Thursday, June 28, 2012

Health care for all

Roberts: The new 'swing' justice
If there was an indication how the Supreme Court would rule on "Obamacare," it appeared Monday during the ruling on Arizona's immigration law.

Justice Antonin Scalia went completely off the rails in assailing President Obama for not deporting children of illegal immigrants.

Scalia seemed edgier than normal when he delivered his rant where he defended the very principles in decisions that were used to uphold slavery.

I suspected then that Scalia was expressing anger over losing the bigger issue delivered today on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In fact, Scalia wrote what he thought was the majority opinion on Obamacare.

But, Chief Justice John Roberts apparently stiffed Scalia to show him that he's the boss of the high court.

Roberts will now go down in right-wing lore as another traitor to the cause.

What cause?

Well, the cause to discriminate against women, people of color and those without the means to object.

It's always funny to read Supreme Court decisions because the justices try their darndest to find some line, or their interpretation of a phrase in the Constitution to justify their opinions, which only shows how imperfect the Constitution really is.

The "commerce clause" of the Constitution was used to justify all sorts of legislation including Obamacare.

But, in a major shift, Roberts did not defend Obamacare through the commerce clause, but rather through the government's constitutional right to tax its citizens.

In other words, Roberts wants to let Congress know that he favors a much more limited interpretation of the commerce clause, which could have a profound effect on future decisions.

Still, Roberts, like many chief justices before him including Warren Burger, found himself as the surprise "swing" justice siding with "liberal" justices on major issues this week because he found their arguments more persuasive.

The Supreme Court, like any institution, is always ruled by politics and personalities.

In the Arizona immigration case and the ACA, Roberts leaned left of center. Perhaps, Roberts is tiring of Scalia's antics, Clarence Thomas' muteness and Samuel Alito's narrow-mindedness. Or, maybe Roberts is looking out for his own legacy as someone who can read the writing on the wall and doesn't need any document to tell him what it says.

Judging from the high court's oral arguments on the ACA, most everyone assumed that the law was going down to defeat.

House Speaker John Boehner thought so and warned Republican members to avoid high-fiving after the expected smackdown. Oops.

And, the Mitt-wit Romney, who championed the health insurance mandate as governor of Massachusetts, now claims, if elected president, he'll get rid of Obamacare. Will the Mitt-wit ask for a do-over in the Bay State as well?

I'm sure the ruling today will galvanize the Republican base that wasn't thrilled with the Mitt-wit as the GOP nominee.

But, being stridently against Obama or Obamacare or anything associated with Democrats is not a sure-fire way to attract the ever-important "independent" voter.

In fact, it will likely turn them off. At some point, you have to be for something.

Trying to undo Obamacare doesn't exactly scream "job creation."

If it's the economy, stupid, then Congress should be working on creating jobs, not repealing Obamacare that the high court has upheld as constitutional.

Otherwise, whatever despair right-wingnuts feel today will become quadrupled in November.

1 comment:

  1. Here's hoping that Independents deliver the key Electoral College swing states to Obama. History continues to show that those fighting for no change or to go back will eventually lose* but damn it sure is a long and painful road. *slavery, women right to vote, Roe v. Wade, etc. (P.S. United will eventually be overturned)