirl
      July 2, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

      The difference is that it is a state thing and not a country wide thing. The point is that states should be able to pass something like it or not have anything, but the federal government should not be involved.
      And I’m sorry, if Romney and Boehner and all of the others are telling us all that they will repeal it, they will or they will be called on the carpet, not by us, but by the liberal media who would love to call them liars.

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  9. judithdivaComment by judithdiva
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    John Roberts has single-handedly destroyed what was left of the public’s esteem for any government institution. Now, there is no branch of government in which we, the voters, may place an iota of trust. Roberts is no better than any other politician. That’s all he is, a rank politician. He needs to get over his mistaken and arrogant notion that he has some “higher purpose” than just following the law.

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  10. judithdivaComment by judithdiva
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    Too bad we can’t vote out John Roberts.

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    • glenn1234Comment by glenn1234
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:47 am

      “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

      Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” — Benjamin Franklin

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

      He can be impeached, however.

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  11. Pingback: Morning Examiner: Justice Roberts should have left the politics to the politicians – Washington Examiner | Best News Feed - Daily News Magazine

  12. Nancy McPhersonComment by Nancy McPherson
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    Roberts kept the court above politics, while making Obamacare the number one issue in the coming campaign. He limited Congress’ use of the Commerce Clause with the concurrence of all the other justices, while calling Obama a liar for claiming that the mandate was not a tax. Because it is a tax, it can be repealed with only 51 votes in the Senate. And they shot down the Medicaid expansion, allowing states to opt out. In all, it looks like Roberts suckered the liberals into a corner and set them up for a knockout punch in November.

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    • Mary SComment by Mary S
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:39 am

      Yes, Nancy, that’s what I think as well. And I also think that Justice Roberts is so well-versed in the law that he knows more about the ramifications of any single decision than I or anyone else, besides another justice. This decision may just turn out to be something other than what it appears on face value. And then we may just find that Justice Roberts has more courage than any politician could ever have.

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    • NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:55 am

      You may be right that Roberts was trying to be clever by handing the Democrats a Pyrrhic victory. It may well lead to a Republican landslide in November and ultimately a repealing of the law. But in doing so, I believe he has done irreparable damage to our rights by expanding the taxation clause of the Constitution.

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    • jayleighComment by jayleigh
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:58 am

      That is my hope – the Obama side kept claiming it was NOT a tax, and it obviously is, and one loaded with penalties. So, i have been wondering if Roberts did an end-run around this and is in effect saying, ‘Obama lied; it IS a tax.’ And, yes, it can be overturned with only 51 votes. He may have wanted Congress to do exactly that rather than have the SCOTUS rule on a monolithic bill that had more chapters than “Gone With The Wind” and “Les Miserables” put together! It was a very convoluted bill to begin with – and even the brilliant Nancy Pelosi said “we have to pass it before we know what’s in it,” (whatever kind of logic that is!). So, i’ve been thinking that just maybe Roberts wanted this kind of thing to be dealt with once and for all at the Congressional level – but he called it what it was – a TAX – and yes, he did agree that the Commerce Clause, which the O-Admin had claimed this law came under – could NOT be used to validate. Let’s watch to see what Congress does with it – and the DOJ and Holder, AND the “Exec Priv” – These issues are now in the court of Congress – and if they don’t act according to the USC, they will likely feel it in November!

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    • notsolargemargeComment by notsolargemarge
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

      Yes and if you go to Herman Cains site…….he also has a very good explanation.

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    • bgardner1952Comment by bgardner1952
      July 2, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

      I have been thinking the same thing. In one stroke Roberts took away a great deal of BO’s campaign thunder and re-energized the conservatives that “shellacked” the Democrats in 2010. The only problem is the legal precedent that has been set vis-a-vis being able to tax based on the ommision of an act. I hope this works out.

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  13. NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    One man, Roberts, just created jurisprudence for giving the Federal Government UNLIMITED power over the individual. The Government can now tell any individual what they must purchase or do, as long as they label the penalty for non-compliance as a tax.

    For example, the Government can now tell you you must buy a Chevy Volt or pay a “tax”, and there is legal precedence for it being Consititutional.

    The ONLY thing to stop them now is politics. The Constitution has been nullified.

    There is no victory here. Even if Conservatives unite and repeal Obamacare, Pandora’s box has been opened. Roberts has expanded the taxing rights under the Constitution to allow the Government to tax you for INACTION (i.e. not complying with their demands).

