Supreme Court

Did Liberal Pressure Bully John Roberts Into Voting for ObamaCare?

|

CBS News is reporting that Chief Justice John Roberts, a Republican appointee who sided with the Supreme Court's liberal voting block in voting to uphold President Obama's health care law, switched his vote after initially coming down against the law's individual mandate:

Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy—believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law—led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.

"He was relentless," one source said of Kennedy's efforts. "He was very engaged in this."

But this time, Roberts held firm. And so the conservatives handed him their own message which, as one justice put it, essentially translated into, "You're on your own."

The conservatives refused to join any aspect of his opinion, including sections with which they agreed, such as his analysis imposing limits on Congress' power under the Commerce Clause, the sources said.

Why did Roberts switch? The article says that no one knows for sure, but speculates that pressure from liberal editorialists and others who warned that the high court's reputation would be ruined if it struck down the law might have made Roberts reverse his initial position:

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.

At the legal blog the Volokh Conspiracy, Stewart Baker notes that Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave an unusual and "weirdly belated" speech urging Roberts to vote in favor of the law—weird because the initial votes on the case had already been cast. Those types of speeches, Baker notes, are usually a bad idea, or at least a gamble, because of the possibility that they will backfire. So why did the senior Democrat on the Senate's judicial committee make such an unusual gamble right around the time that Roberts is now said to have "gone wobbly" and changed his vote? Were there leaks from within about Roberts' wariness that went only to one side of the aisle?

The existence of the CBS story, which reporter Jan Crawford says is sourced to two court insiders (possibly even current justices), is amazing enough on its own. But if the story and its speculation about the reasons behind Roberts' switch are true, then the implications are downright shocking: Essentially, it would mean that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was bullied into changing his position, and the ultimate outcome, on perhaps the most consequential Supreme Court case in the last several decades, because prominent Democrats and liberals threatened to throw a temper tantrum if he didn't vote the way they wanted. 

Advertisement

NEXT: Peter Suderman on How to Think About The Obamacare Decision

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Maybe when they all sat down to take a final vote on it, Justice Roberts spaced out for a moment and thought someone was taking his order for coffee?

    1. There’s a mandate to buy coffee?

    2. Real nice court you have there. Be a shame if something were to happen to it.

      1. Maybe Obama’s people have some dirt on him. Who knows?

        1. Is a person in a lifetime gig susceptible to the standard “found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy” type of blackmail?

          -jcr

          1. Justices are still impeachable.

        2. Maybe Obama’s people have some dirt on him. Who knows?

          There’s a good chance that they do. These thugs are capable of doing absolutely anything.

          Who knows, they might have even threatened to do to his or his family what they did to Andrew Breitbart.

          1. Wow, it never ceases to astonish me how such delusional people have the wherewithal to even get on the internet, much less write a comment.

            Tell us, genius, if Obama is “capable of doing absolutely anything”, how is it that he did not get Mitch “TurtleNeck” McConnell to buckle under and stop filibustering? I am sure that twerp would be far more likely to buckle under.

            1. Because McConnell isn’t a SC justice?

  2. I asked this at the bottom of the last thread. sorry for any inconvenience.

    I’ve not heard or read about people like the Amish who may have religious problems with the law. There are those others who don’t use medicine even if they are sure to die. Will these be forced to pay?

    Lawyers out there?

    1. See: Snopes. While the “myth” is about Muslims, further down it goes into the details about who is and isn’t exempt.

    2. I’ve not heard or read about people like the Amish who may have religious problems with the law.

      There are quite a few Amish communities where I live. I can’t imagine any of them have an income that would put them above the poverty line. So they won’t have to buy insurance as they will qualify for Medicaid.

    3. Therefore, beginning in 2014, many Americans (including many Christian Scientists) will be required to buy health insurance, or pay a penalty for noncompliance. Currently, Christian Scientists are neither accommodated in nor exempted by this law. However, we are actively working to find appropriate solutions for Christian Scientists as we continue engaging with representatives of federal and state governments.

      http://christianscience.com/wh…..reform-law

      Remember Obamacare is about insurance and not medical care. I’m not a CS, but I would say that they would ok with it as long as any approved insurance plan was required to include CS practitioners. Payments to CS practitioners are deductible as medical expenses currently.

  3. There’s a narrow religious exemption built into the mandate.

    1. No way I’m reading this turd of a law. Do we have link that describes what’s what?
      (shaving upper lip)

      1. Yeah, you won’t read it, but you are willing to make false assertions as to what is in it.

    2. Basically, Amish get to opt out, and religious groups which cater to their own members get a partial opt-out. But if you’re a religious group which helps the general public, tough, no exemption for you, why should religious get special privileges?

      1. Yeah, insurance is “gambling” to the batshit crazy religionists.

        1. Are you suggesting that they let you dictate their doctrine to them, Shriek?

        2. HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW!

          1. It IS like gambling, shrike. Except you only get a “payout” if bad shit happens.

            God, you’re a stupid cunt.

      2. why should religious get special privileges?

        Because the first amendment says so. If the liberals don’t like it, they should mount a campaign to repeal the first amendment.

        1. It doesnt say that exactly. Do you find it workable if the religious are allowed to pick and choose which laws they may follow?

          1. Within extremely broad parameters, yes.

            1. Within extremely broad parameters, yes.

              Do you mean a liberal definition of a religion, or something else?

              1. I mean fewer laws, as X says below.

          2. No, which is why the answer is to have as few laws as possible.

          3. Subject to the same public safety and justice system functioning exceptions that apply to the freedom of speech, yes.

          4. I mean, if a law requiring you to provide contraceptives to your employees isn’t a violation of free exercise, what the hell isn’t? It’s basically a ban on practicing Catholics employing anyone.

            1. Basically, you should be allowed to do anything that doesn’t deprive anybody else of their own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, am I right?

              1. Yeah. The only religious exemptions should be coincidental, in that nobody else has to / can’t do it either.

              2. Philosophically that should be the ideal (with rare concessions to reality). It is not, however, the thrust of the actual constitution/BoR combo, which is NOT a libertarian document at its heart.

                1. ^ replying to Mr. Gobbla.

    3. Isn’t a religious exemption an establishment of religion? I say if anyone is exempt anyone can be exempt.
      I don’t want our pious brothers dragged down the same road with everyone who has electricity, I say these swine who would be our masters should stop meddling in peoples business.

  4. 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.

    Job well done.

    1. If the article is right and this was his attempt to make the court seem legitimate, he’s literally retarded:

      5-4 vote either way. The way he went, he sided against the general public, with the side that has the SG who wrote the law and refused to recuse, using the rational that the mandate is both a tax and not-a-tax, depending on what’s convenient. He also engaged in judicial activism by redefining the mandate as a tax, when Congress was explicit in structuring it as a penalty.

  5. What a gutless scumbag.

    Something is either constitutional or its not. Doesn’t matter if 90% of the country likes or doesn’t like your ruling.

    But at least Roberts will still get invited to the right cocktail parties in DC.

    1. If you only knew the kinky shit that goes on in the back of those DC cocktail parties, you’d understand the kind of pressure Roberts was under.

      1. If reason only did live PPV of their parties they could stop asking for donations.

        1. They had to start registration for their parties after some trolls showed up to spam their conversations.

  6. Cue Shreik lecture on conservative yahoos threatening the independence of the judiciary.

    1. The only bullying mentioned in the article came from the conservative bloc of the Court.

      Of course that means that liberals were really behind it somehow.

