Skip to comments.Judicial Betrayal (Thomas Sowell on John Roberts)
Posted on 07/02/2012 11:26:31 AM PDT by jazusamo
Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. Yet there are people in Washington too often, Republicans who start living in the Beltway atmosphere, and start forgetting those hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the Beltway who trusted them to do right by them, to use their wisdom instead of their cleverness.
President Bush 41 epitomized these betrayals when he broke his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. He paid the price when he quickly went from high approval ratings as president to someone defeated for reelection by a little known governor from Arkansas.
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.
One of the Chief Justice's admirers said that when others are playing checkers, he is playing chess. How much consolation that will be as a footnote to the story of the decline of individual freedom in America, and the wrecking of the best medical care in the world, is another story.
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.
Similar reasoning was used back in the 1970s to justify the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies. Otherwise, it was said, Congress would destroy the Fed's independence, as it can also change the courts' jurisdiction. But is it better for an institution to undermine its own independence, and freedom along with it, while forfeiting the trust of the people in the process?
Alberto Gonzales the third worst Atoorney General vetted him.
A most excellent post regarding Rev. Arnett and Oaths, thank you much.
This is why every Republican who shies away from "social issues" is wrong to do so. What we refer to as the dominant culture in the country is really just a reflection of the moral state of the People in general. And as the Founders warned us, our system of self-government will implode if not manned by people of the right caliber. Take a system that grants unprecedented freedom to its citizens and populate it with morally apathetic people, and the result is guaranteed to be catastrophic.
Our system depends on being staffed with people of character and honor for it to work as intended. As we have seen, oaths are important and must be honored by those who take them. But if we simply ignore those uncomfortable "social issues", how do we expect to raise up generations of Americans who are morally fit to exercise their responsibilities as citizens, much less as officers of the government? Garbage in - Garbage out.
I am afraid we simply have precious few people today who are even remotely qualified to govern from a moral standpoint. And the only way to address this problem is not through tax policy or foreign policy (important as those are), but rather through social policy. If we don't start resisting the liberal social agenda without fail and without compromise, we will never have a prayer of setting the right course on taxes, or spending, or foreign affairs, or on anything else for that matter. We will just continue to churn out morally-confused people who cannot properly differentiate between right and wrong, and should not be surprised when they fail to see the significance of an oath.
In practical terms what I mean is that we must refuse to accept liberal premises. Refuse to go along at work or at school with "diversity" training. Refuse to be silent when someone promulgates the lie that America is a racist, empire-building evil country. Refuse to tolerate any portion of the homosexual agenda, because tolerance by those who were just trying to be polite and avoid conflict has now brought us to the point where we are seriously debating an oxymoron such as "gay marriage." We have to do more than just refuse to allow liberals to continue to make things worse, however. We must become involved in all facets of the culture that conservatives have traditionally avoided, from media, to art and film, to academia, to government, etc. In this way, we can begin to model moral courage and uprightness to our children and to any adults who aren't already too far gone.
We must rebuild the character of the People if we are to have any chance of reclaiming our nation.
Please ping me
Welcome to the Sowell ping list, you’re on.
I’m with Dr. Sowell.
Thanks for the ping.
I feel betrayed - how could he do this? Can't seem to shake the feeling that people like me don't matter.
But this was pushed through Congress with favoritism, arm-twisting, and bribes with the people's money. Surely Congress and the executive branch do not deserve deference when they act in this way.
There was something very strange and wrong here. Maybe we will learn what it was someday.
In the meantime, repeal, replace, and eventually overturn.
They all must be reading Painting Yourself into a Corner for Dummies.
The most asinine statement in the entire process was when Einstein Pelosi said we have to pass it to find out what's in it. Sadly, all too many believed that bunk.
This Obamacare law, and Roberts’ cowardly acquisition to it, are acts of tyranny and treason.
I'm pretty sure I can smell it. Is that close enough?
Truly, John Roberts is a sheep in sheep's clothing!
He abandoned the Constitution because he was afraid of being dissed by the Beltway cocktail party crowd (long may they live in darkness!).
If we are to assume that Crawford's CBS report is correct, then the following is evident:
1. The liberal leadership has an agent sgrategically placed within Roberts' inner circle. They knew exactly which buttons to push.
2. And the entire liberal machinery responded immediately and unanimously to instructions to push those particular buttons at every opportunity.
