As we await the decision from the Supreme Court regarding the Mandate, and perhaps even the striking down of Obamacare, liberals are searching hard for ways to show that the problem wasn’t the law, but with the people who rule on the law. I highlighted a bit of that yesterday. And here comes ultra-liberal E.J. Dionne, who attempts to paint the conservatives on the court as “activists”
Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Senator, excuse me, Justice Samuel Alito quoted Congressional Budget Office figures on Tuesday to talk about the insurance costs of the young. On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress “wouldn’t have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through.” Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist’s office?
It would be a courtroom on a complicated issue, E.J. Courtrooms are a wee bit different in real life than what you see on Law and Order and other criminal shows on TV. Especially when one is arguing constitutionality.
It fell to the court’s liberals — the so-called “judicial activists,” remember? — to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government’s elected branches.
Justice Stephen Breyer noted that some of the issues raised by opponents of the law were about “the merits of the bill,” a proper concern of Congress, not the courts. And in arguing for restraint, Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked what was wrong with leaving as much discretion as possible “in the hands of the people who should be fixing this, not us.” It was nice to be reminded that we’re a democracy, not a judicial dictatorship.
So, it’s cool when the Liberal justices stray down the same “activist” roads. Gotcha. Anyhow, it’s good to know that one of the supposedly premier Washington Post writers doesn’t understand that we are a Republic, not a democracy. I wonder what E.J. would say about “judicial dictatorship” regarding Roe v. Wade, considered to be the worst, most unjudicial decision ever?
The conservative justices were obsessed with weird hypotheticals. If the federal government could make you buy health insurance, might it require you to buy broccoli, health club memberships, cellphones, burial services and cars? All of which have nothing to do with an uninsured person getting expensive treatment that others — often taxpayers — have to pay for.
Except, that is a central point of the argument: can the government force commerce? Has E.J. been paying attention at all to the case?
The irony is that if the court’s conservatives overthrow the mandate, they will hasten the arrival of a more government-heavy system. Justice Anthony Kennedy even hinted that it might be more “honest” if government simply used “the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single-payer.” Remember those words.
Hmm, that sounds like liberal judicial activism. Anyhow, let’s wrap this up
This is what conservative justices will do if they strike down or cripple the health-care law. And a court that gave us Bush v. Gore and Citizens United will prove conclusively that it sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws. A Supreme Court that is supposed to give us justice will instead deliver ideology.
In my post yesterday, Bush v. Gore was mentioned. Now we have E.J. doing the same. I’ve seen references to it around the Web. It looks like Liberals are getting their talking points together, and will reference that ruling constantly.
But, the Supreme Court is not supposed to give us “justice”, at least not only: one of it’s purposes was to be a check against the powers of the Legislative and Executive branches, to make sure they stay within the framework of the Constitution. Why do conservatives constantly have to teach liberals these things?