Supreme Court

The Supreme Court's Conservatives Are Mad as Hell at Chief Justice Roberts


Jan Crawford, the respected CBS legal correspondent who first reported that Chief Justice John Roberts switched his vote in the ObamaCare case, has a new story out with more comments sourced to individuals who appear to have direct knowledge of the Supreme Court's internal debates. And as she reports, the four dissenting justices in the case are mad as hell at Roberts for his actions:

If Roberts had been with the liberals from the beginning, sources tell me that would have been one thing; but switching his position—and relatively late in the process—infuriated the conservatives.

Of course it's unclear why he switched. He may have been focused solely on the law. But that is not what some of his colleagues believe.

Roberts initially sided with the four conservatives to strike down the heart of the health care law—the individual mandate, the requirement that all Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty.

When he changed his mind and joined with the liberals to uphold the law instead, he tried furiously—with a fair amount of "arm twisting"—to get Justice Anthony Kennedy to come along. Kennedy sometimes breaks with conservatives, so Roberts likely saw him as his best hope.

But on this issue of federal power, Kennedy was firm. The conservatives refused to even engage with Roberts on joining his opinion to uphold the law. They set out writing their own opinion—they wrote it to look like a majority decision, according to sources, because they hoped Roberts would rejoin them to strike down the mandate. Kennedy relentlessly lobbied Roberts until the end to come back. Of course he did not, and the conservatives' decision became a dissent.

Crawford's story also notably contradicts the recent report at Salon which claimed that Roberts wrote both the majority and the bulk of the dissent in the case.

Read Reason's ongoing ObamaCare coverage here.

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  1. Quit twisting the knife!

    1. Ignore the Minnesotan and keep it twisting!

  2. I would be mad as hell too… oh wait, I still am.

    1. He is unworthy of my anger. I have only disdain for somebody as cowardly and weak-willed as Roberts.

  3. Was he playing “the long game”.

    Did he think this was the best way to hurt Obama?

    Did he truly become convinced that the mandate was constitutional?

    Was he defending himself from accusations of partisanship?

    Was he trying to protect the court from tearing itself apart?

    The only way we’ll ever know his true motives is if he specifically reveals them sometime after he steps down as Chief Justice… probably many years from now.

    1. the only salient question in the list is re: the mandate. At least that has something to do with the law that was being judged. The other questions are window-dressing and that they may have been considerations only serves to delegitimize the court.

      1. Ok wareagle, I can’t tell if you agree with me on this issue or not.

        Care to satisfy my curiosity?

        For the record, my position is that the court lost the last shreds of its legitimacy decades ago. The current justices are driven by idealogy, rather than constitution.

        1. I agree with you; just saying the only legitimate question, from a legal standpoint, is the one about the mandate. The rest smack of politics, exactly why the court has been losing legitimacy through the years. I may just be later to the party than you are.

  4. Here’s my speculation:

    Roberts and the other 4 “conservatives” agreed on the individual mandate, but disagreed on severability (Roberts wanted to save a big chunk of the law as the judicially restrained thing to do).

    But, Roberts couldn’t get the 4 “liberals” to join a separate majority opinion on severability, because they wouldn’t agree to anything striking the mandate and having an actual precedent limiting the Commerce Clause (which we don’t have, SCOTUS dogwashers notwithstanding).

    Roberts’ only option at that point to save most of the law was the penaltax, which the 4 liberals hated (read their separate opinions), but they hated striking the mandate even more.

    Waddaya know – when your top priority is being deferential, you wind up looking like a craven bootlicker.

    1. How would making up a severability clause from scratch be judicial restraint?

      1. Because it would be more deferential to the legislature to save as much of the law as possible.

        Now, I would think that being deferential to the legislature would involve taking them at their word that they don’t want to have the law severed, but obviously Roberts and I don’t see eye to eye.

        1. What’s so special about being deferential to the legislature?

          Their job is to rebuke the legislature.