      1. I don’t see any allusion to bullying by the mossbacks. What I do see is all the threats of ostracism, smears, historical condemnation by the Left’s machine should Roberts vote the “wrong” way. And, in the end, which one worked?

        1. A “month long campaign led by Kennedy” is great deal closer to bullying than a Leahy speech that Roberts probably didn’t hear anyway.

          “Weirdly belated” – yeah, that is scary.

          1. You have no idea what that campaign consisted of, and it’s almost certain it was filled with legal and intellectual pleadings to not do what he did: Rewrite the law and twist the Constitution.

            OTOH, we have hundreds of examples of what the Left’s campaign consisted of, and it was exactly what I said.

            1. Yeah? The only angry mob I have seen in DC was the Tea Party in March 2010 when the ACA was signed.

              Are you saying political pressure is strictly a Democratic phenomena?

              1. I would expect Roberts’ fear of being assaulted by the Tea Party nestles somewhere below that of being eaten alive by piranhas.

                But the fear of being socially ostracized, slandered in the papers, sneered at in historians’ accounts? And it isn’t the right that owns those, slave-boy.

                1. Roberts would be in serious danger at a July 4th Tea Party gathering in the South.

                  1. Danger of what, Shriek? Having his lawn mowed? His shirts ironed?

                    I’ll remind you it’s the leftist in Occupy that are killing, assaulting, burning, smashing and conspiring to destroy.

                    1. I think the OWS crowd is nutty too – but less violent.

                      The Rudolphs, McVeighs, doctor killing Hutaree right-wing is more violent.

                    2. During the 20th century, each of the 10 largest unions in America engaged in more violence and more intimidation than all right-wing “hate groups” put together.

                    3. I don’t use the term “hate group”.

                      And labor was fighting for their lives against private police groups hired by management. You really don’t want to defend mercenary police, do you?

                      Management deliberately killed over 100 women at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

                    4. Palin’s Buttplug|7.1.12 @ 8:49PM|#
                      “And labor was fighting for their lives against private police groups hired by management. You really don’t want to defend mercenary police, do you?”

                      “Mercenary police”? You mean like the Pinkertons hired to protect the property at Homestead and murdered by the union thugs?
                      Those “mercenary police”, shreik?

                    5. Management deliberately killed over 100 women at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

                      Wow.

                      I knew you were a fucking liar, but that’s over the top even for you.

                    6. Wasn’t the “Labor Movement” born of a terrorist bomb attack on bystanders and police in Chicago?

                    7. Rudolph and McVeigh were not in the TP, bright boy.

                      Can you cite the number of cops assulted by the TP? Buildings burned? Bombings planned? Windows smashed? Property invaded?

                    8. Waco was rather violent

                    9. Yes,the ATF and FBI were violent.

          2. The justices campaign to enlist the other justices on their side of the ruling on literally every single case.

            Listening to Kennedy bitch is what Roberts draws a paycheck for.

            But there really can’t be any serious dispute that in the runup to the ACA ruling there was a considerable liberal drumbeat saying that overturning the mandate would be unacceptable partisanship. A drumbeat that included open calls for court packing as a response.

            OTOH, a lot of that complaining took place after the decision was already made. So it’s hard to know if Roberts is a pussy, or just a fool.

            1. But there really can’t be any serious dispute that in the runup to the ACA ruling there was a considerable liberal drumbeat saying that overturning the mandate would be unacceptable partisanship.

              Just like Citizens United and to some extent Heller/McDonald.

              A drumbeat that included open calls for court packing as a response.

              Which Roberts would have known would go nowhere. It ain’t 1937 and Obama isn’t FDR (and FDR faced considerable resistance even then).

              If you think the Chief Justice is a pussy or a fool, maybe you need to double check the chain of reasoning that got you to that conclusion.

              1. This seemed like much more extreme pressure and statements than what I’ve seen in the past.

              2. FDR’s court packing campaign only stopped when one of the Justices against him suddenly and inexplicably caved and switched sides.

                Sound familiar, slaver?

            2. Oh, and Obamacare isn’t the New Deal, and the Dems don’t own filibuster proof majorities in Congress.

          3. HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW!

          4. A “month long campaign led by Kennedy” is great deal closer to bullying…

            Yeah, I heard Kennedy was giving Roberts wedgies on a daily basis, stealing his per diems and locking him in chambers.

            1. The mussing of hair had to be the last straw.

          5. Yeah, because Anthony Kennedy has such a reputation as a right-wing firebrand who threatens opponents and bends the laws of decency and honor to get his way.

            Shreck, at this point I think we can definitively say that you’re nothing but a partisan whore. You’ve been on these very boards defending Kennedy as one of the good, respectable justices. Now, because you find it convenient, you’re willing to make him out a bully.

      2. Someone failed reading and comprehension.

      3. HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW!

  7. At first I thought this was just…wishful thinking, or something.

    Now I’m starting to think it’s true.

    If the former, and he just made a too-clever decision, that’s bad enough.

    If the latter, and he caved to pressure, he’s an utter pussy not fit to sit on a Michigan County Court, much less the SCOTUS.

    Making unpopular decisions is a huge part of leadership. Way to be a gutless pussy, Roberts. Fuck you very much.

    1. He did make the unpopular decision.

      1. But not unpopular to the people who really count, and they have never been more explicitly clear about that than in the last four years.

      2. I might have picked a better word with “difficult”, but fuck Roberts, regardless.

  8. Heckuva job, Robbie!

  9. So what’s worse, Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman leaving threatening notes in Roberts’ locker, or the fact that Principal Obama turned a blind eye to it?

    1. Look, Hugh, just because you’re bitter that Pauly Krugnuts gave you a Texas Chili Bowl doesn’t mean you have to drag his name into this. Oh, by the way, make sure you get your lunch money to me early today; I’m hungry already.

      1. Why do I still google these things? I know I’m not going to like what I find!

  10. It wouldn’t mean Roberts was bullied into anything.

    It would simply mean that Roberts is a narcissist judge who rules on public opinion than on law.

    1. except public opinion was soundly AGAINST the public mandate prior to his decision

      1. It depends on where you get your public opinion from. Legacy news sources were all abuzz with the notion that an overturning would delegitimize the court.

        1. They also said that about Citizens United and to some extent McDonald/Heller.

          1. Yeah, but this time they were really big on it, as if this would be some sort of point of no return.

            1. Yup, the Summer of the End of America.

              Like the Summer of Recovery it never would have showed up but by the time the media reported it Obama would be deep into his 2nd term.

      2. You have to calibrate your definition of “public” to the subset of the population that Roberts circulates in.

        1. that’s true. there is PUBLIC opinion, then there is “inside the beltway” elite

          1. The latter.

            1. You realize the seriousness of the accusation you guys are making now? With zero evidence. Wow.

              1. Occams razor?

              2. im not making any accusation whatsoever. i have NO idea why roberts apparently changed his mind, if he did so.

              3. Evidence is there, Tulpa. Most of it is circumstantial, but it still exists.

  11. Stewart Baker notes that Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave an unusual and “weirdly belated” speech urging Roberts to vote in favor of the law

    Fuckin’ Leahy, ruining the trailer park with his bullshit.

    He really got Roberts to shoot himself with the hair-triggered double-barreled shit machine gun on this one.

    1. Sometimes it’s better to watch a shit tree grow instead of shitting–or shaking–the shitapple out of it.

    2. He’s takin’ the shit tornado right back to Oz.

    3. Look Leahey, you know shit about me, and I know shit about you. That makes us shit brothers.

  12. Of course, this is CBS, the “National Guard Memos” network. But they might have gotten it right this time, for all I know.

