What John Roberts really did for us [Reader Post]

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Pyrrhus was king of the Hellenistic kingdom of Epirus whose costly military successes against Macedonia and Rome gave rise to the phrase’ Pyrrhic victory’.

In 281 BC Tarentum, a Greek colony in southern Italy, asked his assisstance against Rome. Pyrrhus crossed to Italy with 25,000 men and 20 elephants. He won a complete, but costly, victory over a Roman army at Heraclea. In 279 Pyrrhus, again suffering heavy casualties, defeated the Romans at Asculum.

His remark ‘Another such victory and I shall be ruined’ gave name to the term ‘Pyrrhic victory’ for a victory obtained at to great a cost. Later he tried to create a kdm of Sicily, but his harsh methods provoked a revolt of the Greek Sicilians and he returned to Italy. In 275 the Romans defeated him at Beneventum.

The dust blasted into the air from the impact of the Obamacare decision hitting Washington has yet to settle but it’s recriminations all around. SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts is getting toasted by the right. Mark Levin calls the decision “lawless” and the NY Times and Michael Savage questions Roberts’ mental health status. But hold on- I think Roberts did us a favor.

Roberts struck down the mandate as it pertained to the Commerce Clause and ruled that Obamacare is a tax. A lot of taxes, actually- on families and small businesses.

And that recalls Barack Obama’s words to Americans. Candidate Obama and President Obama, that is. They each promised us different things.

Candidate Obama was against the personal mandate.

For more fun, watch this

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said that Obamacare represented a “big middle class tax increase.”

President Obama swore that Obamacare was not a tax.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You were against the individual mandate…


STEPHANOPOULOS: …during the campaign. Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?

OBAMA: Well, hold on a second, George. Here — here’s what’s happening. You and I are both paying $900, on average — our families — in higher premiums because of uncompensated care. Now what I’ve said is that if you can’t afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn’t be punished for that. That’s just piling on. If, on the other hand, we’re giving tax credits, we’ve set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we’ve driven down the costs, we’ve done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you’ve just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances. And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that’s…

STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, but it’s still a tax increase.

OBAMA: No. That’s not true, George. The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it may be fair, it may be good public policy…

OBAMA: No, but — but, George, you — you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase. Any…


OBAMA: What — what — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I — I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Tax — “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but…

OBAMA: …what you’re saying is…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.

Roberts ruled that it is a tax. The biggest tax increase on the middle class in history.

Candidate Obama said health care should never be purchased with tax increases on middle class families:


This has been characterized as a win for Obama, Reid and Pelosi, but is it?

A majority of Americans want Obamacare repealed:

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to decide the fate of President Obama’s national health care law, most voters still would like to see the law repealed. It’s indicative of how steady support for repeal has been that this week’s finding is identical to how voters felt in the first survey after the law’s passage by Congress in March 2010.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care bill, while 39% are at least somewhat opposed. This includes 43% who Strongly Favor repeal and 28% who are Strongly Opposed to it.

Now Obama calls this giant tax increase a “victory for the middle class.”

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican and a member of the tea party caucus, said Mr. Obama’s victory will be “fleeting” and argued that most Americans didn’t like the law’s individual mandate in the first place.

“They’ll like it even less when they understand it’s a tax,” Mr. Lee said on Fox News.

The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases in the health care law costing more than $675 billion over the next 10 years, according to the House Ways and Means Committee. Of those, 12 tax hikes would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year, the panel said, including a “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans, a tax on insurance providers and an excise tax on medical-device manufacturers.

Mitt Romney has raised $4.3 million for his campaign since the decision and has promised to make repeal of Obamacare his goal.

A number of democrats were already experiencing buyer’s remorse

“I think we would all have been better off — President Obama politically, Democrats in Congress politically, and the nation would have been better off — if we had dealt first with the financial system and the other related economic issues and then come back to healthcare,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who is retiring at the end of this Congress.

Miller, who voted for the law, said the administration wasted time and political capital on healthcare reform, resulting in lingering economic problems that will continue to plague Obama’s reelection chances in 2012.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) also criticized his party’s handling of the issue, and said he repeatedly called on his leaders to figure out how they were going to pay for the bill, and then figure out what they could afford.

