July 5, 2012
Opinion: Chief Justice Roberts: Coward or Evil Genius
Both sides of the political spectrum were shocked by the Court’s Obamacare decision. For weeks, discussions have surrounded whether the Justices would merely strike down the individual mandate or the entire law. The President and his supporters had already begun to attack the court as extremely conservative, racist, etc. Conservatives were already crafting which twitter hashtags they would use when the law was struck down.
Obviously the progressive community was overjoyed by the surprise Supreme Court decision upholding the vast majority of the Obamacare legislation. And I will admit that many of my conservative colleagues were ready to sit Shiva for the future of this country.
There was another reaction by some conservatives called Justice Roberts is an Evil Genius (OK maybe not evil but very crafty).
Justice Roberts was seen as a strict constitutionalist, a conservative judge. But he is also aware of the role of the court in the constitution and its legacy. This theory says the Chief Justice purposely ruled in a way that would extract the court from the health care argument, but making a major victory for conservatives by limiting the government interference on our everyday lives, and making President Obama look bad by pointing out his tax vs. mandate hypocrisy. I don’t buy that argument in the least.
At the heart of the argument is Robert’s decision to limit some significant government excesses. The ruling limited the broad interpretation of the Constitution’s Commerce and Necessary and Proper clauses significantly and it limited the Federal Government’s power to coerce the states into altering their laws.