    And what is the penalty for not paying the tax? Presumably it is jail time. So the Government now has total control over the individual. It can set a tax rate so unmanageable that the citizen’s choice is comply with Government dictate or go to jail.

    It is a sad time in our nation’s history, and we should all mourn the death of the Constitution.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:43 am

      A closer reading of the ruling will show that government was not given “unlimited” power. Federalism was preserved, the Commerce Clause was not changed and we, the people, can still make a difference. It’s not time to give up. It’s time to fight for our freedoms.

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    • NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:52 am

      Please explain it to me.

      The Constitution clearly states that the only taxes that can be levied by the Federal government are per capita taxes that must be distributed evenly among the States according to their population, or an excise tax i.e. a tax on trade. The 16th amendment added a tax on income. This penalty falls under none of those categories. It is a tax on inaction. It is a tax to be levied if you fail to comply with government mandates.

      Where is the limit now? If the Federal government can tell you that you must buy health insurance approved by them, or pay a tax, why can’t it tell you what else you must buy (or do)?

      The only thing stopping them is politics, and the will of the people didn’t seem to slow them down when it came to Obamacare.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

      NY Graham

      You’re absolutely right, Roberts opened the largest taxing loophole in the history of the United States. They can now tax you for nothing!

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 3, 2012 @ 8:41 am

      manko you’re completely wrong

      “The reasoning underlying the 5 to 4 majority opinion is the court’s unprecedented pronouncement that Congress’ power to tax is unlimited.”
      Judge Napolitano

      Read his article and become informed.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 3, 2012 @ 9:44 am

      Genesal – Read the actual SCOTUS opinion and then get back to me.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 3, 2012 @ 9:59 am

      manko
      Read it also read Judge Napolitano’s article of which I quoted part of…..unprecedented pronouncement that Congress’ power to tax is unlimited
      I’ve also read scores of other opinions stating the same opinion. I’d believe the Judge over you any day.

      He also states, “I wonder whether the chief justice realizes what he and the progressive wing of the court have done to our freedom. If the feds can tax us for not doing as they have commanded, and if that which is commanded need not be grounded in the Constitution, then there is no constitutional limit to their power, and the ruling that the power to regulate commerce does not encompass the power to compel commerce is mere sophistry.”

      Keep at it long enough, you’re surely to convince, at least, someone.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 3, 2012 @ 10:28 am

      Not trying to convince anyone nor am I claiming to be a judge. I read his article as well as the opinion. I will rely upon the opinion which at the end of the day is the only place where accuracy lies. I am just stating my opinion and engaging in civil and lively discussion, whether we all agree or not.However, since you are unable to engage in civil and non personal discussion, my discussions with you are over.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 3, 2012 @ 10:40 am

      Thank you, as your ‘one sided discussions’ go nowhere fast.

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  14. Bob KinfordComment by Bob Kinford
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    We need to look closer at what Roberts has really done. He exposed the mandate for what it really is, another tax. The way the laws work, the only way a tax can be found to be unconstitutional is after the fact.

    What Roberts has done is to limit what the federal government can do under the interstate commerce clause, while at the same time setting up the opportunity for someone to take the tax to the Supreme Court. His ruling is setting it up so that even if congress does nothing to shut down Obama Care, the tax itself will be taken to the Supreme Court where it wlll be shut down.

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    • NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
      July 2, 2012 @ 11:45 am

      Except that Roberts himself said that for the purposes of the anti-injunction act, the penalty is not a tax.

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  15. mankoComment by manko
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Chief Justice Roberts has been a man of integrity and has ruled with his knowledge and intellect of the law since he has taken the bench. Just because we don’t like the ruling doesn’t mean he sold out.The justices rule on constitutionality.Our job is to vote in people who will uphold the constitution and restore America. What purpose does it serve to make assumptions about CJ Roberts without fact?

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

      You totally deserve one star for that one.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 2, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

      Why a one star? Just because you disagree? Does that make my opinion any less valid?

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 3, 2012 @ 8:44 am

      No, one star because you are wrong and you show you don’t know anything about the law and possible the Constitution. That makes it less valid, yes.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 3, 2012 @ 9:45 am

      Genesal – learn to keep things civil and not personal. It garners much more intelligent discussion.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 3, 2012 @ 9:55 am

      My guess is you didn’t read Judge Napolitano’s article. But what you say is funny as your nobody else seems to get your point or see your point of view. I think we gave up trying to have that intelligent discussion with you, long ago.