    1. It lines up with what H+R readers want to believe, so it’s going to be treated as gospel.

    2. They’re also the Fast and Furious network. You have to take the bad with the good.

      1. You mean gun blogs are run by CBS?

        1. They’re the only MSM network that’s even reporting the story in any sort of depth.

          1. They’re also over a year behind the gun blogs.

            1. Indeed, but Mr Anisthenes is probably thinking in relative terms.

  13. My money is on Roberts having a fondness for little boys, and President Barry, the kind, compassionate soul that he is, deciding to turn a blind eye to it. On one condition……….

    See: “Boss” starring Kelsey Grammer and The Godfather, Part II (Senator Geary)

    1. Also, George W. Bush sure is racking up in his legacy of American Destructionism… What with…

      9/11, infecting us with neoconservatism, attacking the wrong country, the prescription drug program, picking a rock-ribbed conservative Justice Roberts, and then delivering unto us Baby Jesus Obama…

      MUUTHER–F*…’er

    2. He does have that dirty priest look.

  14. So you’re telling me these “inside sources” kept the decision — which if they knew this stuff, they must have known — secret all this time, then blabbed to flerking CBS News (of all places!) at the first opportunity about internal deliberations.

    Unlike a prediction of the decision itself, these claims are totally unfalsifiable, as none of the justices will publicly discuss such things, so sorry if I’m a tad suspicious of “anonymous sources” on it.

  15. And of course, it’s not as if Roberts has never made a decision that pissed off liberals before. He’s been raked over the coals after Heller, Citizens United, and that big affirmative action case.

    1. Maybe he thought he needed to rebuild political capital.

      1. By upholding an extremely unpopular law? If so, he needs a new political advisor.

    2. That’s kind of the point: The “Roberts Court”, as it’s been dubbed, was being seen as political — at least, that’s the line the MSM was pushing a month ago.

  16. Sometimes I wonder if the whole country has gone insane and I’m the only sane one left. We have a law upheld that forces people to buy a product at gun point, that was vehemently denied to be a tax when it was passed. Its denied to be a tax now, but the Court found it legal as a tax.

    Meanwhile, the DOJ shipped guns to Mexican drug cartels that resulted in the deaths of a couple of Americans and hundreds of Mexicans. The DOJ and President is now engaged in a cover up of the events. 50% of the country sees nothing wrong with the government using American tax dollars to help cartels murder people and thinks its just partisan and racist that people are trying to find out who’s responsible.

    Shouldn’t the U.S. be better than this? Were we ever better than this or am I just nostalgic for something that never existed?

    1. No one is forcing you to buy shit. Just don’t expect an IRS refund if you skip out on health insurance. Proper withholding will prevent any loss on your part.

      1. If I don’t buy insurance and I don’t pay the penalty I’m pretty sure eventually men with guns will show up to take me to prison or take some of my property.

        1. Don’t respond to the sockpuppet, dude. It’s what it wants. Just ignore the fucking thing.

          1. lets not also forget multiple lower courts soundly rejected the idea of obamacare being a tax

            regardless of what one thinks of obamacare as POLICY, this scotus “reasoning” is ridiculous

            it makes raich seem level headed… :l

        2. Shit, Gannicus. Obama keeps referring to his efforts to raise taxes as “asking” the rich to pay more.

          1. You can get more with a kind word and a gun than just with the kind word alone.

            1. You can get more with a kind word and a gun than just with the kind word alone.

              The wisdom of Alphonse Capone. He would have done well in government.

          2. Yep. He’s merely asking. If you say “no” long enough, men with guns will serve warrants on any banks where you have accounts to drain those accounts while more men with guns will raid your house, take your belongings and ‘ask’ you to come with them to a jail cell.

        3. men with guns will show up to take me to prison

          Or if you’re lucky, women with whips and testicle handcuffs.

      2. And with this belch of kulturmog, our “libertarian” friend Shriek announces his love and admiration for forcing people to buy things.

        1. I have never defended the mandate. Not once.

          I did correctly predict the decision by the SCOTUS though.

          1. You just did defend it, nancy-boy.

            1. Not at all.

              If I state that Prohibition was Constitutionally valid in the 1920’s I am not defending it. I am stating a fact.

              The mandate was the price to pay the Insurers to consent to legislation. The whole idea reeks.

              1. “No one is forcing you to buy shit.”

                And if you give me your wallet as I hold my .357 on you, no one forced you since I didn’t actually shoot you.

              2. HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW!

      3. HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW!

    2. America has never really lived up to its ideals. Slavery, genocide, imperialism. The federal government was out of control from the moment it was created. During world war II, we were a fascist power in all but name. We are the only nation to use nuclear weapons on a heavily populated area. Still, may as well try to keep those ideals alive so that maybe a future generation will come close to living up to them.

      1. For all the pessimism here I have to add….
        We have come closest to living up to those ideals than any people/nation/culture in history and we are making progress still. It may seem painful and slow, but consider all that we have accomplished in a mere 200 years. So, we have had some setbacks…..

        Get pissed off and fight.

    3. The same way that dinosaurs reached an end to their evolution, for reasons still no exactly understood, I sense we’re on the same route. I think maybe our path to extinction involves all of us becoming collectively dumber. I swear we may have peaked as a society 15-20 years ago, and now we’re slowly devolving into people who start fights at Denny’s or gas stations, and our desire to be ruled by the state will collectively rise until said state bankrupts us and debases our currency until we’re bartering our children for drinking water.

      End times, baby. End times.

      But, hey…new season of Breaking Bad coming up. That’s something to tie us over for a little while. Until we’re each other..

      1. Until we eat each other…

      2. And President Comacho is twenty years in our future, not two hundered.

        1. I hate to break it to you, VG, but President Camacho is our present.

    4. You are just nostalgic for something that never existed, sorry to tell you. It has always been this way.

    5. And the federal government sued a state for enforcing a federal law that the feds refuse to enforce. while at the same time remaining silent on states and localities that are openly contemptuous of the same federal law.

      Meanwhile, the feds are raiding medical marijuana clinics, which the president specifically promised not to do, under the guise of enforcing state laws that the states in question say are not being violated.

  17. Some game-theoretic speculations:

    1. The public pressuring dance, by Leahy and Obama and others, was not to affect Roberts. It came after the Obama-ists were assured that Roberts was a lock on their team. The pressure is a display to future potential opponents to show that the Obama team fights mean, is willing to fight dirty, and gets things done. The Obama team wants others to think that they are willing and able to use whatever means are necessary to get their way.

    2. Roberts likely caved to private and direct pressure of a type unsuitable for general audiences. But even if Roberts did not cave, after the revelation that things went the Obama team’s way, it is now valuable to the them to convince people that Roberts did indeed cave.

    1. For what it’s worth…I recall Limbaugh early last week indicating that one justice who might be soft was not Kennedy (as was the conventional thinking), but Justice Roberts. Limbaugh then said, oh, no, I can’t talk about this. I’m not allowed to. The implication being that he has some inside source in the courts who was wary of Roberts.

      But that’s Limbaugh. You have to take what he says with a helping of gas.

      1. There was an article in Reason about Roberts being a possible fifth vote to uphold a few weeks ago due to his love of “judicial restraint”. You didn’t need inside info to know that he was a weak point for overturning the law.

        1. You are right, sunny, but there’s not enough helpings of gas to take with what Ed Schultz says.

  18. So we have a totally unfalsifiable report from “anonymous sources” about the vote change, combined with pure speculation about the reason for said vote change, and half of H+R is going to lap it up like gospel…because WeWantToBelieve?.

    1. While we should always be wary of unidentified sources, it does sound plausible given the unusual nature of the majority opinion and the dissent.

      Maybe Scalia or Kennedy took some of their clerks aside and told them to annoymously leak the info to the press.

      1. It’s going to have to be more than plausible to make me believe a Chief Justice who’s been raked over the coals for “political” decisions before suddenly turned into a softy who was terrified of Pat Leahy and striking down an immensely unpopular law.

        1. Well, there is also the textual evidence that the conservative “dissents” were originally written as part of a majority decision.

          1. AKA speculation.

            1. Right, I admit we have no ironclad proof, but the theory is certainly plausible given the peculiar way the dissent reads.

            2. That’s not speculation, but fact. There are passages in Scalia’s opinion that refer to the “dissent,” but which are, in fact, the majority opinion. Clearly Scalia’s opinion was once in the majority, but suddenly became the minority opinion. Roberts doing a U-turn would do that.

              1. Formal logic is not Tulpa’s strong suit. It bears a taxonomical interest to him, not a functional one.

              2. When I first read the opinion, I assumed that Roberts bailed at the last moment. I based this on the 14-15 references to the dissent (which now turns out to be the majority) by the (now) losing team .

                I assumed it happened so late in the game that the language was missed on redraft. Also the fact that it was unsigned was a bit odd.

                Now I think it’s possible that the losing four intentionally left (or inserted) those references to leave a clear trail of blood back to their murderer.

                If so, bully for them.

            3. Except this isn’t a criminal trial. The evidence available before us in the form of the language of the rulings, is entirely consistent with this additional evidence and the theory of events it suggests.

        2. Jesus probably told him to do it.

    2. HR is no different than any other den of ideologues. if something fits the metanarrative, it will be assumed as true, despite little to no evidence.

      kind of how feministing lapped up the duke rape case from the beginning

      this roberts narrative MAY be true, but the evidence to believe it’s true is hella thin thus far

      1. Whether or not this fanciful tale is true is irrelevant. The fact remains that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America essentially did the Solicitor General’s job for him, from the safety and comfort of the bench.

        1. you got no argument from me on that

        2. Oh horror!

          It’s quite well established that SCOTUS does not need to base its decision solely on the statements of the attorneys during arguments. They’re not a jury. What would be the point of amicus briefs if they had to only consider arguments of the attorneys?

          1. Sure, but one would think that if the entire decision was going to turn on the taxation argument, that maybe they would have spent at least some time discussing that issue. It wasn’t pressed by the government, and in fact, the government again indicated that it wasn’t a tax so that the AIA wouldn’t prevent the case from being heard. It was an afterthought.

            While we don’t know if this story is true, the opinions (especially the dissent) do seem to read very strangely, almost as if they were initially going to be on the other side.

  19. I think we may see Roberts buying a topical island somewhere. What other explanation is there? The guy took care of him and his family, and the hell with the rest of us serfs. He sees the US headed where it is going, to a totalitarian police state, with no middle class, only elite politically powerful and the miserably poor that occasionally get thrown some scraps by their comnpassionate overlords. Liberals are so fucking stupid.

  20. tropical, not topical, bitches. STFU!

    1. I was trying to think of what Islands were in the news recently…

      1. CJ Roberts is in Malta this week.

        1. What kinda commie goes to Malta to celebrate the 4th of July anyway?

          Real Americans celebrate it at home or in Mexico, dammit.

          1. Says the Hero of the Soviet Union…

  21. There’s a difference between what’s good for freedom and what’s constitutional, and the Supreme Court is only required to attend to the latter.

    Yes, the federal authority to tax income is very bad for liberty, but it’s entirely constitutional.

    If you don’t like it the solution is to amend the constitution. Until then, you’re stuck with it.

    1. Too rational. Please move to Canada.

      1. I already live in Canada. My screen name is factual.

        1. It was a joke. Someone compiled a nice list of conservatives who were moving to Canada to escape Obamacare.

          1. “Someone compiled a nice list of conservatives who were moving to Canada to escape Obamacare.”

            That may be a very rational choice depending on the individual’s health status and income level. If you’re poor and sick, Canada’s a better deal than Obamacare.

            Me personally, I’d prefer a completely private insurance system based on my health (perfect) and income (top percentile).

            Canada penalizes me for my income (forcing me to subsidize the poor), and ObamaCare would penalize me for being healthy (making me subsidize the sick).

            1. Torontonian|7.1.12 @ 9:19PM|#
              “If you’re poor and sick, Canada’s a better deal than Obamacare.”

              Unless you need medical care before you die.

              1. + 1,000,000

          2. Years ago, a bunch of your fellow leftists threatened to move to Canada if Bush got re-elected, shrike.

            They lied, of course.

    2. It is questionable whether the mandate payment is truly an income tax, since it’s the same regardless of your income.

      1. I wondered that myself, since the 16th Amendment only permits tax on income from whatever source.

        The “penalty” payment (when it is fully phased in) will be 2.5% of income, with a floor of $695, and a cap of $2085.

        So, I have to agree with Roberts’ opinion on this.

        1. Ah, I stand corrected. I had heard it was constant.

        2. Still, there appears to be a difference between a tax that is imposed because you earned income and a tax that is because you didn’t purchase a product that the feds say that you must purchase. If it is going to be considered an income tax, Roberts should have explicitly labeled it as such, which I don’t believe that he did.

          The problem with the tax argument is similar to the one with the Commerce Clause – there is no activity. It can’t be an excise tax because there is no good or service being purchased. As far as being an income tax, it is not triggered by the earning of income – it is triggered by the failure to obey an order to purchase. You could try to characterize it as a deduction, but that is a whole lot harder to do when you have denied all along, including in the language of the bill, that it is a tax at all.

          Probably the most significant reason for not considering it a tax is the repeated denial of those who wrote it and passed it that it was a tax at all. Had they been honest and admitted that they were expecting many billions in new taxes as a result of the bill, it might not have passed. It only passed on the narrowest of margins, and that was with all kinds of outright bribery and procedural tricks. If politicians are allowed to pass one bill at the Capitol and have a different one heard before the Court, then even our limited recourse through the political process becomes even more limited.

        3. The “penalty” payment (when it is fully phased in) will be 2.5% of income, with a floor of $695, and a cap of $2085.

          Which means that it’s not an income tax at all but a penalty assessed only in part on ability to pay.

          There is not an income tax anywhere that starts with a flat amount regardless of income.

      2. The mandate payment sounds like a direct tax to me, and thus it must be imposed on states in proportion to the population of that state.

    3. The most offensive of taxes is not the income tax, but the property tax. I have no idea how that should be allowed in a country that has a government by and for the people. Property tax is bullshit and should be eliminated. One time tax on a proptery sale and then it is YOURS, not the governments. Private proprety is not a reality when property tax is allowed.

      1. I guess that sewer, street repair, garbage pickup, police, and fire is gonna do it for free?

        1. Nice false choice, troll

        2. I live in the Sacramento area and sewer and garbage are not payed by property taxes. For example, garbage collection is done by a for profit company and the fee is based on the size, type and number of trash bins you have. You can schedule special trash removals at additional cost. None of these are based on the value of the property.

        3. I live in rural Indiana. I have no sewer, I pay for my own well and septic system. Garbage is a private for profit company. The fire department is volunteer and the road back here is gravel. Only State police have jurisdiction here, but everyone’s armed so they’re never called. And to really add insult to injury, I home schooled all my kids,so fuck off slaver.

