Jacob Sullum on John Roberts' Modest Arrogance



Three years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts rewrote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, to save a key provision that he believed would otherwise be unconstitutional. Last week he did it again, this time to make the law work better.

In both cases, Jacob Sullum says, Roberts claimed he was deferring to the legislature when he was doing just the opposite: applying the law he thought Congress should have enacted instead of the one it actually passed. Sullum argues that such arrogance disguised as modesty undermines the rule of law while encouraging legislative laziness.