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Did Obama Bully Roberts Into Upholding Obamacare?

Was Supreme Court John Roberts intimidated by President Obama and his allies into writing a startling, incomprehensible opinion that preserved Obama’s signature achievement as president?

Is it possible that the august corridors of the Supreme Court were trampled by Chicago-style political tactics, that the Constitution was shredded by the dog-eared playbook of bullying activist Saul Alinsky, the guiding light of Obama’s political operation?

There is no way to prove that Chief Justice John Roberts was intimidated into upholding Obamacare as constitutional, no way to conjure his thoughts. Even Roberts may not fully understand why he made the decision he did.

But there is evidence to suggest that the brewing outcry that the Court had become a political weapon run by a cabal of Republican legal hacks – the liberal Justices, who walk in lockstep, were under this theory clinging united to “principle” – weighed on Roberts, along with the likelihood that Obama would make this a theme of his reelection campaign.

Back on April 2, Obama helped ignite the recent focus by politicians and commentators on the “politicization” of the Supreme Court when he menaced:

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.  Well, this is a good example.  And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.

Remarks that could have been written by a Brooklyn Wise Guy: I’m confident you’ll do the right thing, see?

All of this was theater. There’s nothing “unprecedented” or “extraordinary” about the Supreme Court overturning a law, and Obamacare was not passed by a “strong majority.” What was extraordinary was the sight of a president, standing in the Rose Garden, leaning on the Supreme Court.

Obama had inappropriately gone after the Court before, of course, criticizing the Justices to their faces during the 2010 State of the Union for having “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests” in the Citizens United case and calling on Congress to “pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.”

Is there anyone who seriously doubts that Obama would have made denigrating the Supreme Court – and promoting himself to fix it with second term appointments – a central plank of his campaign?

The first suggestion that Roberts may have been influenced by all this is that it appears he may have changed his mind after initially supporting the four conservatives who voted to strike down Obamacare.

The Wall Street Journal writes today:

One telling note is that the dissent refers repeatedly to “Justice Ginsburg’s dissent” and “the dissent” on the mandate, but of course they should be referring to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurrence. This wording and other sources suggest that there was originally a 5-4 majority striking down at least part of ObamaCare, but then the Chief Justice changed his mind . . .

The political class and legal left conducted an extraordinary campaign to define such a decision as partisan and illegitimate. If the Chief Justice capitulated to this pressure, it shows the Court can be intimidated and swayed from its constitutional duties.

And Roberts, indeed, would be uniquely susceptible to such pressure.

Roberts is a creature of Washington and likely less immune than some of the other Justices to its Zeitgeist. He came to Washington 30 years ago, after graduating from Harvard Law School, and has been here ever since.

But Roberts is also a creature of the Supreme Court.

He’s been Chief Justice now for almost seven years. Nut what’s less well known is that he basically started his career at the Court, clerking for then-Associate Justice William Rehnquist from 1981-1982. He worked for George H.W. Bush as Principal Deputy Solicitor General from 1989-1993. Afterward, in private practice, he argued some 39 cases before the Supreme Court.

The chatter in the last 24 hours that Roberts may have been seeking to protect the Court where he’s toiled for a major portion of his professional life makes sense.

Especially when you consider his opinion in Obamacare case.

Roberts imagined passages in the law that weren’t there. He called the penalty for failing to sign up for Obamacare a tax, when it expressly was not a tax. No lower court accepted the argument that it was. Even Obama’s Solicitor General spent little time trying to argue this angle.

The Chief Justice’s opinion is inexplicable in the absence of some other external factor intruding on his thinking. And that external factor may well have been the president and the mobs who threatened to trash Roberts’ Court if it killed their beloved Obamacare.

It’s possible the Supreme Court didn’t rule. The mob ruled.

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69 Responses to Did Obama Bully Roberts Into Upholding Obamacare?

  1. Barack Hussein Obama is a “Neo-Socialist” who “claims” he went to ‘Law School’ (?)
    Why the H*ll would Obama care anything about the US Constitution or US History…?

  2. I’ve felt from the time I heard this decision yesterday morning that Roberts’ must have been intimidated, to some degree, by Obama and the dems. To what degree will never be known, if indeed true. This decision will be the big asterisk on Robert’s career. Utter disbelief.

  3. I do not understand something.

    The Court was ruling on a piece of legislation that provided for a “penalty” if a person did not buy mandated insurance and justified it as a part of Congress’ powers under the Commerce act.