Cardoza, who like Miller will retire at the end of the Congress, said he thought the bill should have been done “in digestible pieces that the American public could understand and that we could implement.”

Finally- are you angry?

The right is angry. It is galvanized.

In 2010 voter anger over Obamacare and the economy enabled Republicans to retake the House. Now Obama, Reid and Pelosi are boasting that they were able to shove down America’s throat a law that America does not want.

By turning Obamacare into a tax but letting it stand, Roberts made the Court immune to accusations of partisan hackery while furnishing the right with all the issues it needs to to undo this misbegotten administration. Roberts’ action has emphasized that Obamacare is the opposite of what Obama guaranteed it to be and has also allowed us to demonstrate that Obama has been nothing other than continuously dishonest. And Roberts left us a clue:

‘It is not our role to forbid it, or pass upon its wisdom or fairness’…

Had Roberts struck down Obamacare, the left would have torched the country. Now they have nothing. Romney can now emphasize that Obama is doing exactly what he said we should not do- use taxes to purchase health insurance, raise taxes in a recession, and use the IRS to penalize those who do not buy insurance. Obama will be hiring an army of IRS agents to hunt you down and tax you into compliance.

And I don’t think Roberts has forgotten Obama’s scolding of SCOTUS during his SOTU address.


Come November, Obama will also remember.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

45 Responses to “What John Roberts really did for us [Reader Post]”

  1. 1


    Doc, Roberts may have fallen down the outhouse and has his fingers crossed while hoping he will crawl out and end up smelling like a rose, but it is a huge gamble.

    I can’t help but think of the 51% of Americans who don’t pay taxes; I assume they will continue not paying taxes. It will be up to the 49% to pay the health care costs of the rest of the nation. Remember it is not a one to one ratio, there is usually only one bread winner per family, so it is unlikely you will be supporting another non-bread winner, but his extended family as well.

    I have several friends who are physicians in Canada, they have told me in hushed tones, the biggest problem in Canada is the hypochondriac who goes to see their doctor out of boredom. It is great for the doctor’s income, but it allows the cost of health care to be a crippling factor. The doctor’s office visit becomes an alternative to soap opera addiction.

    If this supposed gamble of one man on America’s future fails, one-sixth of America’s economy will be on a fulcrum balanced by the non-worker element and their slothfulness and boredom. Yes, they plug up the waiting rooms. (Don’t put in a TV) While non-neurotics will have preposterous waiting periods while waiting to be treated with actual problems.

    I was lucky, when I would walk in my doctor and friend would yell across the waiting room over a horde of women with little kids, “Skook, finally I have someone with a real problem, come on back” as I would step over a mass of children playing on the floor. He was not embarrassed in the least, nor were the women sitting around doing nothing as they waited interminably to see their hero.

  2. 2


    Words cannot reveal the depth and breadth of dicourse in this country, as it relates to Mr. Obama and his policies. Never in the history of America has one person said one thing only to do another, yet still hold the office of president. Those of us news junkies sitting at the ringside seats are either paralyzed or apoplectic by the behavior of either/both the administration and Congress.

    But take heart, five more months will not heal the festering boil that is our government. We will be another half trillion in debt and staring at another, yes another, one trillion dollar health care bureaucracy administered by the IRS. Now if that isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.

    Unfortunately few remedies exist short of Remington, Smith and Wesson, Glock, Winchester and Dupont. These are “illegal” you say. So was Obamacare and Fast and Furious, I say. We are so screwed, so why shouldn’t they be?

  3. 3




    I’m a doctor, not a lawyer, but I think Roberts erred in his ruling. IMO he should have ruled on the case as it stood before him and not rewrite it, but rewrite it he did. That enabled him to strike down the mandate but leave the law in place. Great pressure had been placed upon him to not overturn a large body of law. I don’t agree with the decision but I think it works to our advantage and not Obama’s.

  4. 5

    another vet

    Obama now owns the four largest deficits in the country’s history, the largest middle class tax increase in the country’s history, the biggest government takeover of the private sector in the country’s history, and the most anemic economic recovery since the Depression. And he wants us to reelect him so we can experience another four years of that? Fat chance. On the flip side, Roberts did the Constitution no favors. That is even more damaging than Obama getting reelected.