          1. Their job is to rebuke the legislature.

            If only that were so.

    2. Agree as far as the first sentance.

      But I think the most likely scenario is that Roberts was faced with one of threee options.

      He either had to side with the Four conservatives and vote to strike the whole law, which he didn’t want to do, or have a split decision on severability, which would be a legal nightmare.

      Faced with pressure from the Court’s liberals he opted to uphold the mandate, because (a) he was afraid of the repurcussions of striking he whole law, and (b) couldn’t get five justices to agree on any one severability position.

      1. last sentence speaks far beyond the Court – when faced with pressure, the right is far more likely than the left to cave. Consider how many Dem Senators had to be bribed into supporting this thing. No one ever even considers the possibility that the four liberal members of the Court would jump ship.

        1. Which tells you something about the liberal wing of the court.

          The liberal justices are far greater political hacks than the conservatives. They vote party line without exception.

          1. That’s demonstrably untrue.

            According to statistics compiled by SCOTUSblog,[92][93] the Court decided 86 cases in the October 2010 term, including 75 signed opinions, 5 summary reversals (where the Court reverses a lower court without arguments and without issuing an opinion on the case), four were decided with unsigned opinions, two cases affirmed by an equally divided Court, and two cases were dismissed as improvidently granted. Justice Kagan recused herself from 26 of those cases due to her prior role as United States Solicitor General. Of the 80 cases, 38 (about 48%, the highest percentage since the October 2005 term) were decided unanimously (9-0 or 8-0), and only 16 decisions were made by a 5-4 vote (about 20%, compared to 18% in the October 2009 term, and 29% in the October 2008 term).

          2. According to the statistics from SCOTUSblog, since the October 20000 term, on average 22% of the opinions issued in any given term are decided by a 5-4 vote, with an average of 70% of those opinions decided by a Court divided along the traditionally perceived ideological lines. On average over that period, the conservative side has been in the majority about 62% of the time that the Court has divided along those lines, representing about 44% of all 5-4 decisions on average. The October 2011 term ranked below average on number of 5-4 decisions, percentage of total cases those opinions represent, percentage of 5-4 cases decided along ideological lines, and percentage of “conservative victories” (both when the Court split along ideological lines and overall in 5-4 decisions.

            1. I was trying to respond to this, but the squirrel’s filter keeps denying me as a spammer?

              My posts may be lame, but they’re not spam!

              Anyway, Hazel’s point stands in regards to progressives. The income tax, social security, medicare, medicaid–whatever progressives program that comes before the court?

              The left side of the court consistently seems to think it’s their job to make sure the Constitution never gets in they way of whatever progressive legislation.

              1. You forget one other job Ken. They make sure the Constitution imposes progressive legislation in all areas where the legislature fails to pass progressive legislation.

              2. The point may stand if one only looks at headline-grabbing SCOTUS decisions, but the sheer number of unanimous decisions, and the 30% of 5-4 that don’t break along party lines prove that no, they do not always toe the lion.

                1. You are assuming every case has a liberal lion to tow. And that is demonstratively untrue. A large portion of the cases involve areas of the law that really don’t neatly split along conservative vs liberal lines.

                  1. A large portion of the cases involve areas of the law that really don’t neatly split along conservative vs liberal lines.

                    I think that’s what I would have written if I were Hazel…

                    I don’t think it’s about liberal or conservative; I think it’s about left or right–as in economic issues.

                    Hell, I might even be considered a liberal on civil rights issues, but when it comes to economic issues, most people would perceive me as being farther to the right than Reagan.

                    That’s the consistency I see. When has the left side of the court ever ruled against a progressive economic program?

                    Give me something!

                    Rent control?

                    Anything. I want to be wrong on this.

