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Tag Archives: John Roberts

Roberts to Teach Creative Writing Class

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will begin teaching creative writing at Accidental University in California beginning July 15th, according to a statement released Thursday by his office.

The statement actually said Roberts would start “July 14th,” but the chief justice’s office subsequently put out a clarification that the intent was to say “July 15th.”

The university is coincidentally the alma mater of President Barack Obama, who is an Accidental graduate.

Accidental University President Hank McHenry said in a statement that the university was “deeply honored” to have someone of Roberts’ “proven writing skills” teaching undergraduates.

“Justice Roberts has demonstrated an obvious flair for creative writing with respect to the Affordable Care Act,” McHenry said. “Twice now, he has rewritten important aspects of Obamacare, changing sections regarding penalties into sections regarding taxes and adding ‘or the federal government’ to the formerly prosaic phrase ‘established by the states.’ With just small strokes of his pen, Justice Roberts has been creating brand new laws with consequences that will reverberate for decades, if not centuries.”

In a brief interview in his office, where he was sipping chamomile and dropping copies of the Constitution into his shredder, Roberts said creative writing had been a lifelong goal.

“I’ve been doing this left-brain legal stuff all my life. Now, Obamacare has given me a chance to tap into my right-brain potential, allowing me the freedom to move away from rationally interpreting laws toward rewriting them in a way my old, reason-enslaved self could never have imagined.”

Attempts to obtain a response from James Madison were unsuccessful. Madison had rolled over in his grave and from his new position was unable to comment.

Why Don’t We Call it JohnRobertsCare?

As the chances for repealing Obamacare recede – with the states beginning to set up the Obamacare “health exchanges” and the putative leader of the Republicans, Speaker John Boehner calling the nationalization of health care the “law of the land” – I think it’s time to pay homage to the spineless jurisprudence of the man who allowed all this to happen, Chief Justice John Roberts.

Roberts did this, I believe, because he was tired of weeping late at night at the thought of President Obama and the Democrats villainizing his precious Supreme Court in the manner they do all their perceived enemies.

I think Obama intimidated the apparently fragile Mr. Roberts with his April 2 appearance in the Rose Garden – after the Court had heard the arguments but before a decision had been reached.

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.

Obama probably knew that Roberts had not yet decided, perhaps informed via Justice Elena Kagan, the former solicitor general who is close to many people in the White House. And he knew of Roberts’ precious regard for the Court.

This was accompanied by a drumbeat of Obama allies popping up on TV to suggest that the Supreme Court would enlist itself in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy if it dared depose Obamacare.

Please join in the applause, won't you?

And lo and behold, Roberts actually changed his original opinion, in which he had sided with the Court’s conservatives to strike down the law, deciding to rewrite the measure in his own brain and consider the Obamacare’s penalty for non-compliance a tax.

Congress was explicit that the enforcement measure was a penalty, which even Roberts knew would be unconstitutional because it would amount to compelling commerce by forcing you to buy something.

But Congress has a clear right to tax. And so Roberts pretended it was a tax, and gave us Obamacare.

And now Roberts won’t have to defend the Court, and he can eat out at Washington restaurants without having other elite Washingtonians give him a look like he’s just another savage, dull-brained conservative.

And so, in honor of the Chief Justice, White House Dossier asks that – at least during the holiday season of thanks – we call the Socialization and eventual ruin of the nation’s health care system JohnRobertsCare.

Obama and Romney are Right: It’s Not a Tax

Many years ago, one of Virginia’s tax collectors pulled my car over. This agent, smartly dressed in a blue suit, had – I know, it’s frightening – a gun at his side, which he’d surely have used if I threw a violent fit about having to pay my taxes.

He had decided on the spot that, though I thought I had already paid all my taxes, I now owed the Commonwealth of Virgina an additional $125, and he gave me a little slip of paper to remind me. The slip said I would pay or he would see me in court.

Now, you wouldn’t really think of a Virginia State Trooper as a tax agent, would you? But many conservatives are applying the same logic to Obamacare, proposing that what is clearly a penalty – just like my speeding ticket was a penalty – is in fact a tax. The same conservatives, mind you, who would have celebrated a ruling against Obamacare under the Commerce Clause and never once suggested the law should be upheld because it was in fact a tax.

I understand the temptation to use this ruling to savage President Obama as the Great Tax Hiker on the Middle Class, the Supreme Hypocrite who promised not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year and then went ahead and did so in grand style. And I get the anger conservatives are directing at Mitt Romney for agreeing with Obama in order to protect his own legacy as a governor who authored Romneycare but didn’t raise taxes.

Obama of course is a hypocrite. The middle class will feel the lightening of its pockets from a penalty just as surely as it would from a tax.

But there is a distinction, and it’s a distinction with a difference. And it should matter greatly to conservatives, who are suddenly concurring with the Roberts decision in order to snag a campaign talking point – albeit admittedly good one – in exchange for grievous long term damage to their cause.

The law says you must do something – purchase health insurance – or incur a penalty. Roberts said this is impermissible under the Commerce Clause because it falls outside Congress’s right to regulate commerce – since not buying something isn’t commerce – but allowable under Congress’s Constitutional prerogative to assess taxes.

But this is equally pernicious, since it stipulates that Congress’s indisputable right to tax can NOW APPLY TO NOTHING.

Do nothing, get taxed.

What, you didn’t install solar panels in your home? Pay a tax. You didn’t buy at least one item of Native American handicraft last year? Pay a tax. You failed to purchase a slice of fish for your family once a week to help cut down on society’s health care costs? Pay a tax. Just a small one, it won’t hurt.

The opportunities for such mischief are endless.

Some argue that since Roberts has now “settled” the matter by declaring the penalty a tax, conservatives are within their rights to call it a tax too.

Which is about as logical as conservatives declaring there is a right to privacy somewhere between the lines of the Constitution that permits unlimited abortion.

Conservatives should not succumb to the very hypocrisy they claim to scorn. The individual mandate is a penalty, even if it hurts now to say so.

The Roadmap for Obamacare Repeal

Writing in the Wall Street Journal Former Bush National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey provides a How-To Guide for the upcoming Eradicate & Replace campaign that Republicans will wage against Obamacare. Hennessey, who blogs at keithhennessey.com, writes that a win by Mitt Romney and a simple majority of Republican senators – as well as a… Continue Reading

Top Ten Reasons Roberts Voted to Uphold Obamacare

Nobody really understands the rationale for the vote of Chief Justice Roberts to uphold Obamacare. He said it was because the consequence for not having insurance was a tax, and Congress has a clear right to tax us. Except, the law is explicit that it’s not a tax. Weird. Until now. Through substantial payoffs to… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading