09 July 2012

Rationalizing Roberts’ Decision

Chief Justice Roberts actually ruled the mandate, relative to the commerce clause, was unconstitutional. That’s how the Democrats got Obama-care going in the first place. This is critical. His ruling means Congress can’t compel American citizens to purchase anything. Ever. The notion is now officially and forever, unconstitutional. As it should be.
Here’s the thing:  Supreme Court rulings aren’t always and forever binding law.  The Dred Scott precedent, for example, no longer applies because of the 14th amendment.  Also, it’s not exactly unheard of for the SCOTUS to ignore prior precedents.  Furthermore, it is true, in a technical sense, that precedents are not binding law.  Thus, the assertion that Congress cannot compel Americans to purchase anything ever is false.
Next, he stated that, because Congress doesn’t have the ability to mandate, it must, to fund Obama-care, rely on its power to tax. Therefore, the mechanism that funds Obama-care is a tax. This is also critical. Recall back during the initial Obama-care battles, the Democrats called it a penalty, Republicans called it a tax. Democrats consistently soft sold it as a penalty. It went to vote as a penalty. Obama declared endlessly, that it was not a tax, it was a penalty. But when the Democrats argued in front of the Supreme Court, they said ‘hey, a penalty or a tax, either way’. So, Roberts gave them a tax. It is now the official law of the land — beyond word-play and silly shenanigans. Obama-care is funded by tax dollars. Democrats now must defend a tax increase to justify the Obama-care law.
While it’s nice to see that Roberts has a brilliant political mind, the united states would be better served by him interpreting the constitution correctly.  His oath of office does not include swearing to play political games for the benefit of the administration before him.  His oath of office was to uphold the constitution.  Given that ObamaCare was and is blatantly unconstitutional, there is simply no excuse for his justifying any of it.
Finally, he struck down as unconstitutional, the Obama-care idea that the federal government can bully states into complying by yanking their existing medicaid funding. Liberals, through Obama-care, basically said to the states — ‘comply with Obama-care or we will stop existing funding.’ Roberts ruled that is a no-no. If a state takes the money, fine, the Feds can tell the state how to run a program, but if the state refuses money, the federal government can’t penalize the state by yanking other funding. Therefore, a state can decline to participate in Obama-care without penalty. This is obviously a serious problem. Are we going to have 10, 12, 25 states not participating in “national” health-care? Suddenly, it’s not national, is it?
This is probably the silver lining in the whole ordeal, except for the tiny little matter of enforcement.  What is the USSC going to do if the president decides he doesn’t want to comply with the ruling?  The president, recall, is in charge of the enforcement arm of the federal government.  If he doesn’t comply with the laws, what is the Supreme Court going to do, threaten to call the cops?  Again, the Supreme Court cannot, in a technical sense, bind law, especially since it does not have an enforcement mechanism.  At best, the court can only offer its opinion and hope that people respect it.  As Tom Woods points out in Nullification, this has not always been the case.

Anyhow, it should be clear that there are some out there who are trying to rationalize Roberts’ decision.  The simple fact of the matter, though, is that Roberts’ decision was wrong, and that the current attempts to justify it are little more than hopeful thinking and imaginative rationalizations.


  1. Given that ObamaCare was and is blatantly unconstitutional, there is simply no excuse for his justifying any of it.

    Sorry with that statement you lost credibility. Most legal minds agreed it was most likely going to pass constitutional muster. Some blogger calling it blatantly unconstitutional doesn't change that. Could you have bought into the tea party echo chamber a bit too much?

  2. @Anon.- Appealing to most legal minds (a dubious claim at best) is known as the appeal to authority logical fallacy. As such, all arguments and assertions derived from your assertions are likewise fallacious.

    Please explain from the constitution itself how ObamaCare is constitutional. Elsewise, refrain from commenting and this blog, and take your illogic elsewhere.