                    1. That’s the consistency I see. When has the left side of the court ever ruled against a progressive economic program?

                      That’s exactly what I would say.
                      When has the liberal wing of the court ever voted against a “liberal” pet issue? Everyone knew they would vote to uphold the ACA, no matter what kind of other damamge was done to the constitution, no matte what kind of precedent it set, because “universal healthcare” has been a liberal pet project for decades.

                      That’s the be all and end all of it. they want to make health care a right, and they don’t care whatever other rights they have to trample on to get there.

              3. Incidentally, this is what’s wrong with vetting supreme court nominees primarily over how they feel about Roe v. Wade.

                There are more important considerations.

                Jesus, Harriet Miers probably would have gotten this one right. Think about it! I made fun of Bush for nominating Miers at the time–like it was Caligula nominating his horse for Consul.

                But if Harriet Miers had just ruled correctly on this one case? She’d have made a better Supreme Court justice than the nominee Bush replaced her with.

                1. Harriet Meiers was an idiot. Who knows what sort of damned foolishness she would have come up with. Don’t yearn for the devil you escaped because your escape drove you into the another devil’s arms.

                  1. How do you know Meiers was an idiot? Did you ever meet her Tarran? I don’t know that she was an idiot at all. I do know Roberts is an idiot because I have seen the results of his idiocy. Meiers not so much.

                    I can’t think of a single thing to be said against the women other than she wasn’t a member of the CONLAW priest hood and (gasp) didn’t go to Harvard or Yale. BFD. It looks to me like attending those places makes one stupid. So Meiers certainly had a better chance of being a good justice than Roberts did.

                    1. I wouldn’t go with ‘idiot’, John, but you’ve got to agree that the woman had absolutely no business being nominated for a Supreme Court slot, right? Running Locke Liddell and being the president of the State Bar, while great professional accomplishments, don’t make you suitable for the highest appellate court in the land, IMO. There weren’t any other female conservative jurists they could have found? Janice Rogers Brown and Edith Jones weren’t answering W’s calls?

                      She had as much business being nominated as Kagan, which is to say, none.

                  2. Don’t yearn for the devil you escaped because your escape drove you into the another devil’s arms.

                    I think this case will have wider and longer reaching implications for the future of the United States than dozens of other cases all put together.


                    As Roberts just proved, you can be wrong on a lot of little cases, and it’s probably not going to make a huge difference to the direction of the country. Roberts just sent us down a fork in the road heading somewhere really ugly, and we will probably never be able to turn around and go back.

                    Stupid is as stupid does. When smart people do stupid things, they’re not really being smart, are they? And if Harriet Miers really was an idiot? Stupid people doing smart things aren’t really being stupid either.

                    Nobody remembers what Doug Williams and Timmy Smith did during the regular season. It’s what they did in the Superbowl that mattered.


                    1. Seriously?

                      This would be a great story.

                      If I were a journalist right now, I’d get Harriet Miers on the phone and ask her how she would have ruled on the mandate…

                      No, it won’t change the outcome, but maybe at least it would embarrass and shame Roberts–who really needs to be ashamed of himself.

                    2. Wasn’t Alito appointed instead of Miers? So your story wouldn’t work Ken.

                    3. I just double-checked, and I think you’re right.

                      They were within a few months of each other though.

                      Still, I think it would make a good story anyway. You could even go with the angle that Harriet Miers was in charge of the search committee that found and decided to nominate Roberts…

                      Regardless, if someone widely considered to be woefully inadequate to be a Supreme Court justice were to dis Roberts on this decision, I think the angle most people would take away was that Roberts just got capped on hard.

                  3. Harriet Meiers was an idiot. Who knows what sort of damned foolishness she would have come up with.

                    Why was Harriet Meiers an idiot? Other than the fact that GWB put her name into the hat for a SCOTUS appointment, and yes, it’s agreed that she wasn’t qualified to be a Supreme Court Jurist, what evidence is there that she’s an “idiot”?

                2. But if Harriet Miers had just ruled correctly on this one case? She’d have made a better Supreme Court justice than the nominee Bush replaced her with.

