Who knew that Chief Justice Roberts secretly wanted to be a congressman? Because at the heart of his majority opinion is where he changed out of his jurist robes into his legislator’s costume. How else can you explain what happened Thursday as the court ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the misnamed Affordable Care Act by finding the mandate is only a mandate if it is a mandated tax?
Roberts did a ctrl h to the law replacing the repeated word ‘penalty’ with the constitutionally approved word ‘tax’. And like magic the judicial branch has grown its own legislative branch.
But wait…there’s more! Obama himself argued that his mandate was not a tax:
And during the first opening oral arguments the Supremes were trying to ascertain if the mandate indeed was a mere penalty or really a tax.
This little bit of debate was key to the entire case before the Supremes because the Anti-Injunction Act prevents lawsuits before a tax is paid. Taxpayers must pay the imposed tax to have standing to sue against the tax. Obama-care’s penalties taxes are not due until 2014. If the mandate is a tax there is no case and the suit is tossed out.
So, team Obama argued it is not a tax and the court accepted it to be not a tax so the case could move forward to have Roberts decide that, yes, indeed, it is a tax.
If your head is spinning it means you are following along nicely. It you feel the ground moving, that is because the Founding Fathers are following along and spinning in their respective graves.
Yes, it was that kind of week Thursday was.
Some of you (okay, the one of you who does read this) may have seen some esteemed fellow conservative commentators commentate that this ruling was indeed the work of genius as it puts Obama-care into realm of the largest tax increase in history and ties the Democrats to this tax increase while preserving limits to the Commerce Clause.
First off who in their right, center-right, center, left of center minds do not know that Democrats love increasing taxes? Any tax increase is never taxed enough or high enough for them.
And limiting the Commerce Clause by removing the limits as long as the expansion is a tax levy–even if such wording and debating states the exact opposite of a tax levy. That is one limit to be honored.
Now, this blogger has in the past over-used cleaning the litter box as a metaphor for political studies. As I sift out the pee clumps and cat shit I know there is not going to be any gold or diamonds found in the box after I am done. Somehow our esteemed brighter lights of commentary think they have found gold and diamonds amid the piss and shit in this litter box filled by Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion.
There ain’t any.
This ruling is a loss, a defeat, a crushing blow to our side who believes in limited government under a strict constitution where each branch is separate and plays in their own litter box for the good of the republic and its citizens. There is no other way this litter sifter sees it.
So, what happens next?
I don’t know. But if past is prologue we are stuck with this badly decided ruling for maybe 100 years or so. I am not being overly pessimistic just resolutely realistic.
Dred Scott took a civil war to overturn it.
Plessy which made segregation the law of the land took 6o years before Brown overturned it.
Roe is still enforcing a faux right to abortion since 1972 despite it being a cornerstone of conservative campaigning against.
So how long do you really think it will take before the Affordable Care Act ruling is overturned by a future court or legislative act?
And if it is by legislative act that this is overturned and a new suit is brought before the Supremes, will some future Chief Justice effect the rules of Roberts and ctrl h it to mean whatever the court wants it to mean to fit into their opinion?
By then maybe our liberty and freedoms too will have come under the SCOTUS editor and be easily replaced with a keystroke.
That is why this is even a bigger fucking deal than that master of vice Vice President Joe Biden made it out to be.