  5. 6


    yes we are screwed but it’s because they are screwed er,
    that mean we will get DEM OUT IN NOVEMBER, SO

  6. 7


    YES YOU TOUCH A REALITY, I know some of those using, abusing is a better word,
    and I mention something about their overused of the system, they answer;
    “that’s what they are there for” and they ask me, how come I don’t go for check up
    that is every year, it look to them that I’M IN FAULT,

  7. 10


    It is indeed strange, when justices help government lawyers present their arguments, but it is far more strange to have justices rewriting legislation that fails the Constitutional tests. With this new precedent, the supremes can rewrite every non-Constitutional law until it meets the guidelines. No legislation should ever fail with this new guideline. Our Supreme Court has now become the clearing house for poor and improperly written legislation. This country is now much closer to tyranny, the tyranny of Injustice.

    If you disagree, please state the limits imposed on the SC for rewriting legislation.

    This is a losing battle when one side only wants to preserve our republic and the other side wants to impose a mass of authoritarian control when they have the advantage. Roberts has provided the tool for destroying the Republic in the future.

  8. 11


    Doc, the SC is supposed to be above political pressure. The only pressure they should feel is the sanctity of the Constitution: when they deny the sanctity of the Constitution to bend to political pressure, the republic is doomed.

  9. 12


    One hopes that Roberts’ action was based on the belief that the nation will not be taken down willingly. For the court to amend an act and then uphold it as amended, is a strike against all who treasure the Constitution and the document itself. The unfunded individual mandate is a concept that is alien and repugnant to those who will bear the burden of this fiasco’s cost. Obama and his junta can claim anything they want,this act is no victory for the middle class or any tax payer. This act is about control and the ability to approve the services and treatments one receives. With that assumption of power comes the ability to deny those same services for whatever agenda the Government chooses.

  10. 14


    I was diagnosed in November with congestive heart failre and I had no insurance and told my doctor. He tailored a minimal (2) set of tests to prove what was wrong. All together my tests and doc visits and bloodwork and treatments cost approx $10,000 and I now have the correct medicine regimen and diet and am fine. The point is, last week when I saw my doc at walmart, I asked him how much it would have cost an insurance company if I had had insurance. He told me that I would have spent at least a month in the hospital and and would have taken a battery of approx 20 different tests, he said this is what is called “preventative medicine” and is practiced with insured patients to avoid being sued for malpractice. All told he estimated the total amount the insurance company would have been billed would have exceeded $300,000. I paid $10,000 out of pocket, Think about that.

  11. 15


    Fatman, thanks, the food for thought was rich.

    Hopefully we all remember the resistance to tort reform and how the Liberals couldn’t stand the thought of irritating the civil lawyers and upset the flow of contributions. If we are to assume everyone receives the same care and all care is equal, why should they balk at setting limits for malpractice.

    I am glad to hear you are doing better.

  12. 16

    B. Johnson

    Taxpaying voters need to demand that Justice Roberts explains why he referenced the Gibbons v. Ogden case in the Obamacare opinion, seemingly ignoring two statements in the Gibbons opinion which indicate that his tax argument doesn’t hold water.

    Below are the two statements from Gibbons.  Note that the first statement clarifies, in one sentence, that not only does Congress not have the power to address public healthcare issues, healthcare being a 10th Amendment protected state power, but also that Congress has no power to interfere with intrastate commerce; FDR’s activist justices got the Commerce Clause wrong in Wickard v. Filburn.

    “State inspection laws, health laws, and laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c. are not within the power granted to Congress.”  —Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.

    “Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States.” —Chief Justice Marshall, Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.

    Note that since Congress has no power to make public healthcare-related laws, Congress cannot make healthcare-related tax laws, imo, any more than it can make healthcare-related penalty laws.

    Sadly, the corrupt federal government’s power grab concerning Obamacare is delaying states whose legal majority voters would approve their state establishing a healthcare program, Massachusetts’ RomneyCare for example, from doing so.

  13. 17


    The President told us the “penalty” was not a tax. He was interviewed by that midget, George Stephonolpolis (or however you spell his name) and Obama told George it was not a tax. The Democrat Congress told us it was not a tax. The statute itself, does not call it a tax.