                  Alito, not Roberts replaced Harriet Miers. And as I recall a ‘strong conservative’ was somehow blaclisted as Bush’s first pick and subsequently replaced with Roberts.

          3. They certainly seem to think that it’s their job to make sure the Constitution never gets in the way of whatever progressives want to do.

            That’s why this all makes me so sick to my stomach. There’s really no way to undo this.

            The idea that we’re gonna stack the legislature with Republicans who are all about overturning ObamaCare is ridiculous. I’ll believe that’s possible just as soon as the Republicans get rid of the income tax, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.

            i.e., now that the Supreme Court has refused to protect us on this issue, we will never get out from under its thumb. And you’re right! The left side of the Court thinks it’s their job to make sure we never get out from under their thumb.

            1. That’s the comment that was rejected for being spam.

              Sometimes I can be redundant, but this wasn’t one of those times.

            2. Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. There is no way to get rid of this. The only time we have ever overturned a progressive project was with prohibition. It will never happen again as long as the government can keep close to 50% of the country on government dependency.

      2. Hazel, I’m not sure how your speculation differs from mine.

  5. The Supreme Court can go fuck itself. I’m praying for a Republican Congressional supermajority and for the total repeal of this Satanic abomination of a law the day the new legislators assemble.

    1. You mean, like this?

      Sorry, but we are stuck with this, or something like it.

    2. How?

    3. Yes, I’m sure a Republican Congressional supermajority will lead to limited government.

      1. 1) That depends on who they are. Being a member of a political party whose official name incorporates the term ‘Republican’ doesn’t mean shit. If we elect a bunch of RINOs, I’m sure we’ll get buttfucked pretty intensely, yeah.

        2) If all they do in the next Congress is repeal ObamaCare, it will have been a good session. Limited government’s not going to be brought about so readily.

        1. Insurance companies will just pay the congressional Republicans off.

        2. At this point I just root for whatever is going to make liberals the most unhappy and histrionic. I really do hate those fuckers. Republicans just annoy and disappoint me. But liberals are worthy of shear hatred and contempt.

          1. “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.”

            How much longer before we’re drooling uncontrollably, awaiting the governmental employee to wipe our mouths and asses for us?

          2. As I’ve stated here since the decision, I’m now considering voting for Romney. Not because I think he’ll turn out any better, but just to spite them.

            1. At this point, I’m finding it exceptionally difficult to give a fuck about selecting the petty tyrant I least detest. Roberts is a backstabbing cocksucker, and I hope his tenure is cut short by something involving large quantities of his own tears and blood.

              1. Not much to add to this wish, but Barney Frank’s semen being involved would be a pretty sweet bonus.

              2. So…..

                We should force feed him Chipotle like that guy in Seven?

          3. Liberals are thieves and liars.
            They just get the government to do their thieving and lying for them by proxy, which is even worse, because then there’s nothing you can do about it because the people who are supposed to help you are the ones committing the acts.

            1. all you have to do is watch them. Not a one EVER embraced the notion of mandate = tax. Because if the left honestly spelled out what it wanted, it would never win a single election. Ever. So, it appeals to fear, to sympathy and compassion, to greed and envy, and to other emotions.

              What Obama has accomplished is by design; it is not accident, it is not “bad policies”, and it is sure as hell not Bush-tsunamis-obstructionism-Europe-flu-warts-bad breath.

          4. I think I’m at about that point, as well. A statistically insignificant vote for President in a red state will change nothing; might as well get as much personal satisfaction out of it as I can.

            In this election, that means voting Johnson (who, as an added bonus, is also an eminently qualified and practical candidate; a first for the LP).

