Chief Justice Roberts, Round 2

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If we give the most highly educated minds in our country months to debate issues, then I can hardly be expected to get the right answer after years. Allow me to change my opinion. I will probably change it again soon.

My current thought on the Roberts decision on Obamacare is that he should not have re-written the law. The law, if it is incorrect or unconstitutional, should simply be stricken. Tell congress what they did wrong, but don’t pull out a correction pen and publish your own version.

This means that Roberts was wrong to do what he did.

I think this is a good model for legislation. Either the law stands, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, the justices do not have power to pass their own laws to replace them. Let the people decide what path they want to take to resolve the laws and the constitution. It could be they like the law as is, and want to change the constitution through an amendment. Or, they like the constitution and want to change the law. Or perhaps, they want to get rid of the law altogether. That’s not up to the judge to decide.

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4 Responses to “Chief Justice Roberts, Round 2”

  1. demokid Says:

    Roberts did nothing but rule according to the Constitution and the powers granted to Congress in that document. All of the whining by conservatives is less about the law, and more about their feelings about the law.

    People may debate the value or the wisdom of decisions made by Congress, and this carries over to Supreme Court decisions. However, it would be completely possible under the Constitution for the Congress to declare war on numerous countries and slaughter millions or billions overseas. Congress could suddenly decide that one trillion dollar coins should be minted. And the Senate could certainly take up a bill that would allow the United States government to tax 90% of income. Many would think such actions are foolish, and rightly so. However, if they made their way to the Supreme Court, they would be dismissed without a moment’s thought.

    For this case, the issues is simple — is a financial obligation, charged to people by the federal government, collected by the federal tax agency, and related to household income, considered to be a “tax”? The dissenting judges disputed this solely on the basis that this was not explicitly called a “tax”, despite the fact that it acted like a tax in EVERY single meaningful way.

    All this shows is that conservatives are sore losers, and care little about what the Constitution actually says.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      So, where in the constitution does the judiciary get to modify laws? The rest of your examples are absurd. Congress has such a power, and should they carry it out, we cannot expect the Supreme Court to stop them. It’s up to us, the people, to choose wise people to represent us.

      I don’t see a lot of sore losing on the conservative side. They are prepping for the next battle, in November of 2012, not whining.

      • demokid Says:

        So, where in the constitution does the judiciary get to modify laws?

        Where in the decision does Roberts “modify laws”? Does the decision rewrite the text of the law? If you can show that the Affordable Care Act has different words now versus before the Supreme Court case, I’m all ears.

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        He renames the penalty a tax. That’s changing the law. When people will go to court over this law, they’re going to be arguing about Robert’s version of the law, not the version of the law that was passed by congress and signed by our president.

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