    Yet Chief Justice John Roberts basically decided that the term “penalty” had more than one meaning, although not claimed by the authors of the statute, or the Democrats who pushed its passage, and to him it meant “tax.” We now have SCOTUS Justices deciding what the meaning of “is” is.

  14. 18


    A majority of Americans want Obamacare repealed:

    The only poll that counts is that on election day. Frankly, I don’t see some great-swell of conservatism after this decision. Most “conservatives” I know are angry, but not galvanized (I tend to hang with the more activist crowd also).

    But, time will tell. If I was a liberal, I’d be ecstatic that Obama, and Roberts, delivered the goods. I’d be motivated to GOTV and I, as a conservative, am again frustrated that another “Conservative” stuck another knife in my back.

    I’m not terribly happy about this betrayal.

  15. 19



    All told he estimated the total amount the insurance company would have been billed would have exceeded $300,000. I paid $10,000 out of pocket, Think about that.

    We really need to get rid of insurance companies. They really do destroy the market-place.

  16. 20

    Nan G

    Over 1/2 of the states in the USA have enacted laws to prevent the likes of another Kelo-type confiscation of private land for cities to gain higher taxes via new developments.
    What CJ Roberts did was challenge us to much the same thing.
    Don’t like this law?
    Vote the bums out and put in new officials who will dismember it.
    If we look at recent history (Kelo) we see that this was part of the logic behind the decision.

    BTW, the original Kelo site was never redeveloped.
    It is a garbage dump.

  17. 21


    @Ivan, #18:

    It’s only a betrayal if you believed that Roberts had a partisan lean that would predictably influence his judgement. I will confess that I was guilty of that. Personally, I’m tremendously relieved that the Supreme Court is apparently making independent decisions without such bias. I was very concerned after the Citizens United decision that this might no longer be the case.

  18. 23



    Actually, B.Johnson, the one that was citing Gibbons in support of Commerce Clause and the Congressional ability to regulate/tax is Ginsburg on pg 95. Roberts, all the dissenting judges, and the rest of the Court (by their choice not to disagree with the written majority opinion even in part) seem to be on the same page that the Commerce Clause is out of bounds. Roberts’ only citation INRE Gibbons, on pg 25, is in the middle of his finger wagging lecture to Congress about their ability to regulate Commerce activity because it already exists to regulate, but not inactivity since there is no “existing” commerce to regulate by the choice not to participate in that specific Commerce.

    To your argument in general… i.e. taxing a province left solely States… even tho I detest the outcome, what you are addressing is pretty much covered on pgs 47 and 48 of the SCOTUS opinion. Technically, it’s not taxing health insurance itself. It is a tax paid on a choice not to purchase insurance, not on the health insurance. But Congress certainly has the right to regulate significant portions of health care, and does.

    Personally, this bothers me tremendously for for future abuse… aka will we be taxed because we opt not to purchase an electric vehicle? Put in energy windows? Conserve water etc? I have no doubt. As long as the nanny AGW crowd remains in influential power in our central government, they will continue to impose taxes to effect societal behavioral change. However after this decision, at least they can’t disguise it as anything but a tax. (small gratification, but hey… it’s what we got).

    Writing for the Court on this (Roberts own writings are mysteriously, and inconsistently, interspersed throughout the Court’s opinion.. which becomes somewhat confusing from page to page), he says “…it is abundantly clear the Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity.” Nor are imposed taxes, specifically designed to influence behavior (i.e. gasoline and tobacco taxes, tax credits/incentives for home purchases, vehicles, and education, etc) new and outside of Congressional authority.

    The Court [writing as Opinion of the Court] today holds that our Constitution protects us from federal regulation under the Commerce Clause so long as we abstain from the regulated activity. But from its creation, the Constitution has made no such promise with respect to taxes. See Letter from Benjamin Franklin to M. Le Roy (Nov. 13, 1789) (“Our new Constitution is now established . . . but in this world nothing can be said to be certain,except death and taxes”).

    … snip…

    Sustaining the mandate as a tax depends only on whether Congress has properly exercised its taxing power to encourage purchasing health insurance, not whether it can. Upholding the individual mandate under the Taxing Clause thus does not recognize any new federal power. It determines that Congress has used an existing one.