Remember how, initially, became fearful that Obamacare would be overturned. Then, subsequently, Kennedy was identified as the hopeful savior. But, eventually, about four weeks ago, it was Roberts that was named as the most likely benefactor to the liberal cause.
Similarly, they began "speculating" on why Roberts would be a possible defector -- so as avoid another nasty partisan decision, so as to bravely avoid sinking a signature piece of legislation, etc. The media, the President, Pelosi, Reid, etc. were all reading from this script.
The net is: we can never count on Roberts' vote again. He has been subverted once; he can be again. And, of course, "the liberals run Washington D.C."...
Thomas Sowell is long recognized as going right to the heart of an issue.
He calls John Roberts’ action a betrayal of the Bill of Rights, of the people, of their freedom.
He joins a long list of respected Americans who do not buy into “John Roberts’ the Chess Playing Genius”.
Thank you so much for the ping, dear brother in Christ! Truly, I think the word “betrayal” is the most accurate describing how the Roberts’ decision has been received by conservatives.
Of course they do. The SCOTUS, like every other government body in DC is more or less 100% liberal among the rank and file ... the key workers who keep things going in every government operation. They remain in place through multiple administrations, and indeed are often the children and grandchildren of Left-Wingers brought in by the Roosevelt Administrations of the 1930's and 40's.
Then there are the Justices' Law Clerks. Do you expect a woman from a family of notorious Communists,
like Justice Kagan, is going to appoint a conservative lawyer to her staff, or a conservative secretary?
Visit the office of a Republican elected official. You will find it more often than not staffed with DC insiders who are liberals to a man! The Republicans have NEVER learned to "take care of their own," and as a result the Washington DC power structure has been firmly in Democrat hands since 1930!
Bottom Line: Team Obama began working on this months ago when they got the word that Obamacare was going down. BUT let me tell you one part of Robert's sell-out that actually makes a modicum of sense (to me anyway): He seems to indicate that the Supreme Court is powerless to correct the mistakes or the stupidity of the electorate. IOW, you want Obamacare gone? OK, vote it out.
......IOW, you want Obamacare gone? OK, vote it out. .....
That is the message and voters must react by destroying the socialist machine that created the abominable debacle.
The weak minded women of America must become accountable for themselves. Unions must be defanged. Unfortunately, there is little hope for black voter change.
Never the less, voters will prevail and enable legislators to destroy the abomination and start anew.
Serious political change requires serious leadership. We’ll soon know if Romney is up to the task. So far he has shown very little “bounce” since he was declared the defacto nominee following the withdrawal of Santorum from the Republican race. He’s going to have to do much better if he’s going to knock off Obama. Given the continuing sorry state of the American economy, Fast and Furious, amnesty, and the backlash over the SCC decision, Romney should be leading 55% to 45% nationally. What should be a landslide in November is going to be a nail biter, which will make the result vulnerable to the Democrat election fraud machine.
And Arizona was called "At Presidential Whim" Act. (You can't enforce law if the president is having a hissy fit and not doing his job.)
Combined, they are "The Nero/Caligula Acts"
Shoulda done this years ago ... please add me to the Dr. Thomas Sowell ping list. Thanks!
Welcome to the Sowell ping list, you’re on. FRegards!
” 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. “
” 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. “
Great writing by Sowell. Justice Roberts is directly responsible for making our people much less free than they were. Nothing but pure evil. Even more evil, if he wasn’t blackmailed or threatened!
"JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Here we have one where the Congress is not denominating it a -- as a tax; it's denominating it as a penalty.
MR. LONG: That's -- that's absolutely right, and that's obviously why -- if it were called a tax, there would be absolutely no question that the Anti-Injunction Act applies.
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Absolutely."
If the anti-injunction act applies, the suit is out of order and should NOT have been decided! The "wise Latina" admitted as much, but still choose to rule while also calling it a tax!
Yes, they did - as a secondary argument. It lead to the following amusing exchange on the first day of oral arguments (pp 31-32 of the transcript):
"JUSTICE ALITO: General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax.
Has the Court ever held that something that is a tax for purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?
GENERAL VERRILLI: No, Justice Alito,... "
But that is precisely what the court did in this case!
"JUSTICE GINSBURG: But the question that I asked you is, if you're right that this penalty is not covered by section 7421, if you're right about that, why should we deal with the jurisdictional question at all? Because this statute, correct, the way you're reading -read it, doesn't involve a tax that's subject to the Anti-Injunction Act.
GENERAL VERRILLI: Yes, that is exactly our position.
