Friday, June 29, 2012

RX: John Roberts


The headlines are fast and furious-making, the engine of government careening further right… HOLDER HELD IN CONTEMPT… CITIZENS UNITED TRUMPS STATE LAW… BOEHNER SAYS HEALTH CARE LAW HURTING ECONOMY… (a big Boehner for the GOP!) …and suddenly, an abrupt turn to the left… SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS HEALTH CARE LAW and THE MANDATE CAN STAY! and ROBERTS SAVES OBAMACARE and… Whoa!  Chief justice John Roberts, the prescription for the Affordable Health Care Act?… for the country’s toxic  political malaise?… for what ails the Democratic Party?  Capital!

This is the same man who made two trips to Tallahassee, Fla., in November 2000 during the hotly contested presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore to assist lawyers working on behalf of Bush, to be subsequently appointed by Bush to the Supreme Court as its chief justice.  The man who, as a lawyer for the Reagan administration, wrote legal memos defending administration policies on abortion, and as a lawyer in the George H. W. Bush administration, signed a legal brief urging the court to overturn Roe v. Wade.  And it is the Roberts’ court, very much the Roberts’ court at this point, that twice voted in favor of upholding the Citizens United case, effectively characterized by President Obama in his 2010 State of the Union Address, as having “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests… to spend without limit in our elections.”  This is a very conservative man.  What got into him today?

Many bewildered conservatives are saying the Democrats got to him.  Nonsense.  A few legal experts see his action as a reaction to the excessive perception of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s heralded power as the swing vote.  Unlikely.  Some pundits suggest that by swinging left on such a momentous decision, he is gathering the political capital to tack further right again during the court’s next term, when it predictably may face a host of contentious issues doubtfully limited to affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights.  But what if Roberts, calculatedly clever, is seeking to keep all his options for the future open, or, abundantly adroit, is even edging to the left?  He might turn into one of jurisprudence’s most nimble broken field runners.  Far-fetched?  Not if you consider the unexpected changes of heart and politics of a number of his court predecessors,  justices David Souter and Harry Blackman, and chief justice Earl Warren,  nominated respectively by Republican presidents George H.W. Bush, Nixon and Eisenhower.  

During his Senate confirmation hearings, Roberts likened the role as a judge to one of a baseball umpire whose "job is to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat."  With seven years on the court and perhaps a quarter-century or more to go, he can’t help but have his legacy and place in history in mind.  A relatively young man with lifetime tenure on arguably the most esteemed body of jurists in the world, it’s his court to save or let sink, and I believe he was astute enough not to let it sink any lower than it has, not, at least, in the eyes of a mere 44% of Americans who still approve of it according to a New York Times-CBS News poll published three weeks ago.  He looked for a way to do what he did.  Constitutionally predisposed to finding acts of Congress constitutional—he is on record stating, “we have a duty to construe a statute to save it, if fairly possible”—he found a way.

On a personal note, since I became aware of Judge John Roberts, I have held he’s really Tom Hanks, and we all know Tom Hanks would go to the ends of the earth, and beyond, for the Affordable Care Act!  That consideration aired and dismissed, my guess is that the chief justice, a learned, contemplative man, is conceivably appalled by the nasty, loony, irrational behavior of the extremists in control of the Republican party, and fearful of the future that foretells for the country—just doesn’t want to see Mitt Romney as its president.

5 comments:

  1. Roberts took a hot potatoe and threw it back to the lunatics who tossed it his way in the first place. By clearly stating (forgodsakes will you please read the decision in it's entirety) that the entire law was unconstitution BUT that since the idiots who wrote it declared it a tax law, then the court had to abide by THAT premise and that premise only. Congress, in Justice Roberts words, had broad taxing powers and this is a tax. Now we know what that evil bitch meant when she said "You have to pass the law to know what's in it". She meant to say "The President of the United States is lying to the American people, HArry Reid and I are lying to them, but they are too stupid to believe that we would do that. This is defintitely NOT a tax it's an, eerrrr...ummm..it's a penalty. Yeah taht's what it is , it's a penalty"
    For an attorney General that has been held in contempt; for Abandoning the rights of the State of Arizona to enforce it's borders; for hiding behind Executive Power worse than even Nixon, this President should be brought before Congress in an Impeachment hearing for failure to " defend and protect the Consitution of The United States" He belongs in the same cell block as Bernard Madoff and his ilk.

    Judge Law

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  2. Tom Hanks for Chief Justice!

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  3. The GOP consider Chief Justice Roberts as Severus Snape--I guess they didn't realize that Snape was actually a hero.

    Finally a win for the Poor, Women, Children, and Middle Class Americans!!

    Thank you, Mr. President and Chief Justice Roberts

    Four More Years!!

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  4. He just played smart politics...Now a vote against the Health Care Bill is a vote against Obama! Vote Rom...and keep your constitutional rights...to keep the frigging Feds out of our personal life! Thank you Justice...for letting the Dem liberals think they won something...when you have just raised the Ante on seeing the Dark knight fall!

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  5. Amen Marcus! Roberts is brilliant! The 70% of Americans who do not want to give the Federal Government more taxing power are going to see to it that this Obamanation is ended. I think every limousine liberal who is unhappy that we do NOT want to be a European Socialist country should renounce their citizenship and move to one of those successful countries Like France, Spain, Portugal or Italy. The Dark Knight makes it sound like he has something redeeming. Give me Condie Rice, or Colin Powell, or Alan West; African Americans that have strong American Values, not this Communist Wolf in Liberal Lamb's Wool.
    Tom Hanks for anything is just stupid. Why would I listen to ANYONE that makes thier living by living life through characters made up by someone else. I don't ever want their fantasy to become my reality.

    Judge Law, Esq

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