    He also makes it clear.. which may be news to that Constitutional expert occupying the Oval Office and his cronies… that it cannot be termed a penalty since that is a punishment for an unlawful act. Not purchasing health insurance isn’t an unlawful act, nor does the ACA make it so.

  19. 24


    There is a severe problem for our republic and all of its citizens. The Constitution does not protect our lives and liberties if (as now) it may be interpreted as a piece of complex philosophy. It must be predictably understood by a reasonably intelligent person as a limitation on government. When government is unlimited, then the populace only has the option of electing its next dictator, so long as elections are permitted.

    The Constitution is supposed to provide a fundamental agreement among the people of the US, independent of political whim and the political desire to accumulate power. This is no longer the case; the veil has been lifted.

    The Constitution became mortally ill in 1942. The federal government wanted to control wheat. A farmer Filburn was prevented from growing wheat because it might affect the market in wheat, even if he only used the wheat within his farm. The SC upheld the power of our government to do this under the strangest application of a single short sentence of the Constitution:

    . Congress shall have the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,
    . and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

    The intention was to guarantee free production and trade between the many states of a new nation. The interpretation in 1942 applied regulation in detail to any individual with the temerity to produce anything. This was directly opposite to the intent of that short “commerce clause” sentence.

    The Constitution is now a soothing pacifier, communicating a false liberty to people, while raw political power is being used to control our lives in the finest detail. When ObamaCare came before the SC, five justices were able to see a complex philosophy which allows the government to tell us to do anything, or pay a tax. That is not a limitation on government. It is only an economic enforcement mechanism no different in effect from a civil fine.

    Four justices saw that the entire law was an unconstitutional power grab, telling doctors, insurers, and the public exactly what they were suppposed to do.

    Five saw a permissible implementation of detailed power. Four saw a clear violation of fundamental rights. “The law” is a quaint anacronism when it can be interpreted in such conflicting ways. There is no longer any law, only the contest of political power, factions, and favoritism. The US is now a country with no fundamental agreement about personal freedom.

    This is an interesting experiment. Do we need the fundamental agreement which the Constitution represented? People respected the law because they wanted to avoid the factional war which occurs in a purely political system. Now that the Consitution is dead, welcome to that war. Choose up sides, because the rules are only what the party in power says they are. Elect your next dictator wisely, because he will have complete control over you by mutual agreement of the elite political class.

    Russia gives a reasonable example of what our future will be like: rule by elite political families (an oligarchy) living off of a populace which is much poorer than we are now. No one will be independent of government control and connections. No one will be able to complain. Freedom of contract, to produce, and to trade by personal choice will disappear under detailed regulation for your own good.

    The elite will know all and control all. Of course, they will be well paid for these necessary services.

  20. 26


    @Dumbplumber: ** Never in the history of America has one person said one thing only to do another, yet still hold the office of president.**

    Oh dear — better go back to the history books and the videotapes. There are lots of bipartisan examples. 🙂

  21. 27


    thank you for your comment,
    yes, they are also already doing their extension of POWER over the FARMERS, digging into minute
    details to show their power, leaving the FARMER confuse as to why they focus on a benign matter
    like changing the sink , or denying the son to work and help on small chores he enjoy to do and learn so many tasks which is so good for his future,
    this is discouraging the farmers who know what they are doing, they get so frustrated, and express it.
    this is just one of their imposition to the people trying to make a living also in other busyness,
    the people are sick and tired of that, and NOVEMBER WILL SHOW IT LOUD AND CLEAR.

  22. 28

    Mr. Irons

    So, with this ruling the Pro-Taxation politicans could argue that any or all commerical activies a person does not engage in must have a respective tax slapped to each activity in the marketplace for refuse to engage in? Oh yeah, that sounds much like the British Empire’s Paraliment making the argument that the Colonists are to be hit with hefty taxes and duties on any goods sold in the Colonies that were not supplied by the likes of East India Company or any British Empire “sponsored” Business in the Colonies… Those who know history know just how well a lovely idea that was in the long run…

    And if I’m not mistaken, didn’t this Taxcare law orginate in the Senate and isn’t it illegal for Taxation bills to orginate from the Senate? If I’m not mistaken it’s detailed in Article 1, section 7 lists that it’s the House that must orginate the bills. The Senate can only engage in passed House bills… Then again I could be mistaken.

