New Book Says Justice Scalia Was ‘Enraged’ at John Roberts Over Health Care Decision

Yo'Adrienne..AFCL 2012/09/17 01:02:03

Roberts Scalia

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A new book details how Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the court to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and says Justice Antonin Scalia was “enraged” at him for doing so.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court“ says the other four conservative justices on the court wanted to ”kill off the entire health care law,“ alienating Roberts who sought out a ”middle ground,” according to excerpts of the book published Saturday by Politico.

A lifelong Republican, Roberts originally intended to vote to overturn the law, but it became apparent to the other justices in April and May that he was going “wobbly,” Toobin wrote:

“The four conservatives had overplayed their hand with the chief justice. By demanding that Roberts kill off the entire health care law, they prompted him to look for some kind of middle ground. … [Justice Antonin ] Scalia was enraged at the chief.”

“Wobbly,” incidentally, is the same word sources used to describe Roberts in a major CBS News story published just days after the court announced its decision.

Part of the reason for Roberts’ switch, according to Toobin, is that he had two goals for his tenure as chief: “to push his own ideological agenda but also to preserve the court’s place as a respected final arbiter of the nation’s disputes.”
A complete nullification of the health care law on the eve of a presidential election would put the Court at the center of the campaign … Democrats, and perhaps Obama himself, would crusade against the Court, eroding its moral if not its legal authority. … Gradually, then with more urgency, Roberts began looking for a way out. …

Despite conservative outrage over Roberts’ vote, Toobin said his opinion “is a potentially significant long-term gain” for the movement.:

[F]or Roberts personally and the conservative cause generally, his vote and opinion in the health care case were acts of strategic genius. … Roberts at a minimum laid down a marker on the scope of the commerce clause. … Roberts’s opinion is potentially a significant long-term gain for the conservative movement. … Roberts bought enormous political space for himself for future rulings. … Did Roberts, by his late switch in the health care case, poison his relations with his conservative allies on the Court? That is very unlikely.”

Scalia told CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview over the summer there was no truth to reports that relationships between the justices had strained over the decision, saying, “No, I haven’t had a falling out with Justice Roberts.”

“The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court” is due out on Tuesday.

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Top Opinion

  • Kat ♪ ~ ♪ 2012/09/17 01:05:12
    Kat ♪ ~ ♪
    If the court would have followed the law it would have been overturned without him. Kagan should not have voted on it.

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  • Claybern 2012/09/21 20:39:04
    Obamacare is the largest tax increase on the middle class in history.
  • Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F 2012/09/17 22:06:51
    Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F
    "Middle ground" means moderate which means hang to the Left. Roberts either showed his true colors or sold himself like a whore. Either way, he is another traitor as far as I'm concerned.
  • frank 2012/09/17 16:30:45
    Roberts got it wrong! I don't care if you call Obamacare a fee or a tax; the government is still forcing America to buy something. That’s Wrong!
  • Don 2012/09/17 16:25:37
    How many centuries will pass before you ever see a liberal justice cross over?
  • Doc Freeman BTO-T-TB~pwcmjla~ 2012/09/17 14:26:25
    Doc Freeman BTO-T-TB~pwcmjla~
    I am with Justice Antonin Scalia. Because of Justice Roberts decision on Obamacare there are even more lawsuits than before. Because of Robert’s opinion we can look forward to higher premiums from insurance companies, higher taxes to help fund illegals healthcare, more penalties on business that cannot comply with the law, or the decrease of companies offering health insurance as a benefit, less doctors accepting Medicare and Medicaid since they will not be pay enough to cover their expenses and lower quality of healthcare for the poor. For Justice Roberts to be considered a conservative we do not need a liberal on the Supreme Court with his kind of conservative outlook. Since Harry Reid in the Senate is the one who changed the wording on Obamacare to make it a tax and since only the House of Representatives can endorse new taxes then this is against the Constitution. So here we go again.
  • Philo® ~PWCM~JLA ✩ 2012/09/17 10:45:33
  • Yo'Adri... Philo® ... 2012/09/18 12:54:46
  • ☆astac☆~PWCM 2012/09/17 05:41:29
    Roberts decision was not a win for conservatives, it opens the door for the feds to do whatever they want, all they have to do is call it a tax. Roberts has set us back over 100 years with this BS decision of his
  • Yo'Adri... ☆astac☆... 2012/09/18 12:55:09
    Indeed......100 years OR MORE!
  • ☆stillthe12c☆ 2012/09/17 05:06:49
    Can't say that I can blame Justice Scalia for being a little irritated as Justice Roberts called the penalties a Tax when even the Obama Lawyers said that it was not a tax.
  • ☆ QueenAline 2012/09/17 02:28:41
    ☆ QueenAline
    I hope he's spending many sleepless nights....he was wrong...and I just hope his conscience haunts him till the day he dies.
  • Mae 2012/09/17 02:16:08
    Roberts either was threatened and felt he had to obey, or he is not a true Conservative with the best wishes for the country and the people in his heart. If he did this for some kind of political gain, that makes him corrupt and useless. I will never regard him as trustworthy or conservative again, that's for sure! Since our country's government is going to Hell in a handbasket and Checks & Balances are almost non-existant these days, there needs to be a way corrupted judges can be removed from the courts! Judges these days too often view themselves as kings or emperors, not rulers of justice.
  • belle 2012/09/17 02:00:19
    Forget the parties, all americans were screwed by Roberts.
  • tommyg - POTL- PWCM-JLA 2012/09/17 01:33:37
    tommyg - POTL- PWCM-JLA
    As well he should. We all should.
  • mimi 2012/09/17 01:17:21
    I had heard that Scalia was very upset, as he should have been. What Roberts' did is just unconscionable to me! The SCOTUS needs to do their job and stay out of politics.
  • Red mimi 2012/09/17 01:56:56
  • ☆ Queen... Red 2012/09/17 02:27:19
    ☆ QueenAline
    my thoughts too
  • mimi Red 2012/09/17 11:27:59
    That's right and I've never been so disappointed in my life. I thought he was more of a "man" than that.
  • Red mimi 2012/09/17 16:50:21
  • Yo'Adri... mimi 2012/09/17 19:47:25
    They love to FOOL us........don't they?
  • mimi Yo'Adri... 2012/09/17 21:22:31
    They love to TRY to!!
  • Red mimi 2012/09/17 21:42:44
  • mimi Red 2012/09/17 23:46:15
    Yep, you're right. They can hold a gun to my head, I WILL NOT give up my Jesus Christ!
  • Yo'Adri... Red 2012/09/17 19:46:37
    That fits into my interpretation alright!!!!
  • wtw 2012/09/17 01:11:16
    Obama either scared Roberts on had something on him==Roberts felt threatened is my guess!
  • ☆ Queen... wtw 2012/09/17 02:27:37
    ☆ QueenAline
    i agree....
  • Yo'Adri... wtw 2012/09/17 19:48:44
  • Concerned Citizen 2012/09/17 01:08:45
    Concerned Citizen
    It should have been over turned and then just sent back to the drawing board,......the Supreme Court missed a chance to do something right for America,...and in the end,...did a big wrong!
  • Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2012/09/17 01:08:27
    Well, it sure looks as though he is Not Speaking to the CJ.
  • Kat ♪ ~ ♪ 2012/09/17 01:05:12
    Kat ♪ ~ ♪
    If the court would have followed the law it would have been overturned without him. Kagan should not have voted on it.
  • Yo'Adri... Kat ♪ ~ ♪ 2012/09/17 19:49:21

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