Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:45 PM
applegrove (72,476 posts)
"Welcome to the Roberts Court: How the Chief Justice Used Obamacare to Reveal His True Identity"
Welcome to the Roberts Court: How the Chief Justice Used Obamacare to Reveal His True Identity
by Jeffrey Rosen at the New Republic
Specifically, he was concerned that his colleagues were too often handing down 5-4 decisions that divided along predictable party lines, which made it hard for the public to maintain faith in the Court as an institution that transcends politics. Roberts pledged to try to persuade his colleagues to avoid party line votes in the most divisive cases. Roberts said he would embrace as his model his judicial hero, John Marshall, who sometimes engaged in legal “twistifications,” to use Thomas Jefferson’s derisive phrase, in order to achieve results that would strengthen the institutional legitimacy of the Court.
In the health care case, Roberts produced a twistification of which Marshall would have been proud. He joined the four liberals in holding that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate was justified by Congress’s taxing power even though he also joined the four conservatives in holding that the mandate was not justified by Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
For bringing the Court back from the partisan abyss, Roberts deserves praise not only from liberals but from all Americans who believe that it’s important for the Court to stand for something larger than politics. On Thursday, Roberts did precisely what he said he would do when he first took office: He placed the bipartisan legitimacy of the Court above his own ideological agenda. Seven years into his Chief Justiceship, the Supreme Court finally became the Roberts Court.
4 replies, 1327 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
"Welcome to the Roberts Court: How the Chief Justice Used Obamacare to Reveal His True Identity" (Original post)
Response to applegrove (Original post)
Sat Jun 30, 2012, 11:07 PM
rocktivity (42,125 posts)
2. He revealed his true identity with his Citizens United vote
He wasn't worried about the sanctity of "his own ideological agenda" then. Indeed, his vote may have been a tradeoff of sorts: "We can 'keep' Citizens United if we appear to be bipartisan by 'caving' on the 'lesser' things." And maybe he was taken by surprise when he realized that Kennedy would not be providing his usual swing vote -- which might explain why the ruling was delayed!