All changed, changed utterly 333

Why did Chief Justice Roberts betray the hope that a majority of Americans had placed in him to preserve such freedom as they still possessed?

Was it moral cowardice and personal vanity?

Some believe it was. This is from an IBD editorial:

According to a report by CBS News, Roberts switched his position at the same time the White House, the Democratic Senate and their henchmen in the media made a full frontal assault on him.

In an unseemly move that smacked of intimidation, President Obama warned the court it would be “an unprecedented extraordinary step” for the court to overturn his signature health law. The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee singled out Roberts himself. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., mau-maued him to uphold ObamaCare and maintain “the proper role of the judicial branch.”

The Washington media piled on by demonizing Roberts as partisan. The orchestrated campaign to save ObamaCare included reports warning of damage to the court and to Roberts’  reputation if they voided the law.

Unlike many justices, Roberts “pays attention to media coverage,” CBS says, and he’s highly “sensitive” to how he and the court are perceived by the public.

The last thing Roberts wanted was the Congressional Black Caucus branding him racist for denying the first black president his signature achievement.

Suddenly Roberts, sold by the Bush White House as a solid constitutional conservative, went “wobbly.” Anthony Scalia and other conservatives on the bench spent a full month trying to bring him back to his original position.

But Roberts held firm. And conservatives told him he was on his own. They wrote a highly unusual dissent that deliberately ignored his decision. …

He played politics, which is beyond outrageous. Roberts … expanded government power by giving Congress license to impose taxes to regulate behavior.

If Roberts wanted to make the court look politically neutral, he failed miserably. Nothing could be more political than the head of the bench rewriting bad law to avoid appearing political. If Roberts hoped to burnish the court’s reputation, he succeeding only in staining it.

Roberts could have stopped one of the most glaringly unconstitutional laws ever written, and did not.

This is his legacy.

If it is true that he upheld Obama’s socialist health care law for fear of being hated and accused by the Left, and as a result is now hated and accused by the Right, what  has he gained?

His feelings should not have been a factor in his judgment. To be reviled by vile people is a compliment and an honor.

The fear of being hated and reviled is seen by Dennis Prager as so widespread as to account for the success of the Left. He portrays the Left as a cohort of bullies, and the Right as consisting all too largely of cowards.

He writes:

Given how many more Americans define themselves as conservative rather than as liberal, let alone than as left, how does one explain the success of left-wing policies?

One answer is the appeal of entitlements and a desire to be taken care of. It takes a strong-willed citizen to vote against receiving free benefits. But an even greater explanation is the saturation of Western society by left-wing hate directed at the right. The left’s demonization, personal vilification, and mockery of its opponents have been the most powerful tools in the left-wing arsenal for a century.

The Left has labeled its ideological opponents evil. And when you control nearly all of the news media and schools, that labeling works. …

What matters to most of those who speak for the left is not truth. It is destroying the good name of its opponents. That is the modus operandi of the left. …

To protect himself from vilification by the Left was “the overwhelmingly likely motivation of Chief Justice John Roberts to declare the ObamaCare individual mandate constitutional despite his ruling that, as passed, the mandate was in fact unconstitutional.”

[He] and his conservative colleagues on the Supreme Court have been the targets of media and academia vitriol and personal invective for years, and in some cases, decades. But while his conservative colleagues don’t care, Justice Roberts does.

As reported by CBS News:

“Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending . . . . 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. [“The public” means liberal media and academics.]

“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.

“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.”

[His] change reassure[s] progressives that ridicule, demonization, and character assassination work. With the stakes so high in the forthcoming election, expect it to only increase.

Thomas Sowell does not deny that motives of cowardice and vanity moved Roberts, but thinks the question of motive is “ultimately irrelevant”. What he accuses Roberts of is dereliction of duty.

Roberts was wrong in assessing where his duty lay.

Sowell writes:

Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. …

Chief Justice John Roberts need fear no such fate because he has lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court. But conscience can be a more implacable and inescapable punisher — and should be. …

The Chief Justice probably made as good a case as could be made for upholding the constitutionality of ObamaCare by defining one of its key features as a “tax.”

The legislation didn’t call it a tax and Chief Justice Roberts admitted that this might not be the most “natural” reading of the law. But he fell back on the long-standing principle of judicial interpretation that the courts should not declare a law unconstitutional if it can be reasonably read in a way that would make it constitutional, out of “deference” to the legislative branch of government.

But this question, like so many questions in life, is a matter of degree. How far do you bend over backwards to avoid the obvious, that ObamaCare was an unprecedented extension of federal power over the lives of 300 million Americans today and of generations yet unborn? 

These are the people that Chief Justice Roberts betrayed when he declared constitutional something that is nowhere authorized in the Constitution of the United States.

John Roberts is no doubt a brainy man, and that seems to carry a lot of weight among the intelligentsia — despite glaring lessons from history, showing very brainy men creating everything from absurdities to catastrophes. Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius.

This Supreme Court ruling that the conservative Chief Justice Roberts shockingly swung to uphold the socialist health care law, consummates the tragic story of  “the decline of individual freedom in America, and the wrecking of the best medical care in the world”.

And instead of confirming the Constitution, controverts it.

There are many speculations as to why Chief Justice Roberts did what he did, some attributing noble and far-sighted reasons, and others attributing petty and short-sighted reasons, including personal vanity. But all of that is ultimately irrelevant.

What he did was betray his oath to be faithful to the Constitution of the United States.

Who he betrayed were the hundreds of millions of Americans — past, present and future — whole generations in the past who have fought and died for a freedom that he has put in jeopardy, in a moment of intellectual inspiration and moral forgetfulness, 300 million Americans today whose lives are to be regimented by Washington bureaucrats, and generations yet unborn who may never know the individual freedoms that their ancestors took for granted.

Some claim that Chief Justice Roberts did what he did to save the Supreme Court as an institution from the wrath – and retaliation – of those in Congress who have been railing against Justices who invalidate the laws they have passed. Many in the media and in academia have joined the shrill chorus of those who claim that the Supreme Court does not show proper “deference” to the legislative branch of government.

But what does the Bill of Rights seek to protect the ordinary citizen from? The government! To defer to those who expand government power beyond its constitutional limits is to betray those whose freedom depends on the Bill of Rights.

John Roberts has betrayed the people who looked to him to preserve the freedom the Bill of Rights granted them. He has validated a law that changes everything the United States of America was founded on and for.

On this Independence Day, that is the tragic fact Americans have to face, assimilate, and adjust to. They have been changed into a different kind of nation.