    Article 1 of the United States Contitution,Section 7

    All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

    Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

    Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

  23. 29


    While yes, Roberts may have gave the GOP ammunition to use against Obama in the election, the effect on one election is not worth the damage the ruling does, in that it creates a limitless expansion of Congress’ power to tax, nor his allowance for them to use semantics in bill writing to circumvent the legislative branch’s own rules for passing taxes, and instead using budget reconciliation rules to ease passage that wouldn’t have been possible under tax legislation rules. As Robert’s considered it a tax he should have voted against the law because it was passed under false pretenses in violation of Congress’ own rules.

  24. 30


    Ummm…interesting comments here. We can speculate all we like, but a ghastly precedent has been set.
    Considering the swing on Arizona Immigration, and now Obamacare, I believe the only thing conservatives can do is stand back and keep an eye on John Roberts…and pray.

    At the end of the day, Supreme Court Justices are human beings. It wouldn’t surprise me if George Sorus made it known to Roberts that he has set up an account in the Cayman Islands with a few million(s) as an initial nest egg, for with the left, the means to their end is all that matters…..

  25. 31


    on a lighter note, your number 2 gave me an idea,
    you said all those weapons are illegals,
    yes, but, the illegals coming AND GET EVERYTHING DIRTY in are agreed by OBAMA,

  26. 33


    It is being reported that Roberts did indeed change his vote at the last minute and it is likely because of how the public would view the Court.

    Because Roberts was the most senior justice in the majority to strike down the mandate, he got to choose which justice would write the Court’s historic decision. He kept it for himself.

    Over the next six weeks, as Roberts began to craft the decision striking down the mandate, the external pressure began to grow. Roberts almost certainly was aware of it.

    Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending (and avoid some publications altogether, such as The New York Times). They’ve explained that they don’t want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.

    But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As Chief Justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the Court, and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public.

    There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the Court – and to Roberts’ reputation – if the Court were to strike down the mandate. Leading politicians, including the President himself, had expressed confidence the mandate would be upheld.

    Some even suggested that if Roberts struck down the mandate, it would prove he had been deceitful during his confirmation hearings, when he explained a philosophy of judicial restraint.

    It was around this time that it also became clear to the conservative justices that Roberts was, as one put it, “wobbly,” the sources said.

    It is not known why Roberts changed his view on the mandate and decided to uphold the law. At least one conservative justice tried to get him to explain it, but was unsatisfied with the response, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.

  27. 34




    No, the bill was actually passed in the traditional way.

    They were going to try the “deem” thing in order to allow the Dims to not be on public record with their votes but decided to abandon that plan after public outrage and backlash toward the idea.

  28. 35


    @Aye: Traditional?

    From Don Surber

    I hate to tell readers this, but Obamacare passed on Thursday at 2:22 PM.

    That was when the House approved the Slaughter solution 222-203.

    A vote for Slaughter was a vote for Obamacare. It did not “barely” pass because a few of those abstentions and maybe a couple of the Nos were green-lighted by the party’s leadership.

    The stories about the House votes all get the math wrong.

    It is not about how many votes Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco needs — it is about how many votes she can shed.

    Pelosi is going to pass it 216-215 if she can, allowing more than 30 Democrats (mainly Blue Dogs) off the hook. They will be granted Indulgences by Pope Pelosi to officially vote against it so they can keep their seats.

    Willie Brown, the longest serving speaker in California’s history, explained all this in his November 15 column in the San Francisco Chronicle: “If there’s one thing the recent health care vote proves, it’s that Nancy Pelosi is the most focused House speaker since Tip O’Neill. I’m not talking about the merits of the bill that emerged from the House – the debate on that subject is far from over. I’m talking about Pelosi’s behind-the-scenes leadership to get the job done in such a way that at-risk Democrats can still win re-election.

    “The pundits portrayed the 220-215 tally and 39 Democratic no votes as signs of Pelosi’s weakness. What they missed was that Pelosi got her majority while letting Democrats from conservative districts off the hook. Nancy knows that the first thing on every Democratic House member’s mind is getting re-elected. In turn, as speaker, her first and foremost job is to ensure they get re-elected.