The chief justice of SCOTUS writes an opinion that has all the coherence of drool, and the only lasting effect of the opinion is keeping ObamaCare alive. This Roberts does despite the scathing dissent of his peers.
We know Obama has ridiculed Roberts and the entire court in SOTU addresses, and more recently with veiled threats on TV. Roberts caved. It never should have happened, but it did.
Michael Savage has pointed out that Roberts is on anti-seizure medication, and these medications are known to have negative effects on cognitive ability. I suppose political correctness prevented this from becoming an issue during Robert's appointment. Too bad. It should have been a big red flag.
Obama people actually have access to him after the hearing -- another idiocy, and highly suspect ethics -- and convince Roberts that he and the country will suffer (more threats) if a 5-4 decision comes down. (Oh no! Not another Bush v. Gore! "You will be a pariah, and your court will be viewed with distain.")
And Roberts becomes a completely ineffectual dupe.
Who rules America?
The Supremacy Clause was not an issue in those cases; no one disputes that laws adopted by Congress are the Supreme Laws of the Land, and have the effect of preempting any contrary state law. The issue was whether Congress was authorized to approve those laws in the first place.
Scalia voted with the majority in Lopez and has been solid regarding the Commerce Clause. The dissent in the Obamacare case does a pretty good job distinguishing Raich. In Raich, the federal government could not permit marijuana to be grown for intrastate consumption without it defeating its policy to prohibit sales of marijuana in interstate commerce, since such marijuana was indistinguishable from marijuana that would be sold in interstate commerce; the analogy used was how the federal government could ban the sale of “hunting trophies” from protected species even when the animal had been hunted prior to the species being protected, since one could not determine whether a “trophy” came from an animal hunted pre- or post-protection. There is no doubt that marijuana is sold in interstate commerce, and for the reasons stated above it was appropriate for the federal government to ban ints production.
Regarding the use of the taxing power, Scalia voted (as you noted) with the majority in SD v. Dole, where the Court held that withholding a mere 5% of highway funds from states that did not raise the drinking age was not coercion. I would have dissented, but had Congress offered an extra 5% to states that had a 21-year-old drinking age (instead of taking away 5% from those that didn’t) it would have been a more difficult case; I guess that Scalia thought that either way the inducement/penalty was trivial enough that it didn’t violate the states’ rights.
Joe Biden Tells Federal Judge He Will Have to Rule on Implanted Microchips (Roberts)
Legislative overreach is a topic every FReeper should be familiar with. The idea that an elected body may do whatever it wants and the results will be fair/moral is absurd on its face.
During the Critical Period between the Revolutionary War and the Constitution, our young republics ran wild with popular, democratic legislatures. While the people had not refined their methods to legally steal from their neighbors outright, they got their legislators to pass laws that screwed creditors, confiscated property, inflated money, enacted ex-post facto laws, and generally impaired contracts to favor debtors.
These faults were corrected in the Constitution so often derided at this forum.
Similarly, we suffer today from too much democracy. For 99 years the Senate has not served as the lid on the House of Representatives it was designed to be. No, our Senators are vote grubbers like the Reps, only worse, because they have six year terms and imagine themselves minor gods.
Our Framers got it right in 1787 and the 16th, 17th amendments have been our undoing.
The American Revolution is dead.
It's been a coup since Roberts "flubbed" the swearing in of a man who to this day has not demonstrably qualified for office, and then supposedly re-administered the oath later, behind closed doors.
It may have been largely bloodless (so far), but a coup has absolutely taken place, IMHO.
Jaz- Please add me to your Dr. Sowell Ping list. The man's a national treasure.
Amen to that, F_J.
Welcome to the Sowell ping list, you’re on. FRegards.
(My takeaway line from Dr. Sowell's piece)...
But conscience can be a more implacable and inescapable punisher and should be.
I suspect Roberts was paying Obama back for the executive order he signed allowing children bought into the United States illegally to have Amnesty. But that's beside the point.
The aftershocks of the GWB earthquake continue. Notice GWB hasn’t said a peep about his former nominee. Even ol’ Ike spoke out against Earl Warren liberalism a time or two, not that it made any difference of course.
Why do some think that Roberts’ children are illegals?
wow. funny & scary.
I no longer have any respect fo rthe USSC, or any US court for that matter. None follow the US Constituion, all are geared twowards the further enslavement of the American people.
If we take the WH and congress one of the first orders of business is the impeachment of Justice Roberts.
Add me to the ping list too please.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.