What really happened at SCOTUS Thursday.

John Roberts is brilliant. After the dust settles people will start to see what really happened. John Roberts was not going to allow the Roberts Court to go down in history as the court that killed health care for the people. And that is exactly what the historians would have written. And he was not going to allow Democrats to cry that the court was strictly a political animal acting in a partisan way. Now neither of those things will happen and the left is doing a jig about their “win.” What Roberts did with his vote was to screw them royally. Allow me to explain.

Even though Obama continued declaring his bill was not a tax, his own attorneys argued in court that it was. All Roberts did was to accommodate them. And what that did was to piss off Ginsburg who, from the bench, noted it was commerce and didn’t like Roberts even mentioning it as a tax. But by doing what he did, he took away Congress’ ability to force anything on us as commerce. And he further put Obama in the limelight now as the perpetrator of the biggest tax increase ever in the world. How does Obama fight that? And he now also made it possible for the Senate to “unfund” the whole thing since they have the right to rescind any tax they want. That won’t even require the President’s veto.

Roberts shot an arrow into Obama’s heart with his statement, “We do not consider whether an act embodies sound policies. That judgement is entrusted to the nation’s elected leaders.” He left it up to we the people to correct it. But he handed the means to do that right back to us. He can’t help us now if we falter.

The second thing he did reminds me of the Fuller Court during Cleveland’s Presidency. They hated the ICC, the first regulatory agency put on the American public. But it was constitutional. So in their ruling on US v E C Knight Co. in 1895, they said it was constitutional but they made the ruling so precise, it only addressed that case, no others. What was meant to take state powers away, gave them back with this ruling.

That’s what the Roberts Court did with the second ruling which, by the way, passed 7-2. It took the teeth out of what is left of the bill by allowing states to opt out of the Medicaid portion of the bill. This leaves the poor, uninsured hanging in the wind. This was the very people Obama tried to use this bill to reach for votes.

So Roberts, without calling things by name and thus, stirring the progressives, took their game away. They, along with most of the right, don’t even understand that yet. But when they do, they will realize they’ve been had by their own sword. And then, it will be too late. We know they will lie later about talking victory but everyone will remember that when they try to blame the court and the Republicans before the November election. Now, let’s see if the right knows how to take the full glass they’ve been given to the table without spilling it all over themselves.

Larry Porter

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9 years ago

Your analysis may be valid as history will show. If it is true, John Roberts was more concerning about his legacy and political machinations than the Constitution. The four dissenting Justices wrote their opinion based on the Constitution: isn’t this the function of the “Supreme Court”.

What you suggest is that Roberts used the court for the reasons outlined in your article. This branch of the government has become what Thomas Jefferson feared and judicial tyranny cannot be justified. What is the hope for the Republic when the rule of law is superseded by personal motives?

9 years ago
Reply to  Larry

The phrase “Justice Is Blind” then no longer applies to this government. Decisions are based not on law but political expediency? A tax only applies when you purchase an item that you decide you need or want. If you do not buy health insurance, you will pay a fine. That is not a tax: that is a mandate by the government to confiscate your money (property) without any compensation. Remember “No Taxation without Representation”? Remember the consequences? Should we applaud Roberts’ decision if it becomes the catalyst for a Revolution to restore the Constitution?

In the short run, you and I will have no impact on the outcome of the future.

9 years ago

Dear Friends,

Even though it’s been a few hours now, I’m guessing you’re still pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. But yes, it happened. At 10:07 this morning, the conservative Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, not only joined with the liberal justices to completely uphold almost every single part of the Obama health care law, he wrote the majority opinion himself! In fact, he went even further. When he realized that the government had poorly made its constitutional case to the court, he went searching for a clause in their argument and the constitution that would give him the justification he needed to back the administration and to insure that his decision would hold up legally. In other words, even though he is on the opposite side of the political fence, he wrote the Dems’ paper for them. Stunning.

The other four justices? They didn’t just vote to overturn the individual mandate part of the law, they all voted to kill the entire Act.

The media is already spending much time talking about the mandate being the “centerpiece of the law,” but the real news is that if you ever have a pre-existing condition, you cannot now be denied insurance. If you are a young adult without health insurance, you can now stay on your parents’ plan until age 26. The insurance company can no longer say there is a lifetime cap to your coverage. The insurance companies are now required to spend 85 cents out of every dollar they take in on actual reimbursement for your health care – not on profit or “administrative costs” (some companies have been taking over a 30% cut; Medicare’s total percentage of their budget for administrative costs: 2%).

I know that our side is not used to victories and so we’re not quite sure how to respond when we get one out of the blue. For some of us, the first inclination is to point out just how weak the Obama law actually is, that it doesn’t provide true universal health care (26 million will STILL be uninsured), and that it leaves control of the system in the hands of the vultures, otherwise known as the health insurance companies. The individual mandate was a huge gift to the private insurance companies, guaranteeing them billions more from millions of new customers. And many of the key provisions of this law don’t even take effect until 2014 – and if the Republicans win in November, you can kiss all of that goodbye.

So, yes, the bill is highly flawed and somewhat wrong-headed – but what it IS is a huge step in the right direction. And today’s court decision cements that. The right wing knows this and they are probably unraveling in some not-so-pretty ways right now. And that’s why today is a great day. The Right has been smacked down by one of their own! They know what we all know — that the path of history has been, and will continue to move toward the basic human right that all people are entitled to see a doctor and NOT have to worry about losing their home because they can’t afford to pay the medical bills. Those days are over, or will be soon, and that is where civilization is headed. It’s not headed back to the days of Oliver Twist. Today’s victory is momentum, it’s forward motion, and we WILL have true universal health care in this country in the not too distant future.

So take some time tonight to celebrate; this is a victory for the people. Actually, more than a victory, it is a mandate that all of us must now make sure that a second-term Obama continues to move the ball down the field, toward a system like they have in every other First World country on the planet. He simply has to improve Medicare and then expand it to every citizen in the country. The countries that do this, their people live an average of two to four years longer than we do. Is there a reason anyone doesn’t want an extra four years of their lives? Or that our babies would have a better chance of surviving their first year like they do in the 48 countries that have a better infant mortality rate than we do? Exactly who is opposed to this? You’d have to be a bit…crazy.

And that, I’ve come to believe, is the true divide in this country. It’s not blue state vs red state, liberal vs conservative, Democrat vs Republican. The split we have in America can be boiled down in its simplest form to this: On one side are the people who believe Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago – and then there’s everyone else. On that first side are the people who’ve been fed a diet of fear and lies and hate. And who is feeding them? The 1%. The richest people in the country, the ones who aren’t done with us yet because they still don’t have enough wealth, have done their best to dumb down the population through destroying our educational system and using media to provide them with a vastly distorted sense of reality. The rich’s only obstacle is that they only hold 1% of the votes in the country. So they have to try to get a slim majority of Americans to vote their way. And fear, plus keeping them stupid, usually works.

So that’s the battle ahead of us: Organizing and mobilizing the majority of Americans to push for true universal health care, Medicare for All. At one time, back in Illinois, that was the position held by Barack Obama. He will not make this happen on his own. He will only be able to do it when the mass of American people rise up and demand it. Demand it. Why not start tonight?

william Sterrett
william Sterrett
9 years ago

Stuart you are not a student of history. Your comments are truely foolish. In Liberty, Bill