Thursday, June 28, 2012

Roberts for the Win

I did see the erroneous CNN banner this morning, but only after I had seen more accurate tweets so I wasn't too disturbed.

It's been a big day. I'll be brief and as Speaker Boehner cautioned us not to spike the ball (wait - that was for his tea party caucus!), I only note for the record that I did predict Chief Justice Roberts joining the majority for this way back in March (see here). Of course, no one ever predicts the Court dead on as they are always full of surprises. So I missed my 6-3. And I haven't read the whole case yet (it's been a busy day.) But I offer these preliminary comments.

This does support my theory that Roberts is concerned about his legacy and getting control of this Court. He's not there yet as it ended up as an odd decision with interesting alliances. As I understand it, five Justices (Roberts, Breyer, Sotomayor, Ginsberg, Kagan) upheld Obamacare in its entirety based on Congress's taxing authority ("for the general welfare"). Another majority of five ruled that the Commerce Clause didn't cut it (Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts, and surprisingly, Kennedy). However, I understand that Justice Ginsberg in her concurrence apparently indicated that she doesn't expect that part of the ruling to survive considering the precedent of the Court and probably common sense once we get over the anti-Obama obsessions.

And I think I was right about the conservative three amigos Scalia, Thomas, and Alito being frustrated. Justice Taney probably would be too.

The Constitutional Union survives. It is interesting to note that the two big rulings saved for this last week of the Court's session were on the two primary issues stirring up the steaming tea pot - Immigration and Obamacare. In both cases, a majority of the Court went with the President instead of the tea partiers. Along with Senator Hatch surviving in Utah against his tea party challenger, I think it's time to declare the party over. It is now as relevant as Ross Perot.

"Obamacare," sort of like the word "Mormon," was originally coined as a pejorative. Now it carries a sense of victory and honor. And that may be the principal legacy of the tea party. The arc of history, indeed.


  1. I long for the demise of the Tea Party.

    1. You and me both! I think I've finally figured out the tea party chain of "logic," though. It goes something like this:

      I believe in the Constitution because it's good.

      Because it's good, and I believe in it, bad things (the ones I don't like or believe in) can't possibly be in the Constitution.

      . . . Besides the logical fallacies of that syllogism, the main problem is that very few people actually read the Constitution.

  2. Any movement that is based almost solely on what it isn't instead of what it is - and fuled almost solely by anger and fear - is not a movement I want to thrive.

    The law and the decision are two different things, and too few people understand that basic fact. Ignorance is rampant with regard to this issue, and that's my biggest frustration. Debating the law and the decision is one thing; debating it badly due to ignorance . . .

    I liked, overall, what I have read of the decision - admitting upfront I haven't read the actual decision. I'll see how I feel about it as time goes on and I get a chance to dig deeper into it.


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