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  16. Richard W. FaithComment by Richard W. Faith
    July 2, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    Obviously, Roberts did not do the right thing, but that does not necessarily mean that he acted unpatriotically. IF he had been THREATENED, these would have been his options:
    1) Do the wrong thing, and live to render conservative judgments in the future; or
    2) Do the right thing, which he might die on account of: THEN, GUESS who would name his successor!
    Conclusion: America has been HAD. AGAIN!

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    • AMVoterComment by AMVoter
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

      Roberts is a coward who let himself be bullied.

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  17. AMVoterComment by AMVoter
    July 2, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    Maintaining the integrity of the court? Roberts destroyed the court’s integrity by not adhering to the Constitution. His political decision shows he has no integrity but is just another closet leftist hack.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 2, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

      Who says he did not adhere to the Constitution? In what way? Also, he didn’t vote for Obamacare. He ruled as to what he deemed to be constitutional. Roberts has been anything but leftist in his court rulings. It’s only when people don’t agree with a ruling that he starts being criticized. The focus shouldn’t be on Roberts. It should be on voting others into office.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

      You have missed the entire point.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 2, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

      Enlighten me.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

      If you haven’t gotten by now I can’t.

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 2, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

      That’s ok if you can’t explain. I’m very clear on what is being said.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

      How is it Constitutional to tax some one for not buying something. Cite the Constitution or case law – manko

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

      Well if you can’t answer that, since the is the BIGGEST tax increase in the history of the United States (by far) what was there in the decision to prevent another, even bigger than this tax increase?

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    • mankoComment by manko
      July 2, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

      As I read the SCOTUS opinion, Roberts sees Congress’ power to tax to extend to this ACA. He says that calling it a tax does not give the Federal government more power, but falls within their existing power to tax, like a tax on gasoline or tobacco (albeit, you have to purchase the gas or tobacco to be taxed so perhaps in 2014, when someone is “taxed” for not purchasing insurance, it will become a matter for the courts again).

      Let me be clear. I disagree with the ruling. I do not see that this “penalty” can be called a tax under the Constitution. Because of this ruling, in my humble opinion, there is no constitutional limit to the federal government’s power. However, the point to my initial post was that, while I disagree, I think Roberts really believes it is constitutional. I have no information that he sold out, was bribed or politically motivated. Without any evidence to the contrary, I can only surmise that he believes in his ruling. Unfortunately, it has huge ramifications.

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  18. DOComment by DO
    July 2, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    I’m disappointed that Obamacare wasn’t struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme court. I’m glad that this legislation has been called a “tax”, which it is, even though we were told over & over again that it wasn’t. The states can opt out of this medicaid deal which would cost states money they didn’t have. Justice Roberts may be smarter than people realize by doing what he has done. Can it be that this will help repeal this mess of legislation now that it’s labeled a tax? I’m waiting to see where we go from here before I pass final judgement.

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  19. jayleighComment by jayleigh
    July 2, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    i was stunned at first – but in retrospect, i think CJ-R may have been brilliant in exposing this convoluted piece of outright fraud for what it is! It is possible, that if SCOTUS found it unconstitutional on ONE point, all it would have taken the O-Admin to is to change THAT particular thing. This way, Congress has a chance to repeal it before 2014. i know many of us are feeling its tentacles even now, but November will be a watershed for America. We either rise up and vote O out – whether we “love” the current GOP candidate or not – because if the ballot box is boycotted because the personal fave is not on it – we ALL lose! VOTE, people! And if you have congressional seats open in either House or Senate, be careful how you vote! Personally, i believe it is time for a Constitutional Convention on the issue of Congressional Term Limits!

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

      Or maybe on the issue of lifetime appointments of Supreme Couft justices.

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  20. LAPhilComment by LAPhil
    July 2, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    What Roberts did was so sleazy and low as to be worthy of impeachment. If what he did was for the purpose of “preserving the integrity of court” as a non-political institution as many who are familiar with him have stated, he couldn’t possibly have more done to destroy it. This will stick to him for the rest of his life, as it should.

