How the Supreme Court has made it easier to choose.
Yes – the U.S. Supreme Court has turned jurisprudence on its head with last week’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare). Chief Justice Roberts was the swing vote and in his majority opinion demonstrated to Americans once again that words can mean anything the Supreme Court wants them to mean to justify the end.
In this case we were treated to how a tax is not a tax when it comes to the Ant-Injunction Act, but it is a tax when considering the constitutionality of the entire bill. It is… but it isn’t a tax. This was an amazing bit of judicial slight-of-hand. And one I suspect Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito were blindsided by. Roberts twisted mightally on the words penalty and tax in his interpretation as found in the Affordable Care Act. He had to in order to find this monstrosity to be Constitutional.
According to Roberts who wrote the majority opinion:
“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.”
Roberts writes that it would be an unconstitutional exercise in the power of Congress to provide a penalty through the commerce clause saying: “The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it.”
Yet not more than two pages later Roberts writes:
“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.”
Then we have the Scalia dissent which reads more like the majority opinion as it refers to Ginsberg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor as the “dissent” opinion. This is a further indication that the Chief Justice Roberts changed his mind and opinion in the matter and joined Ginsberg, Breyer Kagan and Sotomayor therey turning what was the minority opinion into the majority.
Scalia eloquently writes:
““[T]he unique attributes of the health-care market . . . give rise to a significant freeriding problem that does not occur in other markets.” Ante, at 28. And “a vegetable-purchase mandate” (or a car-purchase mandate) is not “likely to have a substantial effect on the health-care costs” borne by other Americans. Ante, at 29. Those differences make a very good argument by the dissent’s own lights, since they show that the failure to purchase health insurance, unlike the failure to purchase cars or broccoli, creates a national, social-welfare problem that is (in the dissent’s view) included among the unenumerated “problems” that the Constitution authorizes the Federal Government to solve. But those differences do not show that the failure to enter the health-insurance market, unlike the failure to buy cars and broccoli, is an activity that Congress can “regulate.” (Of course one day the failure of some of the public to purchase American cars may endanger the existence of domestic automobile manufacturers; or the failure of some to eat broccoli may be found to deprive them of a newly discovered cancer fighting chemical which only that food contains, producing health-care costs that are a burden on the rest of us—in which case, under the theory of JUSTICE GINSBURG’s dissent, moving against those inactivities will also come within the Federal Government’s unenumerated problem solving powers.)”
More than once Scalia talks about Ginsberg as the “dissent” opinion in the above passage and throughout the real dissent of Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito.
Chief Justice Roberts in justifying his rationale for calling this law constitutional reasons that Congress was wrong to call it a penalty and use the commerce clause as justification (as that would be unconstitutional he writes), but it is constitutional if we call it a tax. He writes:
“That, according to the Government, means the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition—not owning health insurance—that triggers a tax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.”
But Roberts is so wrong here. If I PURCHASE gasoline I get taxed. If I DON’T PURCHASE gasoline I pay no tax. If I EARN INCOME I pay a tax. If I DON’T EARN INCOME I don’t pay a tax. Now thanks to the Chief Justice, Americans will be TAXED if for inactivity – the act of NOT purchasing health insurance. And he gave Congress an entirely new “constitutional” way to do it… simply call it a tax and the Roberts court will uphold it.
Or worse, if Congress calls it a penalty as they did in the Affordable Care Act, then the Chief Justice will help them out by correcting Congress’s intent and substitute tax for them. Anything to avoid that messy job he signed on to do as a Justice on the Supreme Court by finding a law unconstitutional.
Using Robert’s twisted logic, the government would is now able to levy a tax on those NOT earning a income! How stupid would that be? And how stupid is the reasoning this Supreme Court Justice uses in suggesting that such a thing would be possible and within the powers of the Federal Government.
Ah but he’s thought of answer to that. Saying that if we don’t like it, change Washington. And that is exactly what we must do this November: Change Washington, starting with the occupant of the White House.
You can download the entire sorry ass decision from the home page of FirearmsAndLiberty.com