Roberts redux? U.S. top judge may surprise again

Comments (10)
MPBulletin wrote:

If Roberts thinks things have changed in the South it may well be time for the Chief Justice to go for a visit. While it has changed since the dark days of the civil rights movement, there is still a very strong current of racism. He needs to gain some first hand experience before he rules based on a gullible opinion.

Jul 05, 2012 9:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ralphooo wrote:

Kudos to Biskupic, Goller, Stevens and Wilson for a good piece.

Jul 05, 2012 10:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:

The supreme court should NOT be a lifetime appointment. That is a terrible injustice that should be corrected…. Along with citizens united.

Jul 05, 2012 10:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
libertadormg wrote:

If all judges would/could decide cases on their merits and call it like a umpire the world would be a better place. Unfortunately, all too often the decision has been decided long before the trial begins.

Jul 05, 2012 11:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

MPBulletin: You are absolutely right. The south is in a very volatile place right now. There is a lot of racism and it’s simmering. There’s this attitude that racism is dead, that nothing they say or do can be deemed racist because racism no longer exists, except when someone accuses someone else of racism. That’s the only form of racism that still exists in the minds of many southern whites.

Many, not all, but many feel that they’ve had “blacks” shoved down their throats and Obama was the the last straw. They hate Obama, mostly for reasons that don’t even exist. I actually had a neighbor tell me he wasn’t at all racist but that he wished they’d bring back the KKK, “because they did a lot of good things.” It’s sad, and it’s still very dangerous.

Chief Justice Roberts would be committing a grave injustice to his fellow Americans and the position he holds. The Republicans’ voter purges and photo id bills should make this plain as day. The Republican leader in the Pennsylvania legislature even admitted that the law was passed to help assure Mitt Romney’s victory. The Republican Governor of Michigan even vetoed the voter id bill passed by Michigan’s Republican legislature because it was too far reaching. Our democracy is under attack and we’re doing nothing about it.

Jul 05, 2012 12:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cranston wrote:

He is no suprise. It is called Grand-Standing. Impeach him.

Jul 06, 2012 7:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cranston wrote:

He is no suprise. It is called Grand-Standing. Impeach him.

Jul 06, 2012 7:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
fred5407 wrote:

I think that the only way this lifetime membership will be changed is to have a real stinky chief justice, and I think we have found our real stinky one.

Jul 06, 2012 1:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CDN_Rebel wrote:

So the guy was/is a partisan hack, but he makes one out of character ruling and he becomes a hero. Whatever… it would be more interesting to see if he’s getting $$ from healthcare companies

Jul 06, 2012 5:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
barberrr wrote:

Appreciate the efforts of the Reuters writers on this piece, nice work.

I consider myself a strong conservative, and must confess my initial disappointment upon hearing of the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That was especially true when I learned that the Chief Justice of the United States was the swing vote in a 5-4 decision. But after I pulled up and read the nearly 200-page decision on the Supreme Court web site, I must now admit Justice Roberts made his points rather well (and without all the bitchey sniping found in Ginsburg’s “concurring” opinion.)

It was admittedly splitting legal hairs to rule that one provision in the law that was being reviewed was a “tax” for purposes of ruling on whether it could even be adjudicated, since Congress had long ago decided no such cases could be heard until the tax in question had actually been exacted. So at the statutory level, Roberts allowed the language to stand as written (a penalty instead of a “tax” for failure to buy health insurance) for purposes of whether the case could be heard.

But when he shifted gears to a more fundamental Constitutional question, he interpreted the same “penalty” provision to actually be a “tax”, since it was applied and collected like a tax, regardless of what Congress called it. In poker, the cards read themselves: two pair of aces are actually four-of-a-kind, regardless of what the holder may erroneously claim.

The provision in question served the purpose of Congress’s power to tax in order to bring about a desired outcome, not just to raise revenue. It also reflected Congress’s duty to provide for the general welfare. Roberts did not agree it was a wise tax, but simply noted that it was, as far as Constitutional separation of powers were concerned, a valid provision by the legislative branch.

He shot down the notion that the Act could be supported by the Commerce clause as claimed by Ginsberg and others, by noting Congress first needs some sort of activity to regulate: not buying insurance is a commercial inactivity, not an activity.

In short, I was MIFFED with my Chief Justice, but am now in total agreement with his opinions. I pity the loneliness of walking those marble hallways past the Marshall statue on his way to the lunchroom next Fall; Nino and Justice Thomas no doubt feel he’s abandoned their conservative principle of limited government, while the liberal Justices (Ginsberg et al) will no doubt still keep their new found friend at arm’s length, out of fear of another “surprise” decision.

I guess that’s why judicial positions are life-long offices. You make the tough calls, decisions that a lot of your angry citizens are not going to like either way you decide. So in the end, you have to live with yourself and those principles you’ve been sworn to uphold, then try to do what you think is right.

That’s all anybody could ask.

Jul 08, 2012 11:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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