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  21. fredroeComment by fredroe
    July 2, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    Roberts should be impeached for playing politics instead of doing what he swore to do. I know my fellow republicans will spin this ruling in the way to make it sound like Robert’s blantant ineptitude isn’t so bad, but it is. The ruling for Arizonia and this ridiculous health care fiasco is monumentally disasterous for this country. There is supposed to be more conservatives on the bench than liberls, so what gives? Where has the common sense and common decency in this country gone?

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  22. Comment by Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    Robert’s ruling just wasn’t logical. The ACA came to his court as a fine and when he was done with it went out as a tax. It wasn’t his job to change how the ACA is funded. Not even the libs agreed with him on that (they would have approved it regardless). Ginsberg knows that as a tax it would never have been approved by Congress in the first place. Even now as a “tax” Roberts did not define under what specific taxing authority in the Constitution allows it. (The Constitution enumerates the types of taxes allowed.) Roberts seems intimidated in Obama’s presence. Otherwise why throw him this lifeline?

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  23. Kathleen OComment by Kathleen O'Regan
    July 2, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    Mary S., NY Graham, I hope and pray you are right in your assessment. It just doesn’t make sense, what Justice Roberts did, and it is indeed, a shocker. I also agree with a pundit who said that we are playing checkers, while Roberts plays chess, or something like that. Too intelligent to go this route if he didn’t believe it was the right thing to do, but given the Chicago-style politics of Obama, it is eerie to imagine what might have happened. If that was what facilitated Roberts’ decision, we’re in trouble. But, if it was for the reasons you mentioned, even though it’s a gamble, it may work out. As long as there IS a way out, we’re not done yet. Please JESUS, help us to remove this parasitic blight from our country in November.

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  24. bgardner1952Comment by bgardner1952
    July 2, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    In one stroke Roberts took away a great deal of BO’s campaign thunder and re-energized the conservatives that “shellacked” the Democrats in 2010. The only problem is the legal precedent that has been set vis-a-vis being able to tax based on the ommision of an act. I hope this works out.

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  25. mmotComment by mmot
    July 2, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    If one can admit to themselves Dubya is a progressive, everything else falls nicely into place. Heck…..even Glen Beck finally admitted Dubya is a progressive.

    The Manchurian chief justice roberts has fulfilled at least of one his primary missions.

    Good people, there is precious little substantive difference between clinton and dubya. Probably less between dubya and barry. Barry and mittens might as well be clones.

    We are screwed and the fault is ours. We elect fools and thieves and reelect more than 90%.

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  26. JDZComment by JDZ
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    First of all, do not let yourself fall into the liberal trap that we are seeing coming out of the MSM about how inciteful the Chief Justice is now that he ruled the way he did, and that now this legislation is here to stay and we better just get used to it, etc. This is just a ploy in an attempt to have those that are against it give up on a move to repeal and replace it which can be done, actually easily if Romney is elected President, using the reconciliation process in the Senate.

    Second, my respect for the Supreme Court has fallen dramatically over the years, and this decision is not helping me recover from this basic lack of trust and respect for our highest court. I would expect most of the decisions coming from the Supreme Court, if it were to really stick to the letter of the law with nonpartisan blinders, to be heavily one way or the other, not 5 to 4 either way. There should be a very consistent interpretation of such matters as consititutionality of legislation by most of the justices or something is wrong. And, what is fundamentally wrong, is that we have staffed the Court with, at least the last two appointees, based on politics, not based on legal wherewithal coupled with extensive experience in our judicial system. You cannot tell me that Kagan and Satamayor were the best they could find for lifetime membership of the SCOTUS. When you have judicial activism now so deeply inside of our Supreme Court, there is no way we are going to get unbiased decisions based on the laws of the land.

    It looks like Roberts caved to political pressure or some other form of extortion from the far left activists that could get to him one way or the other and he succumbed. We may never know what really caused him to go against the long term members of the Court and side with two of the newbies who everyone knew would vote to side with Obama, their role model for a socialist America. It is shocking that one can predict court decisions that easily in the first place…that should never be the case.

    Anyway, this decision is now going to make it an even clearer choice in November and it is Romney’s election to win or lose. He has an excellent set of failed policies of the Obama administration with regard to the economy, unemployment, energy strategies, foreign policy, etc. to use to gain votes and even I could argue these results relatively strongly. He can easily show the socialist movement of Obama versus the historical capitalism argument of our tradition. He has the radical past of Obama to bring into question and he should not be shy about doing this in a shrewd but clear manner for naive Americans to learn about and contemplate.