    “She also knows that the most important vote they cast once they are re-elected will be to keep her as speaker. And if that means letting them be a Republican now and then, so be it. That’s not weakness, that’s politics.”

    Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times is the only reporter I know of who gets it. He reported: “But as the week inches along, with momentum steadily building to a Sunday vote, the party leaders are also beginning to decide which politically endangered lawmakers will be given absolution to vote no.”

    Politics is an art, not a science. It requires little brains, but much cleverness.

    It is about power and Mrs. Pelosi wields it well.

    The one remaining hurdle for Obamacare — and it could be 20 stories high — is whether Obamacare passes muster under the second paragraph of Section 7 of Article I of the Constitution: “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”

    In order to make budget reconciliation in the Senate, you need a law. The Senate passed the bill. The House must adopt it and then the president must sign it into law for the Senate to revise it without a cloture vote.

    If there is any change — even one word — in the House version from the Senate version, you might not have a law.

  29. 36


    is that why they are so afraid of her,
    one woman answering a QUESTION from STEVE a busyness owner, that she cannot talk to him because she will be punish by NANCY PELOSIE,
    I remember him coming here to tell and he was angry, he is a DEMOCRAT TOO,

  30. 37




    Yes, traditional as I said. The Slaughter Rule was not applied to the healthcare bill:

    Finally, in the 111th Congress, Pelosi and Slaughter crafted special or closed rules for everything they ultimately passed.

    The most prominent example of the penchant for special rules relates to the March 2010 passage of the health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Slaughter reportedly attempted to craft a rule that would allow Democrats to vote on a package of fixes to the bill and thereby “deem” the underlying bill passed, without technically having to cast a roll call vote, and thereby presumably minimizing the political fallout.

    But Rules Committee ranking member David Dreier (R-Calif.) called the rule an “end-run around the Democratic process.” He insisted Americans get “a fair, open, transparent vote that clearly puts each Member of Congress on record for the position he or she takes on the very critical issue of America’s health care system.”

    Ultimately, the so-called Slaughter Rule did not get enough support to be applied to the health care bill, although the reform package still passed under strict parameters for debate. The parties each had an hour to debate the Senate’s changes with no new amendments.

    The Senate version of HR 3590 was voted on, and passed…in the traditional way… in the House on 3/21/2010 by a vote of 219-212.

  31. 38



    The PPACA was passed in two separate bills, and all per Congressional rules. Sleazy and political process? Hang yes, but within their rules. Don’t like the rules, get rid of those that make the rules. I’m all for cleaning House and Senate.

    But that aside, this is how it came down via HR 3590 – the actual Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, and the reconciliation health care bill, HR 4872, that amended it via budgetary rules prior to the POTUS signing HR 3590 three months later.


    HR 3590 – PPACA
    Introduced Sep 17, 2009
    Passed House Oct 08, 2009
    Passed Senate with Changes Dec 24, 2009

    HR 4872 – the HC Reconciliation Act
    Introduced Mar 17, 2010
    Reported by Committee Mar 17, 2010
    Passed House Mar 21, 2010

    HR 3590
    Passed Senate Mar 21, 2010
    Signed by the President Mar 23, 2010

    HR 4872
    Passed Senate with Changes Mar 25, 2010
    Passed Senate Mar 25, 2010
    Signed by the President Mar 30, 2010

    It’s “traditional” in the sense it followed all the rules and the House passed the reconciliation act that amended HR 3590 prior to the POTUS signature. What was untraditional is to make this subject to budget reconciliation to begin with.. but again, not outside of the rules.

    @Mr. Irons: So, with this ruling the Pro-Taxation politicans could argue that any or all commerical activies a person does not engage in must have a respective tax slapped to each activity in the marketplace for refuse to engage in?

    Yes, Mr. Irons… they can. But then they always could. This isn’t a new taxation power, but it is a new twist on taxes designed to effect behavior. i.e.

    1: Imposing taxes on an affirmative action (like cigarettes, liquor) to *deter* a behavior or

    2: Granting tax credits or incentives on an affirmation action (like home purchases, cars, energy rebates, etc) to *encourage a behavior.

    The new twist is that they imposing taxes on a negative action (not purchasing health care) in order to *encourage* a positive action, purchasing health care.