            1. I have no faith that Romney will be any better. What is so bad about Obama is that he represents the Democrats going full and complete Daily KOS retard. Something very bad happened to the Democrats under Bush. They lost all sense of reality. Clinton, for all his faults, understood that you couldn’t run the country broke and you had to keep the economy going. The post Clinton Democrats don’t even understand that. That is very bad because the two party system is what we have and the only way to make Republicans any better is to vote them out when they fuck up too badly. A bat shit insane Democratic Party leaves you virtually no way to discipline Republicans.

              1. I dunno about that — successful primary challenges seemed to scare the sh*t out of entrenched Republicans.

                My theory? Entrenched Republicans don’t honestly mind third party movements, because 1) they aren’t very successful, 2) they usually only make inroads in states they’re not going to win or are already winning by large margins, and 3) they make good scapegoats. Primaries are more insurgent, and can happen anywhere. (Non-Paul) libertarians really missed out on some great opportunities to get on board with the Tea Party movement when it was in its growing phase, IMO.

              2. You have to play the long game, then. Either change the party from the inside or fracture it and hope you can grab enough independents and sane democrats to get a majority.

                It’s too bad Ron Paul is so old. If he were still in his 50s he might have had a shot at doing one of the above…

                1. You have to fix both parties. Fixing one isn’t good enough.

              3. The post Clinton Democrats don’t even understand that.

                sure they do, but they do not let it get in their way of having as many folks as possible be dependent on govt. They are recruiting folks to get on food stamps. They see what is happening overseas and rush to join in rather than avoid it.

                The calculus has flipped with Obama and his dogwashers: their intent cannot be judged by the same calculus that was used on any other POTUS. With this one, outcomes most folks would see as bad, he regards as goals accomplished. There is a reason he largely ignored jobs/economy and instead went after health care at the beginning.

          5. shear hatred

            I think that’s the place where I used to get my hair cut.

        3. The RINOs are the committed limited government types. Big government conservatives are the standard.

      2. Tom DeLay agrees with you.

    4. You can pray all you want, RPA, but the GOP, unless they are almost entirely taken over by Libertarians, are not going to repeal this. They are total wusses.

      1. You can pray all you want, RPA, but the GOP, unless they are almost entirely taken over by Libertarians, are not going to repeal this.

        Oh, I think they’ll repeal it. They’ll replace it with something about as bad—look at Romney’s sign in the picture above—but they will repeal it.

        As I wrote in the Christie thread today, the only things different between Obama and today’s GOP are the cronies they support. The architect of MassCare is not going to turn around and admit that the Gov’t running healthcare is a doomed-from-inception idea. He’s just going to shovel the pork to his group of supporters, which are somewhat different than Obama’s.

        Tell you what, if Romney were to come out and admit that his heart was in the right place when he helped it through, but that MassCare was a fucking disaster—repudiate the whole stinking thing—and that O-Care would be even worse, that might change my mind towards voting for him.

  6. Roberts is such a POS. Fitting that a Bush appointee would be the weak sister when it comes to overturning a law that was clearly both unpopular and un-Constitutional.

    1. I read where he was already planning on how he could get through his confirmation hearing when he was in law school. He is a total craven careerist. He deserves all of the scorn he is receiving and then some.

  7. Don’t forget that article also points out that

    You can trace it back to the first full term of the new Roberts Court. That term had several controversial cases, including school busing and abortion. Liberal justices thought Roberts had signaled he would be open to compromise and be more moderate. But he sided with conservatives that year, making the liberals feel misled. They were furious. As one said at the time: “He talks the talk, but won’t walk the walk.

    By trying to please everyone, Roberts has managed to be despised by everyone.

    1. I may be repeating myself, but no one ever says about liberals “s/he may be open to compromise and be more moderate.” Compromise only occurs when someone allegedly on the right moves leftward.

      1. That’s because the leftists are openly statist, while the rightists are still in the closet.

  8. I keep seeing that picture and I can only assume that the younger man on the far right is supposed to be Kagan.

    1. She is a handsome women I guess.

  9. My suspicion is that the vote against the mandate, as well as information on the breakdown of justices positions were leaked to senior Democrats, who subsequently pressured Roberts into switching his vote.

