Where's That Partisan Supreme Court?


My legal reasoning may suck, but I'm no partisan!

One beneficial result of Chief Justice John Roberts's demonstration that supposedly conservative Supreme Court justices can throw legally bizarre life preservers to welfare state programs too is that progressives have had to unexpectedly hit the brakes on plans to paint the Supreme Court as an uber-hyper-partisan body dominated by conniving Republican meanies who are willing to twist the Constitution any which way to get their desired results. After all, while Roberts did pull some tortured reasoning out of his derriere, it helped a policy favored by the progressives themselves.

Back in March, David Leonhardt wrte in the New York Times:

All five of those justices were appointed by Republican presidents, while the four justices expected to vote to uphold the health care law were all appointed by Democrats. This is the first time in at least 50 years that the decisions issued by the justices have frequently split along directly partisan lines, based on the party of the president who appointed each member.

On June 18, Barry Friedman at the Nation posited:

The New York Times reports a recent poll showing the Supreme Court's approval rating at 44 percent. This represents one of the lowest numbers the justices have polled in recent years and is part of a generally downward slide since 2009. Over at least the previous twenty-five years the Court has consistently been one of the more popular institutions in the country. What's been going on to change this?

A plausible answer is: partisanship.

And just days ago, Southern California Public Radio asked:

Are we in the most partisan Supreme Court in history? Or has the court always been viewed as legislating from the bench? Is it even possible to have a non-partisan Supreme Court?

The argument was a bit of a stretch. Friedman himself, building himself into a frenzy of condemnation of the high court, still noted:

in the district courts, Democrat-appointed judges voted to uphold the individual mandate and judges appointed by Republicans voted to strike it down. It was only when, in the appellate courts, two conservative Republican-appointed judges voted to uphold and one Democrat-appointed judge did the opposite, that the connection between judges and partisan politics died down a bit. But once the health care controversy reached the high court, news analyses yet-again aligned the justices not just by their judicial philosophy, but in terms of their partisan affiliations. The Court got caught up in the politics swirling around "Obamacare," which may explain the justices' continued downward slide in public approval.

And then, s-c-r-e-e-ch! Roberts! Which is to say, the whole flimsy partisan judges argument falls apart just a little bit when judges don't actually vote according to party affiliation.

What a waste of all of those pre-written columns.

Well … Maybe they can be recycled next term.

NEXT: Judge Andrew Napolitano on SB1070 and the Right of Free Association

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  1. Roberts approves of the progressive scheme to raise taxes on the young and poor.

    1. Altruism wins the day. Every Christian should rejoice. We are indeed our brothers’ keepers. Obama said so, and the Highest Court agreed.

    1. and isn’t it amazing how it is never the leftist judges who switch. Decisions like this and Kelo are only possible with right-side folks moving over.

      1. Leftism is truly demonic. Once it gets its fangs in someone they never turn back. And once someone gets in power they are nearly always pulled to it.

        1. A famous lefty once said:
          “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.” Deuteronomy 15:7-8

          1. Sure dumb ass you should do that. But that doesn’t mean taking a gun and forcing everyone else to do it. Stop corrupting religion like you do everything else.

          2. You do know that your “famous lefty” was talking about being openhanded with your own money, right?

          3. An even wiser (Samuel) warned against big government:

            “And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”

            1. “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality.”
              2 Corinthians 8:13,14

              1. Oops – a little out of context there slick.
                2 Corinthians 8

                Verse 2:
                “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own..”

                Paul was writing about voluntary charity – not government forced redistribution.

            2. “Justice in health care should be a priority of governments and international institutions. Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care. Minimal levels of medical attention to all is commonly accepted as a fundamental human right.”
              Pope Benedict XVI

              1. The statement of Papists are irrelevant to me.

            3. “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
              Luke 14:13,14

              1. I won’t be able to afford banquets, so that problem is solved.

    2. I am blocked from Youtube. What is that?

      1. I had nothing to do with it.

      2. I am blocked from Youtube. What is that?

        Youtube is a website where people can post videos and others can comment on them. But that’s not important right now.