      2. I’m okay with paying a property tax to fund municipal public goods (police, parks, local roads, etc.)

        They legitimately add to (or protect) a property’s value, beyond whatever value the owner bought/created.

        How would you fund public goods if not a property tax?

        1. Nando and Torontonian, are the 2 of you married? I am sure both of you are all for more taxes, since neither of you pay any. Statist idiots.

        2. Does a person use more police, parks, roads, etc. just because their house is more valuable? It would be one thing to have user fees to support such things, but when you link it to home prices, you skew things away from the user fee concept into a more redistributive model.

          1. Poor people wouldn’t be able to enjoy a park because they’d have to choose between eating and going to the park.

            1. Not sure if serious?

              1) Most public parks are free to visit, and are open to people equally.

              2) Unlike streets that get more worn down and more crowded with use, the usefulness of a park is not substantially decreased by one more person visiting.

              3) Does eating take poor people all day? Why are they not able to visit a free park after their meal?

              1. Parks are free because of property taxes.

              2. here in my neck of WA pretty much all the state parks have gone to pay as you use them vs. free btw.

                1. and City Parks?

                2. Sure, but part of the argument is about city parks and other services increasing property values. Most people are not that close to state parks to be particularly affected.

            2. Kinda funny, but the spoof is too obvious.

            3. I don’t really care about poor people’s ability to enjoy a park any more than their ability to enjoy an art gallery or symphony performance.

              Parks are a public good because they’re non-excludable and non-rivalrous (up to the point of capacity).

          2. Does a person use more police, parks, roads, etc. just because their house is more valuable?

            The argument is that those things increase the value of the property whether the owner uses them or not.

            1. fwiw, as a popo myself, n=20+ yrs, ime the poorer neighborhoods/citizens disproportionatly use substantially more police services. they are more likely to be victims of crime, ESPECIALLY part I/violent crimes that we expend the vast majority of our resources

              look at disparate homicide victimization rates based on income, for example

              1. ime the poorer neighborhoods/citizens disproportionatly use substantially more police services. they are more likely to be victims of crime, ESPECIALLY part I/violent crimes that we expend the vast majority of our resources

                The theory is that violent and property crime levels directly affect the value of property and that those crime levels are affected by the level of policing in the area.

            2. Don’t those things increase the value of all of the properties in the area?

              Anyway, I like the idea proposed by some economists to unbundle many local services. Instead of one jurisdiction taxing for a big bundle of services, allow competing services with coverage areas that might differ based on the service provided.

              1. Oh Lawdy my neighbor’s house is on fire! Which Fire Department services his income group and address?

                1. Yeah, because the fire department is the first thing that people want to cut or change right? This is basically just a variation of the roads argument right?

                  Got it, and I will be moving to Somalia shortly.

                  1. No, This is an argument about NO Property taxes whatsoever.

                    1. 1) If not covered already most people would seek out fire protection.

                      2) I believe that the concept is not that each person privately contracts for each of their own services as an individual, as much as the coalition of people contracting for fire might be different than the one contracting for garbage pickup. Having more and smaller jurisdictions makes it easier to make changes.

                    2. and as your neighbor, if your house catches fire, how do I know which fire department you have on contract?

                    3. Nando|7.1.12 @ 10:45PM|#
                      “and as your neighbor, if your house catches fire, how do I know which fire department you have on contract?”‘

                      What a steaming pile of stuff!
                      If fire departments were privatized, the value of your property would be affected by those who contracted for…
                      Oh, the hell with it: You’re an ignoramus who can’t think. If Mommy doesn’t give it to you, you’re at a dead end.

                    4. Got it. My neighbor’s house burns, I call my fire department to save my own house. Fuck what happens to my neighbor’s shit.

                    5. Or the fire department, in the interest of maintaining its good reputation, puts out the fire and then bills your neighbor or your neighbor’s insurance if your neighbor isn’t subscribed to them.

                    6. I’m sure my neighbor would just hug me for giving them a 2nd bill for fire service.

                    7. Not as hard as he would “hug” your neck for not even bothering to call, numbnuts.

              2. Don’t those things increase the value of all of the properties in the area?

                Of course, which supports the notion of local services increasing property values.

                1. Nando you numbnuts. Google volunteer fire departments. We take of our damn selves.

                  —proud volunteer firewoman

      3. I agree with your sentiment. Property tax is a local school tax for the most part.

      4. A tax for the “privilege” of owning things vs a tax for the “privilege” of making money. They both stink of the funkiest kind of shit.

        1. My point is this. It seems so simple to me. You buy something, you pay a tax to fund roads, and other public things like that. I don’t even have a problem with income tax, although I would prefer a flat consumption tax. But a property tax means that there is no private property. I should never have to pay tax on anything more than one time.

          1. I was in Iraq for all of 2007. My Jeep was in Colorado the whole time. When I got back, the State of Arkansas demanded property taxes on property that was never in the state during the year, owned by an individual who was never in the state during the year. I told them to go fuck themselves, but they didn’t listen.

      5. Agree. I hate the idea of non-property owning apartment dwellers voting to raise my property taxes.

        1. They’re just stupid then. The fact that they don’t get a property tax bill with their name on it doesn’t mean they aren’t paying. Property taxes get rolled into the rents, just like corporate taxes are rolled into the price of goods and services.

    4. If you don’t like it the solution is to amend the constitution. Until then, you’re stuck with it.

      if it is a tax, then no one has legal standing to bring the case up the tax goes in effect, as Ito pointed out on the first day of oral arguments.

  22. Citizens United was a much, much more dangerous decision WRT both liberal politicos and public opinion turning against SCOTUS. The public mostly wanted PPACA overturned. Why on earth would Roberts make the less popular decision in CU and then cave on this one, if as is alleged, he is simply scared silly?

    1. Much brighter light on PPACA from the get-go? I don’t recall Citizens United being quite as big until people started the false “SCOTUS SAID CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE!” nonsense after the decision.

  23. Who knows why he changed his mind. Someone might have pictures of him with a boyfriend or girlfriend. He clearly likes to give it in the ass.

  24. So Roberts is the bad, bad boy and the coward?

    And what was J Alito doing asking questions about how ObamaCare would raise the deficit, when that has nothing to do w/ the constitution (why a lot of us want a BBA)? Wasn’t he “working backward” for the result he wanted as you claim CJ Roberts did…but w/ no pretense at all of caring about the Constitution.

    And J Kennedy is supposed to be brave when Roberts is a coward? Everyone knows Kennedy is a poll-reading Justice. Do you really believe if the polls said ObamaCare was enormously popular he would have been so strident on serverability?

    And then there’s J Scalia…cracking jokes about how reading the bill might violate the Constitution “as a cruel and unusual punishment”. Yeah he cares about the Constitution and the prestige of the Court. I wish we had more like him and less like CJ Roberts…oh, wait I don’t.

    Granted, I would have just thrown out the Mandate and dared the liberals not to save what was left (if the conservatives would not join w/ me on serverability). But anyone who doesn’t think that the actions of the four conservatives had more to do w/ their thinking it was a bad law than w/ the Constitution wasn’t paying attention to their questions in oral arguments.

    Lastly, I find it hilarious that conservatives were calling for “respect for the Court” when Obama seemed to demand a certain ruling: and now you’re all following Obama’s thug advice while accusing Roberts of doing so.