    Remember that in May, just around the time Roberts would have switched his vote, there were numberous news stories directed at the Cheif Justice telling him that it would undermine the Court’s legitimacy if it voted to strike down the law.

    How did they know that it was Roberts, not Kennedy, who was the most likely to swing?

    1. That is a good point. And how could Roberts be so stupid as to think switching his vote in such a craven and political way was going to give the court any legitimacy.

      1. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of the law will be to elect a Republican supermajority. Which will lead to other bad things. Unless they can repeal it through reconcilliation so only a simple majority is needed.

        Best strategy, elect Romney and hand the Senate to Republicans, repeal it, then vote Democrats into Congress in 2014, before the Republicans start getting ideas in their head about Iran or whatever.

        Then in 2016, hope the Democrats nominate a libertarian. Hahaha.

        1. Hazel,

          I generally agree with you. But you need to stop with the “Republicans are going to get us into a war” Cosmotarian myth. Obama is going to go to war with Iran.


          We are probably headed for a war with Iran no matter who we elect. That is because, no matter how much libertarians deny it, the fact is we get peace only when our enemies grant it to us. And Iran is not going to do that.

          1. We get a war because in truth, BOTH parties want it.

            1. Let’s face it, the majority of Americans love war. What’s the point of being the biggest kid on the playground if you don’t get to knock somebody down now and then?

          2. Neither Romney nor Obama are going to go to war with Iran (at least, not a ground war). Iran isn’t stupid enough to give us a war, not when so many things are going their way (turning Iraq from being a major antagonist to an ally of sorts without a shot fired was a neat trick). A war with Israel? Maybe, but they have to know that a war with the US would be suicidal and gain them nothing.

            1. You have to remember the rulers of Iran are more afraid of their own people than they are of the United States. They are more afraid of meeting an end like Kadafi or Saddam than they are of anything the US will do to them.

              That fear drives them to do things that seem irrational from our prospective. There is nothing to say they couldn’t outlast a prolonged US bombing campaign. And starting a war might get their people to support them out of patriotic duty if nothing else. Obama to his credit has actually managed to get real sanctions against Iran. If those things start to bite and the regime is facing the prospect of a real revolt, which would man certain death for all of them at this point, there is no telling what they will do.

              1. Saber-rattling on a popular issue (and yes, nuclear power/deterrent is a popular issue among Iranians) does all of those things without requiring leadership to live for a few months in bunkers.

                1. Trouser,

                  Sabre rattling risks the other side taking you seriously. That is how wars start, one side miscalculates and does something that the other side can’t ignore. And that is how the war with Iran is going to start. Iran is going to keep rattling its saber and the world is going to continue to call its bluff until eventually Iran does something that even Obama can’t ignore and is compelled to respond to.

                  1. Ball’s in Iran’s court. They know that the US is too war weary to respond to anything short of an honest-to-God direct confrontation. Until then, we’ll continue to play the song and dance with UN inspections and such.

                    Israel is another matter, but anyone who thinks that Israel can convince American pols to commit political suicide by having them send over Americans to die in Iran has been reading too many conspiracy sites.

                    1. It is not just Israel. Those Iranian missiles can reach all of Europe. Europe is not going to allow Iran to have nukes.

                      You have to remember it is in Europe’s best interest to talk down doing something and then have the US and Israel solve the problem. That way they get their problem solved but don’t have to bear any responsibility.

                      That strategy works right up until it looks like the US and Israel might actually not do something. The bottom line is the world is not going to let the Mullahs have nukes, period. And the Mullahs can’t give up their nuclear program without facing revolt and certain death at the hands of their own people. That is a recipe for war. It is just a matter of time.

                    2. Eventually? Sure.

                      In the short term? Everybody’s going to kick the can for a while yet.

                    3. And the Mullahs can’t give up their nuclear program without facing revolt and certain death at the hands of their own people.

