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Sun Jul 1, 2012, 10:29 AM

Schumer: Roberts Broke His Promise On Commerce Clause

Schumer: Roberts Broke His Promise On Commerce Clause

Sahil Kapur

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts’ swing vote to uphold ‘Obamacare’ under Congress’s taxing powers has drawn praise from his usual critics. One top Democratic senator lauded Roberts’ “judicial independence” in saving President Obama’s signature law, but also argued that the Bush-appointed jurist broke his promise by narrowing the scope of the Commerce Clause.

In his opinion, Roberts explained in detail why he believes his view is not inconsistent with precedent, siding with conservative architects of the legal challenge in the argument that Congress may not regulate inaction.

“In my view it certainly merited upholding under the Commerce Clause,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), his party’s leader on messaging. “I do worry, in the future, about the courts limiting the Commerce Clause as a way of limiting the ability of the federal government to help average families.”

Although he upheld the health care law on another basis, Roberts sided with the court’s four conservatives in declaring that Congress may not, under the Commerce Clause, force people to engage in a market transaction. The five-member majority view effectively rewrites existing law. It’s the first time since before the 1942 case Wickard v. Filburn, a precedent that was affirmed in the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich, that the Supreme Court has placed a limit on Congress’s authority make national economic regulation that substantially affects interstate commerce.


TPM asked Schumer whether Roberts went back on his word in the ‘Obamacare’ decision.

“Yes he did,” the senator said. “If you read his testimony about Wickard, about some of the other, more recent Commerce Clause cases at the hearing, and looked at what he said here, it’s quite different.”

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Reply Schumer: Roberts Broke His Promise On Commerce Clause (Original post)
ProSense Jul 2012 OP
SunSeeker Jul 2012 #1

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 08:02 PM

1. But the ACA does not force someone purchase a product because we all already purchase healthcare.

That is why Robert's (and the rest of those joining him on that issue) findings regarding the Commerce Clause are so disingenuous. The fact is, we all use healthcare. All government is doing is regulating how we pay for it. The ACA absolutely is covered under the Commerce Clause. Robert's crabbed reading of the Commerce Clause breaks from precedent and makes me worry whether he did that so he could set the stage to dismantle other progressive pieces of legislation.

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