The Supreme Court ruled today that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Chief Justice Roberts was the swing vote. He voted with the liberal justices. Did he do his job correctly or is this more political maneuvering?
CNN legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, said today during an interview with Brooke Baldwin that Justice Roberts spoke sadly and not in his normal clear voice as he delivered his opinion. As it became clear that he was going to uphold the law, commonly called "Obamacare" by the right, pundits were shocked.
Roberts was a Bush Jr. pick and then Senator Barack Obama voted against him in the senate confirmation hearing. Yet, Roberts came through for Obama today. Or did he?
Chief Justice Roberts has voted to uphold military tribunals, siding with the Bush administration, while a circuit judge. The Supreme Court later overturned that decision 5-3 without Roberts in 2006.
He also signed a legal brief while working in the Bush Sr. administration urging the court to overturn Roe v. Wade. During his confirmation hearing he still insisted that Roe v. Wade had no legal basis in the court.
Clearly, Roberts leans right. But not today.
Could he have voted in favor of Obamacare just to pass the buck back to his conservative counterparts in Congress? To help Mitt Romney? Lord knows, Mitt needs all the help he can get.
All the pundits are saying this decision has invigorated the Republican base. It has fueled them to win in November. It has put the ball back in the voter's court. Roberts is even being called a "genius" by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
Did Roberts go out of his way to identify Obamacare as a tax? He most certainly did. He knows Grover Norquist is holding a sledgehammer over every Republican Congressperson's head. If they vote to raise taxes, they're not getting re-elected. That's the deal, right? So, any Republican that votes in favor of this healthcare bill will essentially be voting to raise taxes. Blam! Down goes Norquist's hammer.
Hopefully Americans are paying attention to more than the President's name in the voting booth this November. If Republicans control the House and Senate, expect Washington to come to a complete halt rather than the snail's pace it is today. A good President can only do so much without a functioning, sane legislative branch.
What to expect from this decision -- more fighting.
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