                      I don’t get the connection between these two things.

                    4. Biggins,

                      Their rule is based on fear. If they give up their nuke program and let themselves be humiliated, people will no longer fear them. Once people no longer fear them, the gig is up.

                    5. If they give up their nuke program and let themselves be humiliated, people will no longer fear them. Once people no longer fear them, the gig is up.

                      That theory said that Iraq’s people would overthrow Saddam after his humiliating defeat in Dessert Storm.

                      Didn’t Happen.

                  2. Sabre rattling risks the other side taking you seriously. That is how wars start,

                    That, in fact, is pretty much how the second Iraq War started. Saddam wanted everyone to believe he had WMDs, and by golly we did.

              2. The US attacking Iran WOULD get the people to patriotically support the regime. I know enough Iranians to know that.

              3. They are more afraid of meeting an end like Kadafi or Saddam than they are of anything the US will do to them.

                You realize that war with the U.S. may have played at least a teensy role in the eventual fate of Kadafi and Saddam, right?

        2. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of the law will be to elect a Republican supermajority.

          Do not forget that the Republicans pledge not just to remove, but to replace.

          What would they replace it with?

          They could come up with something worse, you never know.

          1. They could come up with something seemingly trivial,yet very significant, like adding an individual tax deduction for health insurnace, or removing the employer tax deduction for health insurance.

            It would take a few years to unwind, but eventually that would kill the employer based system and sanify the insurance market.

    2. he would have won plenty of legitimacy had his striking down of the mandate included something like “efforts to bully or intimidate the Court were not only fruitless, they should be considered an embarrassment to the offices of the persons making them.”

      1. Good start, wareagle. Maybe a nice finish like:

        “Nonetheless, their efforts have not been in vain. Their pleas for judicial restraint caused me to reconsider my position on severing the mandate, and I now conclude that judicial restraint prohibits me from doing so in the face of clear Congressional intent that no provision of this law be severable.”

        1. that, indeed, would have been a nice Roberts f-you to the goon squad.

        2. Good Middle, RC. The finish could have been,

          “Because Fuck You, that’s why”

          Talk about SCOTUS legitimacy!

  10. Lucy yanked the football away again. That Conservative kid fell on his ass like he always does, and always will.

  11. Is it illegal to burn U.S. currency?

    1. Yes… But rarely prosecuted.

      1. Isn’t it illegal to deface or destroy any official US currency, including coins? If this is the case, is there a special waiver for those machines that turn pennies into souvenirs?

        1. Very common question.

          The answer is that there’s a technicality to the law about mutilation of coinage.

          It’s perfectly legal to “mutilate” coinage if the coin is not later passed off as legal tender.

          The point being, that you can’t take a nickel, mutilate it and in some way create two dimes. As long as the mutilated coin is used in an ornamental way, with no intention of treating it as legal tender, you’re good.

      2. Wouldn’t it be protected speech, like flag burning?

      3. Burning is also the proper and accepted way for the government to get rid of old currency, as well as old flags. Another case of “do as I say, not as I do” from our betters in DC, apparently.

  12. Ah, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle Davy. He doesn’t get enough love around here.

    1. Shit, wrong thread. Well, fuck.

    2. Believe me, I have my speech all prepared as soon as the housing market recovers enough to dump my house

      “You may all go to Hell, and I shall go to Texas.”

      Best concession speech ever.

      1. “Oh gosh. You know, I’m not much on speeches, but it’s so gratifying to… leave you wallowing in the mess you’ve made. You’re screwed, thank you, bye”

        /Ray Patterson Springfield’s sanitation commissioner

  13. The Dread Justice Roberts?

    1. But is he the real Dread Justice Roberts?

    2. In some ways this whole nut roll gives me faith. Roberts has apparently spent his entire career trying his best to tell people exactly what they wanted to hear. He has managed to completely devoid himself of any beliefs or principles in his pursuit of admiration and success. And all of that effort has made him the most unpopular justice maybe in history. There is an element of Greek tragedy to all of this.

