The Romney campaign has been bragging to every outlet they can about the amazing $4.6 million haul they took in yesterday in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the individual mandate.
The fact that Romney was able to so immediately and succesfully capitalize on the Supreme Court’s decision is a stark reminder that a sucker is born every minute.
The swing vote in the landmark Obamacare decision was that of Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts wrote the opinion that grants the federal government almost limitless power via the taxation clause. Even worse, and most frightening, this decision provides a roadmap for future Congresses and future Presidents to end run any lip-service limitations the Court provided to the limits of the commerce clause power or any other supposedly “limited” power of the federal government. And don’t even get me started on the 9th or 10th amendment, because apparently neither of those amendments exist any longer.
According to Mitt Romney, Chief Justice Roberts, now enemy number one to many conservatives and constitutionalists, is EXACTLY the kind of justice he would nominate if elected President.
I think the justices that President Bush has appointed are exactly spot-on. I think Justice Roberts and Justice Alito are exactly the kind of justices America needs.
As you know, the Supreme Court did not rule yesterday on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Many observers speculated that they would not rule on the Arizona immigration case and ObamaCare on the same day. Everyone is now looking to Thursday, which is the last day the Supreme Court will deliver opinions for the current term.
The thinking right now is that Chief Justice John Roberts will write the majority opinion, which leads opponents of ObamaCare to believe that, at the very least, the individual mandate will be struck down. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who clerked for Justice Samuel Alito, is among those that express this thinking, as noted by Philip Klein:
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a former clerk to Justice Sam Alito, said that if Chief John Roberts writes the majority opinion in the health care case, as some have speculated, it would make it “substantially more likely” that the Supreme Court would strike down the individual mandate.
Following the release of today’s decisions, SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein suggested that the decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law would “almost certainly” be written by Roberts, based on the authorship of recent opinions.
“It certainly would not surprise me,” Lee told the Washington Examiner, standing outside the Court after this morning’s opinions where handed down. “It would not be unusual for a Chief Justice to assign to himself a decision of monumental importance. This certainly fits into that category.”
Every culture has its romantic ideal. In Europe, it’s the knight. In the Middle East, it’s the army of Saladin. In the United States, it’s still the cowboy. The heroic lone wolf, standing for what is right amidst a sea of contradictions and solves the problems of the world all on his lonesome. The outward display of that figure, the six-gun dangling from his hip, his fingertips just millimeters from it, is primarily the work of fiction. There have been far more Hollywood showdowns at high noon than the real Old West.
Instead, the ideal itself, the rugged individualist, has taken a tremendous beating over the years. We are being conditioned to shut up and take whatever is dealt to us. Instead of conditioning people to be Marshal Dillon, our young people are being taught to be the damsel in distress.
Recently, the State of Indiana Supreme Court ruled that a man doesn’t have a right to resist law enforcement entering your home without your consent, or a warrant. It spurred up a firestorm of controversy, but it’s hardly the first move in this direction.
For years, there have been states that have what is called a “retreat first” law. These laws require someone to try to leave the site of a potential violent encounter rather than permitting them to defend themselves. This also includes retreating from your own home should someone break in. You, the lawful citizen, must act in a manner that empowers the criminal element. Thank God Georgia isn’t one of those states.
The moves all push towards creating a nation of docile subjects who turn to the state for the answers to their problems. There are arguments now that guns aren’t necessary because the police will protect us. Of course, the Supreme Court case Castle Rock v. Gonzales says otherwise.
Last week a severe blow was dealt to the long-term prospects of ObamaCare. U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision (commonly referred to as the “individual mandate”) is unconstitutional. ObamaCare required weeks of arm-twisting and bribes, along with a labyrinthine process of obscure parliamentary procedures, to get the bill passed without a final vote. Even then it required Nancy Pelosi keeping her caucus in Washington (and away from the growing number of voters back home vehemently and vocally opposed to the bill) until nearly midnight on Christmas Eve in order to get the bill to pass by a hair.
There are a number of constitutional issues with the health care “reform” legislation, but none may be more important to implementing it than maintaining the individual mandate. There is no doubt that this is not the end of the issue. The Obama administration will appeal the ruling and eventually it will end up in the Supreme Court. However, that may not be a hospitable venue for the arguments that Obama will make before the court to protect this provision.
In a post yesterday, Louis DeBroux points to the election results in Iowa which resulted in the rejection of three members of the Iowa Supreme Court primarily due to a campaign that decried their votes in favor of a ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state, as “one of the most important outcomes of the November 2010 elections.” While I agree with Louis that the rejection of three judges for doing their jobs is important, I have to strongly disagree that this is a positive development, or that it is ever a good idea to subject the judiciary so directly to the popular will of an often fickle majority.
Like the social conservative groups that led the fight to defeat the Iowa Justices, DeBroux seems most concerned with the fact that the Iowa Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling is out of sync with public will. However, that attitude completely misses the fact that one of the most important roles of the Judiciary is to stand as a bulwark agaisnt the whims of a majority seeking to impose its will on the minority in violation of their rights. The fact that a slim majority of Iowans might not support same-sex marriage is not, and should not, be relevant to the legal question of whether or not gay and lesbian couples have the right to be treated equally by the state when it comes to the benefits and privileges of the civil institution called “marriage.” In fact, it’s precisely because the majority doesn’t support it, that the right must be projected by the judiciary. That’s not “judicial activism,” it’s the judiciary doing its job.
One of the most important outcomes of the November 2010 elections was one that was virtually ignored by the media. In Iowa, all three state Supreme Court justices facing a retention vote were defeated and removed from the bench, the first time that ANY judge in Iowa have been removed since the retention vote was implemented in 1962. And what animus compelled the voters of Iowa to make such a drastic and historic change? Last year the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously, in Varnum v. Brien, to overturn as unconstitutional the vote of the citizens of Iowa making the legal definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
And what was the justification for overthrowing the will of the people? On page 15 of the unanimous decision, the court explains that “Our responsibility, however, is to protect constitutional rights of individuals from legislative enactments that have denied those rights, even when the rights have not yet been broadly accepted, were at one time unimagined, or challenge a deeply ingrained practice or law viewed to be impervious to the passage of time.”
Not yet broadly accepted? At one time unimagined? In essence, the court is blatantly admitting their belief in a “living” Constitution, one where “rights” can be created out of thin air by the will of the judicial oligarchy and imposed upon the lesser, unwashed masses who are simply too ignorant to grasp the brilliance of the judges. Such hubris is stunning, yet it is all too common today. Yet due to a media that is often hostile to the Constitution (TEA Party members have been described repeatedly by the media as “extremists” and “fringe elements” for their demands that politicians adhere to the text and intent of the Constitution”), very few people realize just how abusive the judiciary has become.
It was bound to happen at some point, but I agree completely with Mike Huckabee’s take on the “birthright citizenship” debate:
(CNN) – Mike Huckabee says he’s against changing portions of the Constitution that automatically grant citizenship to children of immigrants born in the United States – a position that puts the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate at odds some of his party’s most prominent figures.
In an interview that aired on NPR Wednesday, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 White House hopeful said the section of the 14th Amendment currently in question has long been held valid.
“The Supreme Court has decided that, I think, in three different centuries, said Huckabeee. “In every single instance, they have affirmed that if you are born in this country, you are considered to be a citizen. The only option there is to change the constitution.”
Asked specifically if he would favor such an effort to change the constitution, Huckabee said flatly, “No.”
“Let me tell you what I would favor. I would favor having controlled borders,” he said. “But that’s where the federal government has miserably and hopelessly failed us.”
I suspect my agreement with Huckabee will begin and end here.
Podcast: Elena Kagan, Greece, War on Drugs, REAL ID, Line-Item VetoGuests: Marty Connors, Brooklyn Roberts
A couple of items in the news lately have brought the judiciary back into the consciousness of the American public; the announced retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and the recent decision by federal judge Barbara Crabb in Wisconsin in which she ruled that the National Day of Prayer is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In the rulings of both justices we find an egregious disrespect for the plain meaning of the Constitution, and it is a failure of the American people to learn the Constitution that has allowed us to stray so far.
As a nation, we have reached a point where we bestow upon the courts an unjustified level of deference to their perceived wisdom. In fact, the Founding Fathers created the judiciary to be the weakest of the three branches, vested as they are with lifetime appointments.
Thomas Jefferson wrote (in a letter to William C. Jarvis, 1820) that “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so.” Yet today we have allowed the courts to be elevated to the level of an oligarchy, where we accept rulings that are clearly unaligned with the Constitution without so much as a whimper.