        1. And don’t call me Shirley.

        2. Thanks for the delicious beer, sloop. Let the commentariat know that this man can brew some beer!

          1. Anytime, brother. Next week I’ll bring some more. Count on it.

  2. this should be an irony but will anyone else see it as such: the leftist commentariat had its collective thong in a knot over the prospect of a 5-4 vote.
    Well, we got a 5-4 vote but I suspect this one will NOT be viewed as political, partisan, or other synonyms.

    With this ruling should come the death of credibility to anyone who claims of a partisan SCOTUS.

    1. It wasn’t partisan, it was simply upholding of a clearly constitutional law. No experts ever thought this was constitutional, and now the utmost experts, the Supreme Court, have agreed with the only logical argument.

      1. *unconstitutional

      2. Should be “unconstitutional”, that was a typo.

        1. The mask is slipping.

        2. I’m assuming that “Should be “unconstitutional”” refers to your second use of the word “constitutional”. At first I thought you meant the first occurrence and thought maybe you weren’t an idiot after all.

          Well, now that we know there are no limits on federal power at all, if I ever get elected President, I’m going to mandate that everyone vote for my party, exclusively, every election, that everyone donate at least 10% of their earnings to my re-election fund and that everyone buy every book I ever write, even if they’re two pages long and cost $1000.

          All these things are clearly constitutional.

          1. All these things are clearly constitutional.

            Quit playing. You know they’re not constitutional.

            Now imposing a tax on people that don’t do those things? That would be A-OK!

            1. But I was replying to benji. According to him, these things are clearly constitutional. It’s only Roberts that insists the coercion has to come in the form of a tax.

      3. Shorter Benuji, it is never partisan when we like it. You realize how stupid you sound? Yes you do but don’t care.

        1. It’s not partisan because Democratic Congresses are informed enough to pass constitutional legislation.

          1. And raise taxes on those too poor to afford insurance.

            1. The penaltax is meant to not hurt those affected, what with them being poor and all.

              1. Have you ever read the history of the income tax? When it was being debated, its supporters insisted that it was intended solely to tax the wealthy.

                How did that turn out?

              2. The penaltax is meant to not hurt those affected

                no, liberal ideas are never meant to hurt the presumed beneficiaries, it just works out that way. That’s why the left prefers being judged on intentions, not outcomes.

          2. Re-read your sentence. I’m not sure you understand the word “partisan.”

            1. You guys are really going to let so obvious a troll, well, troll you so badly?

              1. I know, right? Even I spotted the trolling from a mile away, and I get sucked in more than almost anybody here not named John.

                1. They need it. I consulted the tables first.

    2. You see, it was partisan because it should have been unanimous and based on the Commerce Clause. Instead, it was 5-4 and based on the Tax Clause, with a majority against Obama’s Commerce Clause arguments. Only partisans could disagree with the Messiah’s views on the Commerce Clause.

  3. Shit. We need *more* partisanship.

  4. I suspect that this will simply be used as evidence of Obamacare’s awesomeness… it’s SO Constitutional that even the ultra-partisan Supreme Court saw how super cool it is and didn’t hold it up.

    1. This is pretty good analysis Greg, even when the Supreme Court has been stripping away the liberties of the people like in Citizens United and Heller/McDonald, here it was plainly clear that this was constitutional that not even this hard-right Supreme Court could overturn it.

      1. And a giant tax on the uninsured. Take from the uninsured and give to the insurance companies.

        1. Which is why we should have done the humane thing and passed a NHS type system instead of letting the GOP get their way.

          1. Yeah, an NHS type system would be just the kind of misery that leftards deserve.

            1. Agreed, but why do I have to deserve it as well?

              We need a revolution, and America needs to be broken up into several countries.

      2. You figure that the First and Second Amendments aren’t Constitutional or that they don’t protect individual liberties?

        1. I’m talking about how those cases struck down the liberty of the people to not have their elections corrupted by money or be shot in the street by some teabagger upset because the President is a black man.

          1. Obvious troll is obvious.

            1. Yeah. Nobody could be that genuinely stupid.

              1. You’ve obviously never seen YouTube comments.

          2. You are mischaracterizing what those cases were about. Deliberately I suspect.

          3. benji thinks liberty means something other than what it really means, and he brings the serious stupid with the race reference. By comparison, t o n y looks like a scholar.

            1. Nah. Tony can’t read a simple, clear definition like this one:


      3. even when the Supreme Court has been stripping away the liberties of the people like in Citizens United and Heller/McDonald,

        Seriously? Obvious troll is obvious.

  5. Obama’s speaking now. Lying his ass off.

  6. SHHH!


  7. Partisanship means someone has an ideology that I don’t agree with.

  8. Working on my “killer app” for smartphones: OBAMADROID.
    Doing the program coding now. What I have so far…


  9. So, Barry’s victory lap makes no mention of the fact that the Nazgul just upheld his unprecedented tax increase. I’m shocked! SHOCKED!

  10. Roberts is worse than partisan – he is afflicted with grandiosity and wants to be a Great Statesman, leading the Supreme Court in its task of unifying the people.

    In the long term, he has fortunately accepted some limits on the Commerce Clause. In the short term, he’s decided to balance out this manifestation of sanity by strained statutory interpretation – so he can uphold the ACA. Thus bringing the country together – left, right, all gazing in awe at the awesome baby-splitting capacities of the Dread Chief Justice Roberts.

    Now he’s going home to jack off to a Life of John Marshall.

    1. Now he’s going home to jack off to a Life of John Marshall.

      Those robes can hide a lot of things. He was probably already doing that during the oral arguments.

  11. Can’t stay afloat much longer.
    Too weary to swim anymore.
    The ocean of butthurt tears lapping over my chin.
    Can taste their sweetness on my lips.


    1. Tiresome troll is tiresome.

      1. [floating face-down in water]

        1. Thank Galt for small favors.

    2. The ocean of butthurt tears lapping over my chin.

      Those aren’t tears. Those are deez…

      Deez nuts!

      1. Butthurt tears just sounds like one more euphemism for santorum.

  12. Well, Roberts has done one thing, he has taken away the ability of leftists to scream about an activist court. I think that was his idea in selling out. He figured by doing this, he would get the commerce clause precident he wanted, write a tax opinion that will really hold very little precidential value and cut the legs out from under anyone who claims his court is activist or partisan now and forever.

    1. I guess that’s possible. A better result would have been for him to, I don’t know, judge solely on the constitutionality of the case, perception of his partisanship be damned.

      1. See below. He is a total fool if he thinks this is going to prevent the left from hating the court and trying to destroy it every time it does something they don’t like.

        1. If he did what you claim, John, then he should be impeached and forcibly removed from the court. Their job is not to be statesmen. It is to rule on the constitutionality of paws. Period. Full stop. Ruling by any other criteria should be immediate grounds for removal.

          And at this juncture, I’d love to see him gone. Let Obama put somebody else on the court. Hell, let him put Holder on there. It would just speed up the demise and ultimate reset that is becoming more and more inevitable every fucking day.

          1. I would love to see him impeached over t his. Never happen. But the shocked look on his face would be priceless.

    2. His opinion is now published on the internets and this very site for you to read. It’s pretty clear. “Every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality.” (Hooper v. California). The tax argument was both offered by the government and a reasonable interpretation, and he bought it.

      1. And the commerce clause doesn’t mean what you think it does. And your side whole platform can now be represented as the single proposition “tax all those who can’t afford insurance”. As I said, he is the worst Republican hack. He did this to get Romney elected President.

        1. How does this help get Romney elected?

          You do know that the ACA expands subsidies for people unable to afford insurance? You’ve been misrepresenting the law in this way all over the place and I’m curious whose slacked jaw you pulled it from.

          1. Because obama now has to explain why he raised taxes on the poor and middle class and lied about doing it. The Democrats already suffered their worst loss in a century because of this bill in 2010. And it is even more unpopular now than it was then. Obama’s best hope was that it would get struck down and not be an issue. Now it is going to be the issue in the election. And the last time that happened, the Republicans got 250+ seats in the House.

            1. Okay, I can see that, although I wonder how effective that will be just yet. When the taxes hit it will be too late.

            2. Yeah and Obama’s opponent explaining how he once thought the individual mandate was good for the country but now doesn’t will surely drive up voter enthusiasm.

              1. Is your real name Shithead, or is that just a term of endearment used for you here? Anyway, that argument only holds with the assumption that the mass of voters, on either team, actually analyze and think about issues before casting their ballots. I think even you are smart enough to realize that they are basically mindless, drooling partisans who will think, “I hate Obamacare; Republicans hate Obamacare; I vote Republican.” And even that stretch of logical association will push the limits of their critical thinking abilities.

                This will hurt Obama and help Romney, which is sad. This train wreck called the USA has tipped beyond the point of recovery. All a repeal would do is slightly delay the inevitable and prolong the pain. Let’s just get this damn wreck over with and see what happens next.

        2. As far as getting Romney elected, couldn’t this backfire? One of the big GOP selling points is “we need him to nominate conservative judges to protect the Constitution”. This suggests that there’s no point.

          1. There never was. Scalia did not rule that this violated the constitution in any meanigful way. The linchpin was the mandate versus a tax. There is no argument Scalia or any conservative can raise against the idea that the feds have the power to takeover health care.

            1. There never was.

              That’s my belief, but I think this makes the pointlessness more obvious to those who were telling themselves “I’ll hold my nose and vote for Romney to get better Supreme Court justices”.

          2. Yeah, I don’t see him nominating Kosinski or Janice Brown to the SC.

    3. Yes, that’s a big positive that they did not allow it to stand under the commerce clause and now the fact that it must be considered a tax (according to Robert’s ruling) will be out there.

      Now it will be up to the American people in this election or some future election to get congress to address it again one way or the other.

  13. Liberals on Roberts: Broken clocks, right twice a day.

  14. The upshot for me is that Roberts is a chickenshit coward who was afraid of the consequences of tossing the whole thing.

    1. Or he’s a moron, take your pick

      1. Coward.

        1. Total coward and a fool. He actually thinks this will help the court bring the country together and have more standing in its future opinions. He is another fool who let himself be seduced by the idea that liberals were reasonable. They are not. The will hate his guts even more the next time he rules against them.

          1. So much this! If Roberts seriously believes that the leftist scum are really going to like him now, he’s a complete idiot. That’s not how it works; he can go ask John McCain about that.

            1. That’s because Johm McCain turned against America and opposed the election of Barack Obama.

              1. Obvious troll is obvious.

              2. I wish an eighteen wheeler doing about 75 would cut you right in half.

            2. He tried to please everyone. I have no doubt he is shocked right now how much the right hates him over this. I am sure the thought killing it under the commerce clause would make them happy. And he is going to be equally shocked next term when the left returns to form and starts calling his court illegitimate. He tried to please everyone and ended up being hated by everyone. He just sealed the worst legacy of any Chief Justice since Justice Fuller.

              1. Not merely doing the bidding of an ignorant talk radio mob is a point in his favor.

                No serious person thought the law’s constitutionality was in question until FOX News and similar outlets started parroting the tea party argument. Scalia is a hack who probably watches too much FOX News, but Roberts would be an idiot unfit to serve as chief justice if he let such momentary passions trump judgment and legacy.

                1. Shut up Tony. You were calling him a fascist not one week ago when he ruled against the SEIU. And you will be doing the same again as soon as it is convenient for you to do so.

                  1. I’ve never called CJ Roberts a fascist. And frankly I’d rather the ACA had been struck down than Citizens United to have been upheld.

                2. No serious person except four Supreme Court Justices, some circuit court judges (and even those circuit court judges who thought it constitutional got it wrong, according to Roberts himself), and 26 states.

                  That is a narrow definition of “serious” you have.

                3. “an ignorant talk radio mob”

                  Gotta be more specific; Ed Schultz, for instance, has one of those.

    2. Roberts is a great statesman who upheld the rule of law rather than succumb to the a tiny angry racist mob.

      Our President understands this:
      “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose laws will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it”

      1. Fuck off troll. You will be back claiming he is a fascist brown shirt the first time he rules against you. Go talk to your own kind where people are stupid enough to believe you.

        1. John, good Lord, dont be it’s foil and fool! What is the matter with you?

        2. You know he’s just here to enjoy the negative vibes, right? Don’t feed him. No true libertarian should ever cry salty ham tears.

      2. Yawn. Obvious troll is obvious.

  15. John’s hysterics are fun, but there is no sweeter sound than a mob of tea partiers gasping in horror.

    When you make politics into a bloodsport, expect occasionally to feel bad.

    1. Tony you have no idea what politics as blood sport is. But if you keep fucking around you find out and I don’t think you are going to like it.

      1. I live 25 floors above the ground. I am prepared for a zombie apocalypse; I think I can handle a mob of angry septuagenarians in tricorner hats.

        1. LOL, you think they’re the ones who will get you? You’re looking in the wrong direction, brother.

          1. Are you talking about the people who live in the penthouse? They seem nice enough.

            1. oh, they’re nice all right, till someone comes to take their money. Amazing how even the most vocally self-declared liberals hand onto their money with ferocity, especially if they believe it will be given to “those” people.

              1. Notice how the snob looks down on Ordinary People from his lofty 25th-story perch.

                Fucking leftists.

    2. It’s like they don’t ever expect to lose, yet keep pushing for all these things that will come back and bite them in the ass.

      1. Just because your ass is bleeding, doesn’t mean you’re the lead dog.

    3. TThis decision is not a “win” for the Democrats, Tony.

      1. That’s exactly what it is. What it may not be is a win for liberals, though I think it may be since I believe progress is a series of incremental wins. But that wasn’t my claim, it’s that tea partiers are so emotionally invested in what is really a matter too arcane for them to understand, and that perhaps they should stop allowing themselves to get so agitated. It’s not good for democracy, which at all times requires compromise and being at peace with not always getting your way.

        1. last time tea partiers got pissed off, they formed the Tea Party and we had the ’10 vote. Poking the bear is just as smart now as it was then. And, we’re all sure you be talking about peace and harmony had 5-4 gone the other way.

          By the way, it was your side that was wringing its hands about a 5-4 vote being nothing but politically motivated decision-making. Now, it’s statesmanship.

    4. It’s okay. Enjoy yourself. When Obamacare collapses in ignominious failure you will own it, in toto. Not even the stupidest voter will buy your bleat of “Bush’s fault!” on this one.

  16. Are you guys kidding? This ruling was partisan and so is the court.

    One could only expect a partisan ruling on this. What principle allows Scalia to rule against ACA and for Gonzales (Raich v Gonzales)?

    The fact that there was one outlier does not change anything. Kennedy and Thomas are the only ones that seem guided by anything but partisanship.

  17. The rest of the world is laughing at you, America. You still have a long way to go.

    1. So what country do you live in?

      1. Its a country of one. Well, I don’t know. He may count each voice separate.

        1. He can’t even spell his own nickname right; “Cunt” has only one letter in common with the one he mistakenly chose.

  18. Romney is a douche, but a tiny part of me wants to see a Republican super-majority just so that they can pass a mandate that people own guns, and then call it a tax on non-gun-ownership. After all, by not owning guns some people are forcing us to have a bigger police force, and we all end up bearing the cost.

    They could call it the Federal Universal Caliber Keeper Yearning to Outvote the Unarmed Act, or FUCK YOU Act for short.

  19. “Back in March, David Leonhardt wrte in the New York Times”

    “Wrote”, not “wrte.” This piece needs a once-over by an editor. Thanks.

  20. Romney is a douche, but a tiny part of me wants to see a Republican super-majority so that they can pass a mandate that everybody must purchase a gun every year (the specific type to be determined by a cabinet secretary), and call the mandate a tax on non-gun-purchasers. After all, by not owning guns some people are forcing the rest of us to pay for a larger police force to protect them.

    They can call it the Federal Universal Caliber Keeper Yearning to Outvote the Unarmed Act, or the FUCK YOU Act for short.

  21. Has anyone ever seen Sandra Day O’Conner and John Roberts in the same room at the same time?

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