      1. Except, in a tragedy, the protagonist generally doesn’t get to hide out in a luxury hotel in Malta as punishment.

        1. Well yeah, he should have to pluck his own eyes out and live in exile. But when Roberts comes back and is no longer welcome in any social circles in Washington, that will be almost as painful for a political creature like him.

          1. But when Roberts comes back and is no longer welcome in any social circles in Washington,

            I’ll bet it doesn’t happen…. Remember, many of the people in DC want power. They aren’t choosy about how they get it or how it’s wielded.

            Sure, Mrs. George Will will probably not invite him to any parties, but there are plenty of people who don’t give a hoot, or even would like a little fireworks of having a guy like him around.

            My thoroughly cynical expectation is that in 6 months this will have all blown over.

            1. No Tarran it won’t. In six months liberals will have forgotten this and will go back to hating him like before. Conservatives in contrast will have longer memories and will still hate him for this. He won’t have a friend in the entire town.

              1. Roberts, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer…dead!

                1. And yet, and yet, “Senator and Mrs. John Blutarsky”??? This is how we keep getting into this kind of problem. The Deltas and the Omegas NEED each other, just like the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, and their interdependency plays out in similar cartoon antics (which no longer make me laugh, by the way).

                  1. It’s funny–I didn’t care much for Roadrunner/Coyote when I was a kid, but I like it as an adult.

          2. He will be very popular with the progressives. They are really luvin on him over at HuffPo from what I saw.

            1. Progressives will go back to hating him the first time he crosses them.

      2. Well, the best Greek tragedies usually end with the stage littered with mutilated corpses, so there’s that.

        1. The ACA will see to that, I’m sure.

      3. Yes, and we’re all collectively Oedipus.

  14. Roberts surely understands what a horror he has brought upon the middle class of this country. He has taken care of his own, and screwed those of us who are in the middle class. He has emboldened the statists in both parties, and they will now abuse this new power to tax anything or nothing, to no end. We are totally fucked.

    Only Libertarians have the will to reverse the last 100 years of damage that the insane progressives have wrought, and there are not enough of us. Soon more than 50% of the population will pay no taxes at all. The middle class will cease to exist.

    I feel the most for kids that are growing up in this country now. They will never know the prosperity or freedom that a lot of us once knew.

    Roberts just might be the most important guy in Obama and the progressives goal of ‘fundamentally changing the United States of America’… into a poor and totalitarian country, where only the elite political class will have a life that is not a dull gray world of mediocrity.

    Yes, I really do think this decision was THAT important. There is nothing short of total economic collapse that can stop this federal monstrosity now.

    1. Roberts surely understands what a horror he has brought upon the middle class of this country.

      I doubt he does….

      The training of a judge is to prefer theory over practice. Moreover, at appellate levels and above, theory and blinkers consciously applied are the ideal.

      And, to an extent, that is the way it should be. Judgements based on expediency make a very bad legal system.

    2. There is nothing short of total economic collapse that can stop this federal monstrosity now.

      Oh, well, in that case, we just have to wait a couple of years.

  15. “Mad as hell…” perhaps. But will they effectively follow through with “And we’re not gonna take it anymore!”?? In my experience, not very likely.

  16. They set out writing their own opinion – they wrote it to look like a majority decision, according to sources, because they hoped Roberts would rejoin them to strike down the mandate.

    While on vacation, I actually read the decision. All of it. And while the dissent does specifically refer to the liberal opinion as “the dissent”, I cannot read it as people are trying to interpret it. I read it as the liberal dissent as to why the law is constitutional (because it’s a limit on the commerce clause) as opposed to having once been the actual dissent of the losing side of the entire case.

    I smell spin with the analysis that the conservative opinion was actually the majority opinion until Roberts switched sides.

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