    Then, he has Obamacare. This could either help him or hurt him depending on how he approaches it. First of all, he has to deal upfront with Romneycare, and he needs to be straight and frank about it. For example, he could say when we compare him to Obama, that he (Romney) has actual hands on experience with a form of government run healthcare that is similar to Obamacare? This gives him an advantage to judge whether or not it should be implemented at the national level. He knows what works and doesn’t work in Massachusetts and if it should be even considered at the national level in this country. He has said in the past that he believes, based on his experience, that it should be left up to the states to figure out how to structure healthcare for the residents of the state. Doing it on a state level is safer and less expensive then setting up another behemoth federal bureaucracy bigger then all of the other entitlements combined which are all in deep financial trouble.

    He needs to explain the huge tax increases embedded in the Obamacare legislation and how the middle class is going to get hit hard to pay over 75% of these taxes.

    Then, finish the argument with the structure and benefits of a simpler and less expensive program aimed at reducing the actual costs of healthcare and capture the few good suggestions in the current 2700 complex government takeover of our healthcare. Explain what would be in the replacement legislation that counters the liberal arguments like pre-existing conditions, those without insurance, the drug donut problem, etc. There are only a few good things in Obamacare, the rest of it is a huge government takeover of healthcare and our freedom of choice which will increase costs and eventually reduce the level of healthcare to everyone.

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  27. NHGuyComment by NHGuy
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    There is no denying that we, the voters, must turn out in force in November to reject Obama and his policies, but I am very concerned about the coming elections.

    SCYTL (Security Technology), an electronic voter tallying company, formerly based in Baltimore and now based in Spain, ostensibly backed by George Soros and whose many administrators have been longtime backers of Obama, was given the blessing of – and has been hired by – (what did you expect?) the current administration to tally our votes in November.

    If one believes that VOTER ID fraud was/is a problem, what about the vast potential for BALLOT fraud that exists with this method of tabulating our votes? Seems once the votes are sent electronically to SCYTL, the paper trail is non-existent!

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  28. Nancy BurgeComment by Nancy Burge
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    What alarms me about this decision is: if they can force us to get healthcare, can they then argue to WITHHOLD healthcare if they choose.

    This is a slippery slope that our highest court has set us on. We are now without advocates…

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  29. LAPhilComment by LAPhil
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    All the discussion about whether or not the penalty for not purchasing health insurance is a tax is completely moot. No matter what you call it, the essence of the bill didn’t change when Roberts redefined it as a tax. What matters is the way Roberts chose to do this in order to declare the bill constitutional, which was completely out of the scope of his duty as a a Supreme Court Justice. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this rises to the level of an impeachable offense. And I also don’t think everyone should get so cocky about this giving the Republicans a certain victory in November, because we still need to get 51 Republicans in the Senate to get Obamacare repealed, and it just may not be that easy.

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  30. snowhawkComment by snowhawk
    July 2, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    After speaking with friends much more intelligent and learned then those here I’ve been assured that Justice Roberts has in the long term done the correct thing here. Those upset now will see in rulings over the next few years how this will all unfold to the conservatives advantage.
    Obamacare is a life changing TAX. If played right this should through election give conservative the Congress needed to repeal the law or refuse to fund it.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

      I’d like to hear the reasons your “much more intelligent and learned than those here” friends gave you for how Roberts did the right thing here.

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  31. iceman47Comment by iceman47
    July 2, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    In my opinion, I believe that we should all be watching Justice Roberts from now on. Not only his votes but his life style and behavior as well. I believe that Justice Roberts sold out his country and his position and by “sold” I mean exactly that. He was bought and paid for. Time will tell and even though a lot of you may disagree and say I’m some kind of wierdo I believe that in the end my suspicions will be borne out.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      I don’t think your belief is that far-fetched. There’s definitely something not right about this man.

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  32. comanche kidComment by comanche kid
    July 2, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    Mr Roberts (I do not call him Justice because he does not know what the word means) can obviously afford to hide out on an island fortress because somebody bought his vote with a whole bunch of money! He probably got enough to buy his own island!

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      I think he should just resign.