    The Court said this was unconstitutional,

    Doesn’t it end there with the act being voided? Even if the Court opines that such an action could be constitutional if it were called a tax — isn’t it necessary then for Congress to go back and pass such legislation?

    Is it really okay for the Democrats to do a global-search-and-replace of “tax” for “penalty” in legislation, thus changing the content of what had been voted upon?

    I am confused — please help me out.

    • Agree, it should have been tossed out on its face. Roberts is a wimp- and I’m not referring to a weakly interacting magnetic particle.

    • My question exactly, Anonna! I thought that the court would have to send it back for rewording and then be presented with the new terms to satisfy the court. How can the court legally change the wording in a piece of legislation?

      What is the precedent now in cases before courts – can any court now change wording in legislation to find in favor/against?

      Forgive me as I am in France and not hearing too much about all the possibilities to fix this disaster so I will ask, is there any recourse when the court itself acts in an illegal, unconstitutional manner in a given decision?

      Keith, I know you gave solutions for this particular bill but what about generically speaking? Your thoughts?

    • no matter how wrong or unconstitutional the ruling was or even if the chief justice was intimidated, the ruling cannot be overturned and there’s nothing we can do until after the elections when, if the right man is elected, it can be repealed. There are a lot of other illegal and unconstitutional things going on that should lead to obama and his henchmen being impeached—but we don’t have enough men with guts in government to start the process!

  4. I don’t think he was bullied in the least. I just think he’s a yellow bellied turncoat. Would anyone ever imagine one of the liberal judges making an originalist decision? Not a snowballs chance in Hades that would happen. Yet, time and time again these so-called conservative judges lose their judgment and morality and make law rather than interpret the Constitution. John Roberts will join the ranks of Sandra Day O’Conner and David Souter as nothing more than political hacks in black robes. He sure as heck isn’t a Patriot.

    • no he’s not Susan. he’s a poster child for what’s been happening at the SC for decades now : legislation from the bench ! I’m totally shocked
      & saddened by this utter tyranny from our supposed “Govt of, by & for the people”… those of us who are like minded MUST make our stand.. even though I’m not so excited about Romney, I’ll stand out by the road displaying his campaign sign and strongly encourage others to do the same.
      this has GOT to be stopped…

  5. “The Chief Justice’s opinion is inexplicable in the absence of some other external factor intruding on his thinking. And that external factor may well have been the president and the mobs who threatened to trash Roberts’ Court if it killed their beloved Obamacare.”

    Keith, are you saying this was the political equivalent of the “mobs of color” who intimidate juries, police, etc., by threatening riots?

    Interesting, isn’t it, that the Black Racist Caucus led the move to walk out on the Eric Holder vote — could it be only that they all happen to believe that Holder was in the right? Or could it be that gene-pool thingy?

    Do we have an American nation any longer? Or are we watching groups who feel themselves to be better than American, united by a gene pool or a social issue, playing power games for immediate identity-group interest?

  6. Remember when Obama scolded the Justices in the Syaye of the Union and
    they just sat there. I think there’s more to this than what we see as Obama is
    emboldened and feels so imperial that the rules mean nothing to him unless it
    serves a purpose for him.

  7. if Roberts reached his decision because he was genuinely convinced that it was correct, then that’s one thing. (I think he was wrong, but he’s the chief justice, not me.)

    but if he reached his decision because he wanted the Court to LOOK GOOD…? that’s ridiculous. not only is it a horrid way to decide cases, he also did not achieve his aim, because many of us out here think the Court looks awful right now.

  8. With closer study Roberts judgement is increasingly questionable, and so far understandable by none. But he is in good spirits, chuckling that he is now safely off to the impregnable fortress island of Malta. He clearly does not view his mandate/ tax trick as seriously as those of us who are concerned about the future of this country. His cavalier attitude is as disturbing as his judgement.

  9. Bottom line it does not matter why or how the decision was reached. What matters is that a solution is found. Liberals want to hold this saintly attitude about helping everyone to have healthcare, but want to fine many who will not be able to afford it. At the exact same time, welfare rolls are increasing by leaps and bounds. They do not pay taxes. They bear no burden or responsibility. The majority of career welfare recipients don’t work, pay taxes, or contribute in any manner for the betterment of society. Where is the outrage? One might be called uncaring if the call is made to simply stop it. Or, society might actually get off its bottom and make something of itself.
    If that labels me hard hearted, so be it. I’ve raised my children, paid my dues, paid my taxes, my children support themselves without asking for handouts and they still have manners. Their children do the same. I do not believe it is too much to ask for others to carry their own weight and stop being a burden to society.
    Yes, I believe there is a place for charity and that others should be helped if needed. But those who are young, hale, and hearty do not deserve assistance by virtue of laying on your back and having one child after another to collect more welfare. Perhaps they should be fined, not rewarded.

  10. None of this is going to matter if the vast majority of Americans don’t want ObamaTax. The left managed to cram it down the people’s throats, but the people can get rid of it if their will and numbers are strong. Now we’ll really find out where the hearts of the people truly lie and the kind of stuff we’re really made of, and whatever we’re made of we’ll have to live with.

  11. Roberts decision and explanation seems strange and out of character. Something seems amiss, like you say. There is more on this issue and Catholic news and commentary on catholicurrent.com.

  12. The Roberts opinion was a classic exercise of judicial restraint. For decades conservatives have indeed complained that the federal judiciary, and in particular the Supreme Court (which is the ONLY court expressly created by the Constitution), comprise the least democratic branch of our federal governmental system, and that it is incumbent on the court to avoid substituting it’s policy judgment for the political branches.

    Because Roberts narrower view of the permissible scope of the Commerce Clause did not permit him to agree with the Administration’s attempt to have the case upheld on Commerce Clause grounds — which he thoroughly explained in his opinion – Roberts was nevertheless able to employ a time-honored judicial device of upholding the statute on tax power grounds.

    The implication that he was somehow bullied is made without factual foundation.

    • On what basis did Roberts uphold the statute on tax power grounds? The Constitution states that the taxing power is:

      No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

      The 16th Amendment states:
      The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

      Obama Care does not levy taxes on these bases; thus. Roberts asserting that it is a permissible tax under the Constitution is ridiculous.

      • ChicagoLand,

        You can argue the legitimacy of the tax designation until you are blue in the face, but your comment did not address my point at all.

        My point was simply this . . . attacking John Roberts personally by claiming, without any factual basis whatsoever, that he was somehow bullied into voting to uphold the PPACA, is an utterly illegitimate and unpersuasive argument, one that does not rise above base conjecture.

        There is a long and very well-established conservative doctrine of construction in Supreme Court adjudication which provides a much more likely basis and explanation for both his vote and his analysis . . . one which falls under the general heading of judicial restraint. Roberts specifically referenced adherence to that doctrine in his opinion.

        The federal courts are the least democratic of our governmental institutions, and by definition are the least responsive to the public. Save for the sole express creation of the Supreme Court by Article III, and the limiting powers envisioned for “case” and “controversy” jurisdiction for all inferior courts, the ability of those federal Courts to wield power, is a creation of the Congress, beginning with the Judiciary Act of 1789.

        Some of the other commenters here have gone even further than you have, suggesting or stating, likewise absent any basis whatsoever, that someone “got to” the CJ. Such opinions are not only unfairly demeaning to the CJ, they too are meaningless.

        Secondly, ChicagoLand it you are going to engage in selectively quoting from the Constitution as a way to frame your view, suggesting thereby a limitation on the enumerated power of Congress to impose taxes, and implying that you have thereby “eviscerated” the basis for the Roberts reading, then I’d recommend you do so next time by either directing your argument at those who cannot read or reason.

        Consider the following language in the Constitution just for starters:

        . . .
        “Section 8 – Powers of Congress

        The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
        . . . .”

        Secondly, in light of subsequent history, looking to a section of the Constitution (“re: capitation), one that was expressly intended to protect the former southern slave states from “direct” taxation, is not particularly persuasive. And even if there is any persuasive remaining legitimacy to that provision (at least one subsequent ruling of the Supreme court to the contrary notwithstanding) Robert’s rationale certainly does not sink to the level of being “ridiculous” just based on your say so!

        I don’t like ObamaCare one bit as a matter of national policy, and I wish that the Court had ruled otherwise. However, I am happy that a majority of the Supreme Court (including Roberts) has re-erected what looks to be a sturdy corral around the permissible range of both the “Commerce clause” and the “necessary and proper clause,”, thereby reasserting what had once been significant restrictions on the ability of the federal political branches to willy-nilly impose national solutions on problems that are better dealt with at the state or local level. For similar reasons, I also liked that portion of the opinion regarding the limitations on medicaid spending.

        And, I also think that a vote on repeal might be attainable in the Senate through the reconciliation process (simple majority), as the PPACA reconciliation bill passed the Senate in that manner.

        But in the absence of at least some form of evidence, it is not useful or productive to personally attack members of the court by suggesting that they were compelled to vote via some highly impermissible form of motivation, coerced or otherwise.