    While it’s ugly in it’s premise, no where in the the Constitutional authorities granted to Congress for taxation is it defined how they may, or may not, structure their specific behavioral tax powers. And more importantly, it does not prohibits this combination. If it’s politically unpopular, the masses should be booting out their elected representatives.

    Will it be attempted for other issues in the future? Hang yeah… but they won’t be able to dress that pig up in a Commerce Clause coat.

    Nor can it be called a penalty… SCOTUS made that abundantly clear on pg 43 of the opinion.

    In distinguishing penalties from taxes, this Court hasexplained that “if the concept of penalty means anything,it means punishment for an unlawful act or omission.” United States v. Reorganized CF&I Fabricators of Utah, Inc., 518 U. S. 213, 224 (1996); see also United States v. La Franca, 282 U. S. 568, 572 (1931) (“[A] penalty, as the word is here used, is an exaction imposed by statute as punishment for an unlawful act”). While the individual mandate clearly aims to induce the purchase of health insurance, it need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS. The Government agrees with that reading, confirming that if someone chooses to pay rather than obtain health insurance, they have fully complied with the law. Brief for United States 60–61; Tr. of Oral Arg. 49–50 (Mar. 26,2012).

    Then again, this won’t be the first time the arrogant and constitutionally ignorant POTUS has decided to tell SCOTUS that they don’t know Constitutional law.

  32. 39



    It’s still clear that from now on we must now accept that anytime Democrats in Congress use the word “penalty” they might mean “tax”, and Republicans shall have to insist that when either word is used, the traditional rules for taxation bill passage should apply. (They probably should require the same when the word “fee” is used.)

    In future Supreme Court appointment’s, the candidate should also be grilled on whether they think it’s proper for the SCOTUS to change the wording of the laws they rule on.

  33. 40


    I think the one who want to get the JUSTICES to take on their case, will try to find another way
    to fix their problems ,

  34. 41


    If this act was really about healthcare access, why couldn’t waivers be used for those wanting no part of it. Something like the helmet law for motorcyclists, a plan that establishes that a particular person is responsible for insuring themselves. I think this is another example of the govt. forcing a desired outcome as they did with the TARP funds and the Cash for Clunkers. All of these examples of social engineering seem to be designed to incrementally remove personal choice by forcing programs and narrowing the alternatives to ones that produce a greater degree of control. With the scope of taxes being broadened, I don’t think the Left can be trusted not to push new taxes on us in a flat economy.I hope I am wrong on that ,but I have little faith in the current Congress.

  35. 42



    Brian, I’ve never thought O’healthcare was about healthcare access. It’s about a step to single payer, and government price fixing of insurance premiums primarily. It sure isn’t about fiscal prudence either. It’s a lousy bill from beginning to end, and one I wish were struck down in it’s entirety. Alas, being lousy and being Constitutional in the eyes of the High Court are two different subjects. They aren’t there to make a moral judgment on it’s policy wisdom, as even Roberts noted in the opinion.

    Ditto, the vetting of SCOTUS nominees still comes down to the same thing… the Senators who approve them, and the constituents who elect the Senators. Any one of us only has a say in two of the 100 Senators. Not exactly great odds. To get a majority of constitutionally aware elected representatives requires some serious crash courses in the Constitution in our schools, some stand up people to run for the office, plus a hefty shot of pride and responsibility for self by the voters. Needless to say, it’s an uphill battle.

  36. 43


    I was observing what many on the Left has been pushing about the poor,uninsured masses that are now magically covered with “free” insurance. Your posts are always concise and studied. I think that far too many people are sold on the window dressing and won’t “get” it until they have to make good on the unfunded mandates. Much has been made of the uninsured, when that percentage is actually smaller than what is portrayed by the social engineers, as they have inflated the crisis to justify their actions. I would like to believe CJ Roberts was placing the issue,as a tax, back under the control of the House. What must happen is that a unified effort be made to elect principled,fiscally disciplined leadership who are committed to balancing the branches of govt. and end the cyclical spending. I hope that I see that in my lifetime. The box score for the last week has me feeling that I won’t. The truth is that there people yet unborn,who are trusting us to get this right. We cannot fail them.

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