The Breathtaking Lawlessness Of Chief Justice Roberts’ ObamaCare Decision

This is from the ObamaCare SCOTUS syllabus (pdf) which technically isn’t part of the opinion but a summation of the holdings that the justices approve before it’s included in decision.

1. CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Part II, concluding that the Anti-Injunction Act does not bar this suit.  The Anti-Injunction Act provides that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person,” 26 U. S. C. §7421(a), so that those subject to a tax must first pay it and then sue for a refund. The present challenge seeks to restrain the collection of the shared responsibility payment from those who do not comply with the individual mandate. But Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit. Pp. 11–
15.

3. CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS concluded in Part III–B that the individual mandate must be construed as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance, if such a construction is reasonable.
The most straightforward reading of the individual mandate is that it commands individuals to purchase insurance. But, for the reasons explained, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power.It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.” Art. I, §8, cl. 1. In pressing its taxing power argument, the Government asks the Court to view the mandate as imposing a tax on those who do not buy that product. Because “every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality,” Hooper v. California, 155
U. S. 648, 657, the question is whether it is “fairly possible” to interpret the mandate as imposing such a tax, Crowell v. Benson, 285
U. S. 22, 62. Pp. 31–32.

Got that? In Part II of the decision, it’s not a tax so the case can go forward but by Part II, it’s magically OK under the taxing power.

I guess the Taxing Power is so awesome it empowers things that aren’t taxes.

About Drew

I blog about politics and hockey because I sort of understand those things. I'd blog about women but I'll never understand them.

Posted on June 28, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Speaking of previous tax-related Supreme Court decisions, please consider the following. Regardless that Justice Roberts found Obamacare “constitutional” with respect to Congress’s power to lay taxes, perhaps you will find it disturbing, as I have, that the Court had previously clarified that the states have never granted Congress the constitutional authority to address intrastate public healthcare issues.

    More specifically, regardless that Roberts referenced the Gibbons v. Ogden case in the Obamacare opinion, he seemingly ignored two key statements in the Gibbons opinion which clearly indicate, imo, that Congress has no constitutional authority to make legislation of any kind regulating public healthcare.

    In fact, note that the first statement below clarifies, in a single sentence, that not only is public healthcare a state power issue, sovereign state powers to address public healthcare issues protected by the 10th Amendment, but also that Congress has no constitutional authority to regulate intrastate commerce; FDR’s activist justices got the Commerce Clause wrong in Wickard v. Filburn.

    “State inspection laws, health laws, and laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c. are not within the power granted to Congress.” –Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.

    “Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States.” –Chief Justice John Marshall, Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.

    In other words, Congress cannot make laws to lay taxes or establish penalties in the name of intrastate public healthcare any more than it can make laws regulating 1st Amendment protected religious expression and freedom of press imo.

    Here’s two more excerpts from USSC case opinions which likewise indicate that Congress has no constitutional authority to make laws regulating intrastate healthcare. Note that Justice Barbour referenced the above excerpt from Gibbons in New York v. Miln, expanding it as follows.

    “Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a state and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass.” –Justice Barbour, New York v. Miln, 1837.

    And before Constitution-ignoring FDR nuked the Supreme Court with activist justices, Constitution-respecting justices had again emphasized that Congress has no business sticking its big nose into intrastate medical practice.

    “Direct control of medical practice in the states is obviously beyond the power of Congress.” –Linder v. United States, 1925.

  1. Pingback: Chief Justice Roberts, Economic Fascist « ACGR's "News with Attitude"

  2. Pingback: Chief Justice Roberts, Economic Fascist « Attack the System

  3. Pingback: Chief Justice Roberts and Economic Fascism

  4. Pingback: Roberts is a fascist-ista. » Giving the devil his due.

  5. Pingback: Chief Justice Roberts and Economic Fascism « Silver For The People – The Blog

  6. Pingback: The Breathtaking Lawlessness Of Chief Justice Roberts’ ObamaCare Decision | AirModal Independent

  7. Pingback: Chief Justice Roberts and the Fascist Economy [Gary North] « Mktgeist blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: