Monday, December 3, 2012

Pressure Point: Revving Up To "Turn" Justice Roberts During The Coming Supreme Court Term

Ann Althouse takes note of the inevitable effort to repeat last year's successful effort to mau-mau Chief Justice Roberts into declaring Obamacare to be constitutional.

if you want to say Roberts is a hypocrite because his writing is equally disingenuous or worse, that's another matter. It's what Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic is doing in an item titled "The Nerve of John Roberts"
Disappeared the scope? That's Cohen's way of referring to the identification of some limit on the scope of the commerce power, so that it didn't reach a private citizen's failure to purchase insurance. Congress has power under the Commerce Clause to regulate nearly everything else, which to Cohen's eye is no power at all. Unless it's everything, it's nothing. Disappeared! 
Yes, yes, roll out your list of Supreme Court decisions you wish went the other way. That's not in the same category as deceptively stating the facts of a case, which is simply not acceptable in lawyers' briefs. The Solicitor General's office disserved us. The Chief Justice called the lawyer on a deception and — with restraint — said he "found it a little disingenuous." 
What I find disingenuous is the criticism of the Chief Justice. And after all he did for you upholding Obamacare! (He used the tax power instead of the commerce power).
But no thanks will be forthcoming. Pressure must be kept up. This is a big term for the Supreme Court — gay marriage (probably), affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act — and Roberts's vote may be required to reach what the media know are the right results. Roberts needs to know that any love for him is purely contingent. He's being watched.
A little disingenuous. This from a judge who disappeared the scope of the Commerce Clause in the Affordable Care Act case.
This from a judge who gutted decades of First Amendment precedent in the Citizens United case after reaching out, unilaterally, to expand the scope of that campaign finance case.....
All I can say is I hope (but doubt) it's true that Roberts is playing a long-game whereby upholding Obamacare as a tax was actually a poison pill, and that he is trading his Obamcare vote for three decades of hard-nosed conservative opinion writing. Reality is that Roberts has shown weakness in a manner that Renquist never displayed, even when he was dying from cancer.

(as an aside, isn't it it depressing how W's "best" appointments - those being Roberts and Petraeus - have failed us so badly? Republican problems go far beyond SuperPACs, consultants, and moderate presidential candidates).

But still, forget Roberts. What are we supposed to think of the President and his minions aggressively demanding, directly and through their sympathizers in the media, that the Chief Justice vote the "correct" way? What happens if Roberts does uphold Prop. 8? Or strikes down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act? Remember how the media focused so intently on Roberts's young children and his wife during his confirmation hearings? I'll bet he does.

Obama et al. can get away with smilingly threatening the Supreme Court - a supposedly co-equal branch of the federal gov't, believe it or not - because they must know the 50.9% of voters who supported them in November approve of this sort of behavior. Further proof that these are people who must be beaten, not just defeated in an election.

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