Betrayed again! And by an even larger number than the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision in June 2012.
There are several conclusions we can draw from this decision, and like most dark clouds it has a few silver linings.
It’s time to quite referring to Chief Justice Roberts as a conservative. I can’t tell you how many times I hear commentators refer to Chief Justice John Roberts as one of the conservative members of the Court. This decision should put an end to that mischaracterization.
He has gone out of his way, twice, to save an unconstitutional law that never should have passed in the first place.
King would have been a perfect opportunity to address President Obama’s penchant for ignoring the rule of law, which real conservatives have complained about for the past six years. And yet Roberts et al said it is perfectly all right to ignore what a law says.
This decision empowers Obama to continue doing whatever the heck he wants. You expect that kind of action from the Court’s liberals, but not conservatives—which is, again, why Roberts shouldn’t be grouped with them.
This is the activist Court liberals claimed they didn’t want. Remember when, in the months leading up to the June 2012 Court decision, liberals claimed that only activist judges would deny the country what Congress passed—albeit with only Democratic votes. And, they said, conservatives were supposed to be against activist judges. Well, this decision was an activist decision.
There is a longstanding process for how Congress fixes problems in the legislation it passes: it’s called a “technical corrections bill.” Members simply pass the needed language to fix the problem; and that’s what the Court should have ruled here.
Of course, Obama would not be able to do that because of the way he rammed the law through in the first place, but that’s not the Court’s problem.
So Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy decided to fix the legislation themselves. Justice Antonin Scalia rightly pointed out that words apparently no longer mean anything and that we should start referring to this law as SCOTUS Care—because the Supreme Court is responsible for its existence.
Any major changes to Obamacare will have to be done by Congress and a different president. Having the Supreme Court single-handedly undermine the president’s health care law was never the best approach. It would have further politically charged the issue as liberals claimed that five activist conservative justices destroyed the law.
Now it will take Congress and a new president, one who is dedicated to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law, to reverse it. That means repealing Obamacare or passing legislation that allows the vast majority of Americans to bypass the law—in essence making it irrelevant.
Actually, the decision might energize the Republican presidential candidates to put Obamacare back on the front burner—and force Hillary Clinton to defend tits canceled policies, higher premiums and reduced access to doctors.
A newly elected president who has made Obamacare repeal a key component of the campaign and wins the White House will have some momentum to do just that.
Of course, Democrats might try to challenge that action, which means the liberal Justice Roberts could have a chance to make it three saves.
Republicans dodged a bullet because they didn’t have a strategy. Republicans had been working on their own solution had the Court decided for King, but there was no consensus—and a lot of dissent from those who thought Republicans shouldn’t do anything to preserve the legislation by extending the subsidies.
Plus, Obama was ready to blame Republicans for the fact that millions of Americans were losing their coverage—even though Democrats didn’t seem to mind when millions of Americans had their policies cancelled because of Obamacare.
The potential for being blamed, which would be repeatedly echoed in the media, had a lot of Republicans nervous. So with this decision they dodged a bullet—or think they did.
But even though conservatives, and the American people, lost this battle, they haven’t lost the war—at least not yet. The final battle will be fought in Congress in 2017, but only if voters elect members of Congress and a president who care more about the Constitution than redistribution.