    LOL@you

    1. Hello, stupid. Goodbye, stupid.

      1. “Hello, stupid. Goodbye, stupid.” – killazontherun

        You don’t mind if I plagiarize that do you? I’ve been assigned to write a version of “Hamlet” in modern English, and I think that blows away “to be or not to be”. Also might work for when he finds that dude’s skull in the graveyard and shit.

        1. Knock yourself out. For the later scene I’d consider adding a little modern scatological horror: ‘Alas, poor Yorick, I skullfucked him to Hell.’

  25. So I unwisely posted a comment on a local “Patch” debate about the Obamacare decision after some nitwit wrote that he was “sick of hearing the simplistic Randian economic gibberish that denies the existence of a huge, poorly nourished (sick?) underclass.” I briefly pointed out that he was misstating Objectivism for one, and that our “poor” not only have a very high standard of living compared to most of the world, there is much obesity in the underclass rather than starvation.

    His answer is one for the ages. Realize this posting board is from a neighborhood that is quite affluent, tends to be fairly middle-of-the-road politically (I have heard it described as ‘conservative Democrats’). We are not far from Berkeley, perhaps this fellow wishes he lived on the other side of the hills:

    (follows on next, too much for one comment):

    1. “I am not going to argue the fine points of your statement. Suffice to say I see it as underinformed. The subject of this economic discussion is health and the treatment and care of those that lack it. First you need a lot of sick people. Lots. I would feel safe in saying that an individual born and raised in many a third world country may eat a more substantive diet than most in the United Sates, including many in the middle class where obesity is rampant. After what may have started out as ‘food’ has the life and nutrition processed out of it, the result is a standardized, chemically flavored glop that may look like food, but in truth is not food at all. Mix in air and water teeming with chemical agents and you have an environment that is a petrie dish for diseases of all sorts to fester and kill. These fat people are essentially starving under layer after layer of what the body produces from the junk it cannot process into fuel and other essential building blocks for healthy organisms. If Americans were simply smart enough about proper diet and exercise and insisted that clean air and water were more important than mindless corporate bottom lines, those long lines at those clinics you envision would not exist. The greed driven Industrial Revolution spelled the end of a safe, nutritious food supply and created a plethora of ailments and disease unknown before that time. Want to know what’s wrong with the so-called ‘first world’? Go watch ‘Super Size Me’.”

      1. Hahahaha,

        I would feel safe in saying that an individual born and raised in many a third world country may eat a more substantive diet than most in the United Sates, including many in the middle class where obesity is rampant.

        1. Who knew those Ugandan kids had it so good?

          1. Tell Sally Struthers that those little bastards should be sending me money for making me live in such deplorable conditions here in the US.

      2. “These fat people are essentially starving under layer after layer of what the body produces from the junk it cannot process into fuel and other essential building blocks for healthy organisms.”

        Jack Black @ the end of King Kong: “It wasn’t the bullets. It was the burgers that killed the beast”.

      3. “After what may have started out as ‘food’ has the life and nutrition processed out of it, the result is a standardized, chemically flavored glop that may look like food, but in truth is not food at all.”

        Truly a comment worthy of shithead or another religious whacko who assumes facts are irrelevant to the discussion.
        Revelation triumphs!

      4. I am not going to argue the fine points of your statement. Suffice to say I see it as underinformed.

        Shorter version: I’m going to ignore everything you wrote because I have no satisfactory response to it and proceed to rant on some petty-bourgeosie feel-good environmentalist bullshit that doesn’t require me to do anything but watch “Super-Size Me” and make clucking noises at the fatty-fat-fats.

  26. Palin’s Buttplug|7.1.12 @ 8:49PM|#
    “Management deliberately killed over 100 women at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.”

    Got a cite for this claim, shriek?

    1. Even if he does, it’s bogus. Even the least charitable version of events to management doesn’t fit that description. Indifference to their deaths maybe, but certainly not deliberately killing them.

      1. Voros McCracken|7.1.12 @ 10:22PM|#
        “Even if he does, it’s bogus….”

        Not surprising. See my post at 9:31 above; the famous Homestead strike, where the, unlike the union-thug myth, the union thugs murdered the Pinkerton agents.

      2. The factory manager was tried for negligence and acquitted. The real problem was the building was one of the first highrises in New York and thus they didn’t think to put in fire escapes.

        1. A Serious Man|7.1.12 @ 11:17PM|#
          “The factory manager was tried for negligence and acquitted. The real problem was the building was one of the first highrises in New York and thus they didn’t think to put in fire escapes.”

          This refers to shriek’s Triangle Shirtwaist strike claim?
          So the issue is the employer found a way to employ more people and no one as yet figured what to do about a fire in a building that high?
          A bit different from: “Management deliberately killed over 100 women at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.” But then, it’s shriek, who’s probably dizzy from all the spinning he’s done today.

  27. 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.

    Because nothing engenders respect and esteem for the Court like thinking they are a bunch of political whores who will sell out their constitutional principles to whatever particular political winds blow along.

    Congratulations, Chief Justice Roberts, you’ve satisfied the left. That is, until the next time a decision comes along where they have a view. Then, this little charade is going to count for exactly dick and the “legitimacy” (a legitimacy you’ve sacrificed to any honest man with this decision) will be on the line yet again.

  28. Status-quo conservatism is the worst kind of conservatism.

  29. Toll booths outside Central Park in NY. It’s the Libertarian Dream!

    1. I’m OK with that. If I don’t use it, why should I have to pay for it? I’ve lived in NYC for 15 years and been there maybe three times. It’s not affecting my land value from where I sit in southern Brooklyn, either.

    2. Nando|7.1.12 @ 10:25PM|#
      “Toll booths outside Central Park in NY. It’s the Libertarian Dream!”

      Heaven forbid Nando uses something Mommy didn’t give him!
      The HORROR of paying for what you use! What a jackoff.

      1. So let me repeat the above question.
        Should a poor family decide to eat on Tuesday or use the money to gain entrance to the Park for an evening?

        1. Why can’t they walk or use mass transit?

        2. What??? Holy false dichotomy Batman!

          How about the poor family decides to better themselves and work towards higher-paying jobs instead of subsisting on the minimum-wage fry cook positions they have had since they graduated high school 15 years ago. The only thing stopping people from earning more are their own inhibitions to wanting or taking more responsibility.

          1. You may want to check your white male privilege at the door before asking that question.

            1. Because if you’re not white, you can’t succeed in this country with hard work. Of course all those successful Asian immigrants call bullshit on your crypto-racist belief in minority victim hood.

            2. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:19PM|#
              “You may want to check your white male privilege at the door before asking that question.”

              OK, false dichotomy first, and now, for your amusement, a strawman!
              Hey, dipshit! How many more ignorant comments can you post? I’m guessing you have at least a couple more, given your stupidity.

            3. If I had not seen one other post by Nando, this would be enough for me to know I would be wasting my time talking to him.

        3. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:03PM|#
          “So let me repeat the above *FALSE DICHOTOMY*.

          Got it, dipshit? Or do you need more direct information?

          1. You’ve never had to choose between feeding your younguns or going to the park? Why is that?

            1. What abjectly poor person lives near Central Park?

              1. Randian|7.1.12 @ 11:30PM
                What abjectly poor person lives near Central Park?

                So only people living within x-blocks should get to use Central Park?

                1. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:32PM|#
                  “So only people living within x-blocks should get to use Central Park?”

                  Well, dipshit, according to your sorry excuse for discussion, poor people have to chose between feeding the kids and rolling in the grass.
                  So are you now suggesting that those poor people have to chose between feeding the kids and paying the bus fare to roll in the grass?
                  Exactly how stupid are you?

                  1. I’m not talking about fees for transportation. I’m talking about fees for admittance into the park.

                    1. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:38PM|#
                      “I’m not talking about fees for transportation. I’m talking about fees for admittance into the park.”

                      No, dipshit, you’re posting about a choice between feeding the kids and using that money somewhere else.
                      Exactly how stupid are you?

                  2. One has to wonder who’s stupider: the obvious troll, or the person who gets exercised about the obvious troll.

                    1. Sevo is Nando. He gets off on him so quick.

                    2. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:46PM|#
                      “Sevo is Nando. He gets off on him so quick.”

                      Nando is an ignoramus and Sevo gets off on calling him on bullshit

                    3. Randian|7.1.12 @ 11:43PM|#
                      “One has to wonder who’s stupider: the obvious troll, or the person who gets exercised about the obvious troll.”

                      Hey, if you don’t like me beating on Nando, don’t read it!

            2. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:25PM|#
              “You’ve never had to choose between feeding your younguns or going to the park? Why is that?”

              Hmm. Yep, tough question!
              ‘Honey, should we spend a couple of bucks to let the kids roll around in the grass, or should we feed them? Why, rolling around in the grass is *SO* important, I guess we’ll let them starve!’
              Exactly how stupid are you?

  30. By this very account it would be more correct to say Roberts resisted bullying from the conservative bloc. In addition to Kennedy’s apparent relentlessness, other accounts speculate that Scalia scared him off.

    So at worst the Democrats were more successful in bullying him than the conservatives.

    1. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:25PM|#
      “You’ve never had to choose between feeding your younguns or going to the park? Why is that?”

      Hmm. Yep, tough question!
      ‘Honey, should we spend a couple of bucks to let the kids roll around in the grass, or should we feed them? Why, rolling around in the grass is *SO* important, I guess we’ll let them starve!’
      Exactly how stupid are you?

      1. Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

        1. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:31PM|#
          “Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity a day.”

          And, exactly how stupid are you?

        2. There’s only one park in NYC? Granted I wouldn’t let my kids be exposed to the toxic stupidity of a park that is infested by Occutards, but surely there are plenty of open spaces for kids to play.

          1. So Central Park is only for people living within a certain radius of it.
            What is that value, pray tell?

            1. So Central Park is only for people living within a certain radius of it.

              Anyone can go to Central Park. Are you suggesting that isn’t true?

              1. Central Park is funded by property taxes. In a work with no property taxes, how is it funded, dumbfuck?

                1. Central Park is funded by property taxes. In a work with no property taxes, how is it funded, dumbfuck?

                  Either privately as a non-profit endowment like numerous parks in NYC are funded (including the park that was infested by the Occutards) or privately with a small admintance fee on admission and the profits of vendors who occupy lots in the park.

                  Shithead can’t imagine a world where we don’t need state-sponsored violence to have nice things.

                  1. So if someone can’t afford admittance to said park, are they SOL?

                    1. Sure, since no one has a right to enter someone’s private property without the owner’s consent. And yet in real life many privately owned parks are free, including Zuccotti Park where the evil capitalist owners were nice enough to let the Occutards infest.

                    2. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:45PM|#
                      “So if someone can’t afford admittance to said park, are they SOL?”

                      Sorta like the bus fare to get there?
                      Exactly how stupid are you?

                    3. I can’t afford a Sea Doo. Help me out, here.

                2. Fun fact: the unrealized real estate value of Central Park is 600 billion dollars.

                3. Central Park is funded by property taxes.

                  Not true:

                  The Central Park Conservancy is a private, non-profit organization that manages Central Park under a contract with New York City. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of dedicated civic and philanthropic leaders, the Conservancy has invested more than $600 million toward the restoration and enhancement of Central Park and is considered a model for urban park management worldwide. With contributions from Park-area residents, corporations and foundations, the Conservancy provides 85 percent of the Park’s $42.4 million annual Parkwide expense budget and is responsible for all basic care of the 843-acre Park.

        3. And kids should get 60 minutes of play, only government-fellating fucktards like you want to outlaw kids wandering around outside by themselves or the freedom to work an oddjob here and there and learn the value of holding a job and being useful.

          1. They can run up and down the hallway of the project building for all I care. What’s wrong with the park? Oh, it’s only for those who make enough to afford the entrance fee.

            1. A park that has a volume of users like Central Park, should it be privately operated, would at best only charge a few dollars for admittance. We aren’t talking about Disneyland.

              1. You’ve never met the single mother raising 3 kids while working 2 minimum wage jobs at SprawlMart and Burger Shot.

                1. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:47PM|#
                  “You’ve never met the single mother raising 3 kids while working 2 minimum wage jobs at SprawlMart and Burger Shot.”

                  Uh, and?
                  Exactly how stupid are you?

                2. Her mistake was having 3 kids without getting married.

                  1. Her mistake was having 3 kids without getting married.

                    Dad died while serving his country in Iraq, dumbfuck.

                    1. Dad died while serving his country in Iraq, dumbfuck.

                      And the family should have received a large sum of money since the military offers life insurance, dumbfuck.

                    2. Taxpayer funded life insurance?

                    3. I believe by law the family gets $400,000 in addition to whatever private insurance policies the deceased had.

                      But more importantly your retarded appeal to emotion just go punctured by reality retard.

                    4. I believe by law the family gets $400,000 in addition to whatever private insurance policies the deceased had.

                      400K is the life insurance plan, which is not mandatory. There is a 100K death gratuity that goes to the family.

                    5. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:55PM|#
                      “Taxpayer funded life insurance?”

                      I’ll bet you thought this was a ‘point’, didn’t you?
                      Exactly how stupid are you?

                    6. Taxpayer funded life insurance?

                      Servicemembers who opt for the SGLI pay monthly premiums for the privilege.

                    7. Servicemembers who opt for the SGLI pay monthly premiums for the privilege.

                      and those who opt out?

                    8. and those who opt out?

                      Don’t get life insurance. Just like any other non-premium paying non-customer.

                      It’s a pretty rare event for a Soldier to decline that kind of dirt-cheap coverage, especially when deployed. You have to be strongly counseled on the subject and it’s discouraged. I’ve personally never seen anyone decline coverage of any kind.

                    9. Well, as others note, the recipient pays for that coverage. But, let us pretend otherwise, or simply focus on the 100K death gratuity. So what? There’s no particular libertarian principle that says people shouldn’t get paid for services rendered. People receive non-cash compensation in any number of jobs. Soldiers get a life insurance policy covering combat death as part of their comp package. That’s hardly some huge violation of libertarian standards.

                    10. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:52PM|#
                      “Dad died while serving his country in Iraq, dumbfuck”

                      Do you write for daytime TV, dipshit?
                      Actually he died shooting up smack paid for with black-market food-stamps.
                      See? Two people can make up stories!

                    11. and for that the kids should suffer? why do you hate chldren?

                    12. Nando|7.2.12 @ 12:01AM|#
                      “…why do you hate chldren?”

                      OK, got it.
                      Really, really stupid or troll.

                    13. Okay, I’ve had enough. Stupid troll is stupid.

                    14. Why are you talking to yourself?

                    15. Because New York City is just chock full of military families with three kids and one income, dontchaknow.

                  2. Seriously,

                    I have nothing but heartache for people in poor financial shape, but more often then not, I see people following the same cycle all throughout life:

                    1) Fail to learn a marketable trade
                    2) Have kid they can’t afford
                    3) Repeat

                    I mean, really.

                3. You’ve never met the single mother raising 3 kids while working 2 minimum wage jobs at SprawlMart and Burger Shot.

                  Dumbass here has confused Grand Theft Auto with real life. Run along before I put in the 5-star Wanted code on you.

                4. Except if she’s a NYC resident, she doesn’t have the option of working at Wal-Mart due to statist pricks like yourself.

            2. Nando|7.1.12 @ 11:40PM|#
              “They can run up and down the hallway of the project building for all I care.”
              Oh, so now a park doesn’t enter into the question?

              “What’s wrong with the park?”
              Nothing. Whats’ wrong with paying for the use, sorta like that hallway?

              “Oh, it’s only for those who make enough to afford the entrance fee.”
              Sorta like that bus fare to get there? Exactly how stupid are you?

    2. Shithead,
      Your comments are stupid enough, but in this case, I hit the wrong tab and responded to questions possibly more stupid than yours.
      Sorry for the confusion, shithead.

      1. You should be sorry for burying my very good point.

        1. It’s good to see that despite all of the abuse you so richly deserve and get, you still maintain a sense of humor.

          1. It’s impressive someone designating himself Randian is capable of recognizing a sense of humor.

            1. At least Randian knows what this word really means:

              http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

              1. Wish any gay men death by AIDS today?

                1. Not lately. Have you continued to practice bigotry against straight people?

                  Actually, I’ve just wished you would die, period. Stick a gun in your mouth, for all I care.

                  Besides, you get what you give, prick. You’ve been just as nasty towards us as any of us have been in return, so none of our hands are clean.

                  1. BTW… straight people get AIDS, too, so stop being such a fucking drama-sponge.

  31. Judge Roberts should resign. It really is that simple. He got his job by representing he wouldn’t be a pussy and had some actual point of view. Then, when push came to shove, he went out like the biggest bitch in the history of the USA. I fart in his general direction.

    1. This is a dumb idea. If he resigns, Obama will replace him with a true liberal, someone voting liberal in many cases, perhaps another Kagan. The best strategy is for Romney to milk this story for all its worth, and to make Obama look like the illegitimate one (not in the sense of where he is born, but on how he rules with absolute power, violating the separation of powers).

      1. But if a few million morons are bused straight from church to the polling place thinking he was born in Kenya, all the better!

        1. This is why I think T o n y isn’t Tony. Tony the original certainly engaged in plenty of strawman, but resisted such obvious ones “as all Obama dissenters are church-going birthers.”

          Either he’s given up trying to say anything useful, or this isn’t Tony.

          1. Like I say, he’s the worst sockpuppet ever.

    2. Mr. Dermer, perhaps I say the alternative confirmation hearings, but in my recollection, he said nothing of the sort; that is simply your projection of what you wanted. He vowed to respect precedent, to follow the principles of judicial restraint, not to make law from the bench, and to act like an umpire. The only thing that is illuminated by comments like yours is that the extremists on the Right (the modern “conservative” movement) want Justices who are ideological puppets who follow their marching orders (see, e.g., Justices Thomas and Alito). 16th amendment’s comment is also illuminating, as to how opportunistic and dishonest Romney is perceived to be on the Right – “milk this story” to “make Obama look like the illegitimate one”.

  32. Should 4th of July Fireworks be paid from city funds (property taxes) or by user fees?

    1. …Cuz’ fuck if only the greedy rich get to enjoy fireworks!!!!!111!!!!!!!

    2. Taxpayers must fund the construction of an enormous opaque box from within fee-payers can witness the fireworks and there can be no freeloaders. You could ask the users to pay for the giant box, but they would probably prefer just having the show in public view if you did. In which case they might start to wonder why they’re having to pay at all, if they can just see it for free.

      A little fireworks question and suddenly we have the entire logic behind collective action.

      Now I’ve freeloaded on some impressive private displays, but none more impressive than the worst public one (except that year it all exploded as a giant dud on the bridge as I held a viewing party from my apartment.) Must have been the inherent government incompetence. If only rich people could buy enough explosives to put on their own equivalent show, I’m sure it would be done better.

      All sorts of problems crop up, though, when a class emerges capable of affording things traditionally only municipalities, states, and countries could. You have an oligarchy in charge of all the artillery, for one.

      1. This is from the same Tony who once told me was “not sure” whether people should be “permitted to waste time and money” on something as frivolous as love.

        But he has no problem with big wastes of time, money and energy literally going up in flames.

        1. I’m genuinely fascinated in why and when I said that.

          1. I’ll let you know if I find it. Suffice it to say, you were going on about how the markets are inefficient because look at the dumb shit people spend money on…like emotions.

    3. Should 4th of July Fireworks be paid from city funds (property taxes) or by user fees?

      I pay for my own fireworks, thank you very much, no taxes or fees necessary. I even give some away to the local kids. Watching other people blow things up isn’t nearly as fun as blowing things up with your own hands.

      1. and your fireworks are better than those over the Charles River with the Boston Pops performing?

        1. IMNSHO, yes.

  33. Tony made a valid point.
    If I choose not to fund fireworks, can I still enjoy them from my bedroom window?

    1. If someone asks a retarded question, can I enjoy their stupidity by myself or am I obligated to point it out on a public forum?

  34. At the end of the day, and after all these comments, the fact remains that Roberts has been discovered to be just another turd that Bush left on the lawn to step on.

    1. You forgot to say we only need to destroy one political party, wef.

      C-. Horrible post.

  35. Those types of speeches, Baker notes, are usually a bad idea, or at least a gamble, because of the possibility that they will backfire. So why did the senior Democrat on the Senate’s judicial committee make such an unusual gamble right around the time that Roberts is now said to have “gone wobbly” and changed his vote? Were there leaks from within about Roberts’ wariness that went only to one side of the aisle?

  36. Trust no one.

  37. Sounds like a plan to me dude. Wow.

    http://www.Most-Privacy.tk

  38. I consider Mr. Suderman’s speculation (that the Left “bullied” Roberts into caving)beyond far-fetched. If an bullying there be, it is all on the Right. Just about the entire Left is too spineless and wimpy to bully anyone – they couldn’t bully a little girl into handing over her candy. If I were Roberts I would much more fear the inevitable bullying from the Right awakened by his perceived apostasy, even just that from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Just look at the extreme backlash to which Roberts has already been subjected, as well as the calls for armed uprisings. Perhaps my view will be dubbed ‘ridiculous”, but I consider it a far more plausible explanation that there really was something to the reputation Roberts enjoyed on the Right as an advocate of judicial restraint and that he was not just “saying what he needed to say” at his Senate confirmation hearings, that he realized to his horror that his four conservative colleagues had simply become judicial activists extraordinaire and had taken to imposing their extreme right-wing ideology upon the Constitution. Undoubtedly whether an explanation seems plausible depends upon a person’s perspective, so those on the Right opt for the “traitor” or “spineless wimp caved” theories, while those on the Left may be more inclined to give him some credit for doing his duty as he vowed he would before confirmation. Only time will tell, if even it does.

    1. IOW, all bullying comes from only one side of the Team divide.

      Do you *really* believe this?

  39. Peter Suderman says Chief Justice Roberts was bullied into switching his decision. Since when are views from critics considered bullying? Is Reason suggesting that the knowledge there are those who’d disagree with a decision is too much to ask a judge to bear? What does Reason, then, call the widespread denunciations of Roberts from the right? Why do they not fly to his defense against such bullying?

  40. Am I the only one who finds it ironic that this magazine still calls itself ‘Reason’?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.