July 5 2012

Who Cares about the Constitution If You Get What You Want?

Charlotte Hays

Who cares about the law if you can get your way?

One of the things that is becoming clear is that supporters of Obamacare care more about upholding the legislation than about the legal reasoning Chief Justice John Roberts employed to justify doing what they wanted.

Indeed, Rich Richman at Commentary combs through the liberal reactions (including one by my favorite liberal legal thinker), and sums up the MSM reaction to Roberts's ruling:

Unpersuasive, incoherent, but what an act of courage!

We’ll possibly never know why Chief Justice Roberts appears to have switched sides and authored an opinion that upholds Obamacare with incoherent and unpersuasive reasoning. But it does appear that he early on believed the law unconstitutional and that the opinion he ultimately wrote supporting it is weak.

In one of the most tantalizing articles of the week, Salon says that Roberts wrote both opinions—the muddled majority opinion and the crystal clear dissent! If this is the case, then it is an indication that Roberts thought more clearly when arguing for overturning the law. 

Whatever is behind the unpersuasive opinion, Thomas Sowell has a very clear and devastating take on the Chief Justice:

John Roberts is no doubt a brainy man, and that seems to carry a lot of weight among the intelligentsia -- despite glaring lessons from history, showing very brainy men creating everything from absurdities to catastrophes. Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius.

One of the Chief Justice's admirers said that when others are playing checkers, he is playing chess. How much consolation that will be as a footnote to the story of the decline of individual freedom in America, and the wrecking of the best medical care in the world, is another story.

The Roberts decision was a blow and conservatives have reacted strongly—but I am proud to say not with the kind of vitriol we would have seen unleashed had the opinion gone the other way. Did our protean Chief Justice fear the hate and anger of the left and simply think that the U.S. couldn’t stand more divisiveness?

Possibly, but it wasn’t his job to consider extra-constitutional factors.

But now the Chief Justice's stature is a matter for the history books, and the future of this monstrous piece of legislation rests with the voters.

There is still hope that ordinary people can do what our brainy Chief Justice could not do: preserve the best medical system in the world.

Hat tip to Hot Air for spotting the Salon piece.

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