What Happened to John Roberts?
Look, let’s cut to the chase here, folks. The reason that I’m nervous with all this speculation that Chief Justice Roberts “caved” and who “got to him” and who intimated him is simple. The reason I’m having trouble with this is that I don’t think that’s what happened. I believe I mentioned earlier this week (it might have been yesterday or the day before) that I had been warned years ago. I was in a conversation about justices on the court and how they respond to public pressure in the Washington Post Style Section.
You know, the usual obligatory way you go and discuss the way that the media tries to influence outcome of votes on the Supreme Court. And all those conversations centered around Justice Kennedy as the swing vote. And I was warned, “It’s not Kennedy you have to look out for. It’s Justice Roberts.” I can’t tell you who told me. No, no! I know who it is. It’s not that I’ve forgotten. It’s that I can’t mention it. I think really what happened here is not a cave. I don’t think there was a cave, folks.
I think Chief Justice Roberts is establishing his legacy. I think it’s what he wanted to do. I think this is his imprimatur. This is The Roberts Court, like we had The Warren Court and we had The Rehnquist Court. This is The Roberts Court. This is his stamp on it. I know it’s fun to think about the intimidation that might have occurred and who succeeded with it and so forth. There’s also… I don’t want to mention any names on this, either, because I don’t mean to embarrass anybody. But the other thing going on that you might have seen or heard yourself is this: “Hey, wait a minute, Rush! Rush, wait a minute! Didn’t this tax increase originate in the Senate? Aren’t the taxes in the Obamacare from the Senate and therefore they’re unconstitutional?” Well, where are we gonna go on that? We gotta go back to where? The very same court that just said it’s okay! So what do we do? Okay, even if that’s a valid point. I understand this kind of stuff is gonna happen on a day like this. People are grasping at straws. They’re trying to look at something, anything they can grab onto to explain this and to give us some hope that we can reverse this. They knew that if this bill were sold as a tax increase, it'd fail.
Obama was out there saying, "Nobody who makes under $200,000 a year will see their taxes go up as long as I'm president." Everybody's taxes go up and sometimes monstrously high here. Obama went to the end of the world trying to convince people this is not a tax increase. And when the mandate was running into trouble, then they tried to say, "Well, maybe it is a tax." They sent their little Verrilli up to the court to argue, "It could be a tax." They weren't excited about it. They didn't want to sell it that way.
It turns out they didn't have to. The chief judge found it! He said (summarized), "You know what? I'm just gonna call it a tax. The government can do that. They can't make everybody buy health insurance with the mandate, but they can with the tax code." That's what happened today. It's an appalling, disgraceful decision.
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