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  33. Gordon Bell CrumpComment by Gordon Bell Crump
    July 2, 2012 @ 4:28 pm
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  34. Charles MartelComment by Charles Martel
    July 2, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    So the next time a judge tells a jury to disregard the news media when making their decision, do you think they will remember “Justice” Roberts?

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

      Excellent point. I raised a similar point on this forum a long ago when it came to picking Supreme Court justices and their being questioned as to where their sympathies lay before they could be confirmed. I wondered why we try to select the most objective people for jury service while we follow exactly the opposite procedure with prospective justices.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

      We shouldn’t even know if perspective Justices are Conservative or Liberal, only that they are pure Constitutionalists, true to upholding the Constutution.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      July 2, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

      Right on!

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  35. jeffpatComment by jeffpat
    July 2, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    To Genesal –

    “Free education is not free” – you got that right. All social services cost the taxpayers. But I don’t understand your distinction between Federal and State services. A social service is one provided to all qualified citizens and paid through the collection of taxes. It doesn’t matter whether that service is provided at the state or federal level – it’s still socialism. On another of your points – do you believe that the fed should stop deducting social security taxes from our paychecks?

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 2, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

      You’re confusing the definition of social services and socialism.

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  36. jeffpatComment by jeffpat
    July 3, 2012 @ 12:21 am

    to genesal

    ‘You’re confusing the definition of social services and socialism.’ So, collecting taxes to pay for universal education is a social service, but collecting taxes to pay for universal healthcare is socialism. Is that what you’re saying? If so, then you’re right, I don’t know the difference.

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  37. jeffpatComment by jeffpat
    July 3, 2012 @ 12:33 am

    To Laphil:

    What do you mean you don’t see any chance it will be repealed? There is a damn good chance if Romney wins the election and the Republicans win 51 senate seats. It’s not that unlikely, so we need to think positively about this!

    I agree with you. Romney will definitely repeal the bill if elected into office. Romney’s only principle is do whatever it takes to hold office. Even though his actions prove he fully supports Obama care, he will not alienate his base.

    Watch – the healthcare bill is going to be another Roe vs Wade football, kicked back and forth based on whatever party is in the whitehouse.

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  38. genesalComment by genesal
    July 3, 2012 @ 8:52 am

    Well, jeffpat DUH.

    Why do you think the whole thing went to the Supreme Court in the first place. You’re just arguing now, to argue.

    Socialism is a form of government, not the act providing ‘social services’. Social services were being performed here in the United States way BEFORE there ever was a word, an idea, or a theory of Socialism. But then again……

    Your last post, you’re talking thru your hat, making things up. Good try though.

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    • jeffpatComment by jeffpat
      July 4, 2012 @ 7:53 am

      To Genesal:

      Socialism is the form of government that is used in providing social services through the collection of taxes. You can call it whatever you want, but that is the definition. All functioning governments have socialist elements, just as all have capitalist elements. It’s only a matter of degree. Like it or not, some services are just better provided for by the government.

      But you didn’t answer my question: Do you believe we would be better off without all social services, or just healthcare?

      I’m not just arguing to argue. I’d really like to know.

      I understand that you think we would be better off without social security, and return to the days when most elderly were forced to spend the rest of their days in the poor house or become burdens on their families. Or have them rely on a market system for their retirement funds (how many pension plans went bust during the last financial crisis?) But what about the other socialist schemes imposed on us by our government such as education?

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 4, 2012 @ 9:57 am

      I repeat for the very slow to learn. Social Services in the United States predates Socialism. There was no such thing as Socialism when the Social Services were being provided.

      I didn’t answer your question because you’re just making stuff up, to be obstinate, I suppose. Social Security needs to be transposed into a system that the people handle thru free enterprise, putting money into whatever savings or interest plan of their own choosing, giving them the responsibility to prepare for their retirement. If they choose to, as you say, go to the poor house or become burdens, that is on them, their fault.

      Don’t be talking like I’m socialistic or something you know nothing about until you get educated as to the facts.

      My view are the same as most of the Conservative posters here. Get rid of the school unions and start private and charter schools and use vouchers. Any other stupid questions?

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  39. Pingback: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare. Our long nightmare continues… — 1389 Blog - Counterjihad!

  40. cynicalobserverComment by cynicalobserver
    July 6, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    Roberts is a politician, not a judge which means his soul is for sale. He and Kanan should be removed from the court.

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