        • To supplement what I said aove regarding the application of highly respected principals of judicial restraint, the following language is taken from the concurring opinion of Mr. Justice Brandeis, in the seminal 1936 case of Ashwander v. TVA, 297 US 288 (1936), which concurring opinion became the long-standing basis for decades of statements of judicial restraint, as well as decades of law school instruction in Constitutional Law.

          He articulated several statements of constitutional precedent, outlining when the court should carefully avoid engaging in exercises of judicial activism.

          Included below is the precise language (citations and inapposite material omitted) from the heart of two of those several principals which Louis Brandeis articulated in that famous opinion of his, and which language may be found on pages 346 – 348 of his opinion in that case:

          . . .
          4. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record, if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of. This rule has found most varied application. Thus, if a case can be decided on either of two grounds, one involving a constitutional question, the other a question of statutory construction or general law, the Court will decide only the latter.
          . . .
          7. “When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question, and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised, it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided.”
          . . . .

  13. Giving in to intimidation only makes it worse. Obama’s a coward; coward’s thrive on insulting and attacking opeople who do not fight back. He shut up when Rush challenged him to a debate.

    It was a very bad sign early this year when Roberts supported Kagan’s ruling on Obama Care when she clearly should have recused herself. He has brought the Supreme Court into disrepute with this ridiculous decision. We don’t care what Linda Greenhouse thinks. We care that the Constitution be faithfully interpreted. That did not happen here.

  14. roberts is playing dumb with his stupid ‘tax’ argument and it’s not working. somebody obviously got to him; violence to his family, friends, or something, and he caved in.

    barry’s got a new little bitch and his name is johnny roberts.

    if Mitt wins in Nov., he should demand roberts resignation for cowardice and incompetence.

    john roberts is a disgrace to the Supreme Court and the legal profession.

  15. Barry had never even been on the US mainland until he was an adult at Occidental. Earliest memories are Indonesia and then older childhood in Hawaii where history is Hawaiian history with some evil Brit Colonist history. There is no way he can begin to feel what it means to be a patriotic American. NO WAY am I excusing him. I’m saying he has an ENTIRE FOREIGN CONSCIOUSNESS and that is what he and MO mean by “changing ‘our’ history’ and “transforming America” Be very afraid.

  16. You don’t need to bully a commie traitor to commit treason.
    Is ANYBODY talking about the fact the dick wad is brain damaged and takes seizure meds? He’s not fit to be a crossing guard, let alone chief traitor of the supreme court.

  17. Oh, and how did the tw*t kagan get away with not recusing?

    The best country in the world is dead. Long live insane, libtard commies and our new king. Soon, North Korea will be a better place to live. At least they don’t have any frackkin koranimals there.

  18. It seems to me that Roberts has Single Payer on his mind. The decision to give States the right to opt out of Medicaid expansion, along with the strong possibility that many employers will pay the ‘tax’ and send employees off to the exchanges, will eventually bankrupt insurance companies and exchanges…leading to a complete takeover of H/C by the Federal govt., aka Single Payer.

    Romney, unfortunately, will be between Buh-Rock and a hard place, as his MA H/C tax is identical to ObamaTax. In order to overturn ObamaTax, we need a new President and a GOP majority in both chambers of Congress.

    • Girly1, At least when Romney talks about why Obamacare needs to be repealed he’ll know, firsthand, what he’s talking about. What greater authority on Obamacare is there than Romney, the Godfather of socialized medicine? Actually, who is more qualified to make the case against Obamacare than Romney?

  19. I am sure the intimidation of “it’s a nice court you’ve got there, shame if something happened to it…..” or the threat of widespread uncivil disobedience on the part of the Left could sway Roberts.

  20. The more I think about this it just seems that Roberts followed his human nature and grabbed the brass ring, the adulation of the mainstream media and Hollywood. Very seductive stuff.

  21. We The People and the Constitution: Roberts decides he can change the formation on how to make a law Constitutional. I did not know he was there to serve himself and/or what looks good for the office. I believe he needs impeached (whether that is possible I do not know). It was argued over and over before it was passed this is not a tax what right does he have to do this? Is he another person like Obama who believes he is god, by his position?!!!!!

  22. If true the first thing Romney should do upon taking the oath of office is reach into his picket after taking the oath and hand Roberts a letter asking for him to resign. Our founding fathers made it clear the importance of a SCOTUS which would work independent from influence from the other two branches, working above the influence of politics. I think we should have a criminal investigation into this just to find out if there were any tampering with the function of the SCOTUS and if information on the vote was leaked to the administration. If it was who leaked it and if they were a justice move for impeachment.

  23. I find it incredibly “coincidental” that with very few exceptions the judges, courts,etc have all sided with Obama in every case challenging his eligibility to be in the White House. In some instances the presiding judge/official would even intimate their own doubts and make remarks indicating they, too, believed Obama is ineligible but when it came time to make a ruling they would pull some obscure law out of the air and use it as a basis to rule in favor of Obama, no matter how many laws have been broken. Does anyone really believe that Obama and his evil compatriots would NOT HESITATE TO GO AFTER ROBERTS? After all, Obama basically challenged them to rule against him during one of his State of the Union speeches. THOSE WITH OBAMA ARE PLAYING FOR KEEPS WITH OUR COUNTRY! THEY WIN, WE LOSE!

  24. It all comes down to that Roberts was threatened by the Chicago type politics that is Obama. Roberts should come clean or be expelled. This decision was not his. He was put in place to uphold the Constitution and he has failed. I would put my life up to hold to the principals of the founding Fathers. Too bad that Roberts isn’t American enough to hold the office. Though bound to uphold the Constitution, he won’t. He must resign..

  25. When all of the criminals are exposed, Roberts should testify as to what exactly happened when he “ruled” in favor of Obamacare, which is clearly unconstitutional.

    With all of the intimidation and threat tactics used against average citizens and journalists becoming clear, I do not doubt that Roberts was threatened. I only wish that if so, he had turned the evidence over to a grand jury for review. That is the only way we will regain control over our government and remove corrupt officials, even the putative President of the United States.

    We cannot be afraid to stand up to bullies. I have received death threats myself at The Post & Email but will not stop looking for the truth about Obama’s birthplace, life story, and the parties responsible for the most massive cover-up in U.S. history.

  26. Isn’t it about time the country see and saw what I saw before this idiot got elected in 2008? zero talked to Joe the Plumber and told him he was going to re-distribute the wealth! In remembering my 7th grade history of Karl Marx, I knew this was not the right person for the potus! lenin of the bolsheviks, stalin with his gulags or what eer they are called, was present in this person (zero) mind and this person was angry at the USA for whatever reason! Can We the People get together and make it illegal for any dim–witted dim-o-crat to run for office in these United States because they (dims) are confusing especially when the country everyday is being dumb down to the utmost stupidity! We need to ask these fibbing or lying people to go to the communist country of their choice! The USA does not need that kind of action that we have endured the last 5 plus years with more of it to go…..

  27. Ok, this is like the third article I’ve followed (kinda like following the yellow brick road!), and none have touched on the exact REASON for the obvious blackmail that definitely ocurred. Chief Justice Roberts broke international law when he adopted his two daughters – they were from IRELAND. But the actual adoptions took place somewhere in South America. Why? Because Ireland has a national law that doesn’t allow adoptions from people outside their country. So arrangements were made for the mothers of these girls to travel to another country where adoptions were easier to “procure”. The adoption (which occured years ago) broke international law. How would it for a supreme court justice to have such a “crime” on his record? But someone in the obama camp found out – well before obamacare was even passed. The rest is history. DO THE MATH PEOPLE!!!!!!!

  28. Chief Justice Roberts betrayed the United States population with his flawed and indefensible decision!
    Why did he come to the decision? Who knows, but he, and his most proximate acquaintances.
    He will have to live with the fact he, personally, committed the entire nation to the most outrageous, immoral, confiscatory, anti-constitutional law that has been prompted since the establishment of this nation!
    Good Going, Chief Justice, I can only guess how you will be looked at by history!!
    Move over Benedict Arnold, you’ve finally been overcome by an even more treacherous act!!!
    Here is Chief Justice John Roberts, the most egregious traitor of them all!!

  29. This judge had no right to go against the constitution and there fore need to be disbarred. So he did act of treason.This is reason enough to have Obama impeached

  30. Cannot prove it of course because of the cover ups that are constantly going on but it is very possible that Roberts family may have been threaten Chicago style.

  31. If a law is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, it is the JOB of the Supreme Court to make sure it NEVER gets implemented. Our Forefathers intent for the Supreme Court was to be the SUPREME JUDGE of any law for it’s Constitutionality. Robert’s logic of ‘well, it was passed by Congress so I can’t strike it down’ is BS. It was his JOB to strike it down because it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL because it violates the Commerce Clause and other State’s Rights and INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS.