Monday, July 23, 2018 13:41

SCOTUS Update: John Roberts – Caterpillar Wasp?

– Wiccapundit

By now I have read most of the commentary from the Right regarding Justice Roberts’s ObamaCare opinion – ranging from “he’s a traitor” to “crazy like a fox” or something like that.  I am tending toward the latter view.

Here’s what is clear from the decision:

ObamaCare is constitutional.

The “mandate” is not a mandate – it’s a tax.

Congress does not have the power to compel U.S. citizens to buy products or services, unless it is enforced through a tax rather than a penalty.

The Commerce Clause can not be used to force a citizen to engage in commerce.

ObamaCare is constitutional because it is based on a tax, not a penalty.

I am beginning to wonder whether Justice Roberts is playing the “long game.”  Has he read his Sun Tzu?

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

By basing  the constitutionality of ObamaCare on the taxing power of Congress under the Constitution, he has done several things:

 –  By upholding the statute on a 5-4 non-partisan basis, he has emasculated any argument from the Left that 5-4 decisions of the Supreme Court are inherently “political” and improper.  Whenever the Left raises Bush v. Gore, conservatives can respond with National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

–  The Court has established that Congress CANNOT use the Commerce Clause to exercise unlimited power – this is now the law of the land.

–  ObamaCare will now be a centerpiece issue in the 2012 Presidential campaign, something that Obama would dearly love not to be the case.

– Any future gross exercise of power by Congress will have to be framed as a tax to survive constitutional scrutiny.  Voters are not terribly inclined toward extensive tax increases.

–  The Court’s opinion has given the Republicans a perfect campaign ad: Obama in 2009 insisted that the mandate was not a tax.  Now that the Court has ruled that the only way ObamaCare is constitutional is if the mandate is a tax, Obama is shown to be a craven liar.

The tiny caterpillar wasp lays its eggs inside a caterpillar.  The larvae then eat their way out, consuming the caterpillar from the inside out.  Does the ObamaCare decision do the same to the Left’s plans to remake America through the power of unlimited Commerce Clause-based legislation?  They “won,” but did they really?

 

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12 Responses to “SCOTUS Update: John Roberts – Caterpillar Wasp?”

  1. Sebastian Page says:

    I understand the rationale where it concerns the Constitutionality, that Congress may tax. But it is beyond insulting that Obamacare was marketed as NOT being a tax, but lo and behold, Justice Roberts says it is so…after the fact.

    My question is, since I am for the moment entirely too lazy to research it myself and content to rely on the counsel of my attorney, is Obamacare repealable with a simple majority in the House and Senate?

    Not to put on the heat, but I would love to know what WP’s strategy might be to end this albatross once and for all. Any chance.

    Give my best to E 😉

    • Wiccapundit says:

      I believe that any law repealing ObamaCare would need to be passed with simple majorities in both houses, but don’t hold me to that. I have seen a lot of discussion of the technicalities of the process, but that’s really inside inside baseball. Most people don’t care how it’s done, they just want it done.

      My strategy? Win the White House, hold the House, take the Senate with a fillibuster-proof majority, and then start taking a meat axe to the Leftist Leviathan state. A witch can dream, can’t he?

      E says hi.

      • Sebastian Page says:

        A filibuster-proof majority is the trick, now isn’t it? We are steeped too heavily as a people with libtards, ignorant “moderates” and all around sheeple to produce a Senate stacked with 60 conservatives, unless I miss my mark. A simple majority, yes, but no more than 53 or 54 if I had to guess…and that betrays a little bit of wishful thinking on my part.

        I hope I am wrong.

        And does anyone else feel as if we’re running another RINO campaign, ala McCain 2008? Just curious. Maybe it’s the pessimist in me, but I’ve got a bad feeling about this (in my best Harrison Ford voice…).

  2. CBMTTek says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen.

    That is exactly what I have been saying all day. If the GOP has any political smarts at all (questionable lately, I might add.) they will use this exactly as you point out. And, since they are using the left’s argument against them, how can they be denied?

    • Wiccapundit says:

      The next time I hear someone claim that a 5-4 SCOTUS decision was decided “on the narrowest basis with an overtly political breakdown,” I will smack them in the head with a full copy of the Sebelius decision.

      Does the Party of Stupid have the smarts (or the will) to do what needs to be done now? Has anyone at the RNC read Sun Tzu? I sometimes think that Reince Priebus may have Lee Atwater-style cunning (see, e.g., Wisconsin), so we’ll see.

  3. I am not sure where our country went wrong.

    Question for Liberals: When Romney is elected and mandates purchasing a gun for National Security or else face a tax, you’ll be totally cool with it right?

    • Wiccapundit says:

      Our country went wrong when conservatives (not Republicans) ceded to the Left control of media, education, and culture. All of the vast predations of the Leftist state over the past 75 years can be attributed to the Left’s infiltration of one of those three institutions.

      The gun argument is one I plan to use frequently with anyone who dances the happy dance over this decision in my presence. I look forward to seeing the look on their face when I ask them what kind of gun they will buy when a Republican administration and Congress requires that they buy one on pain of paying a “tax.”

      “When I use the word ‘tax’,” Obama said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
      “The question is,” said the American people, “whether you can make a word mean so many different things.”
      “The question is,” said Obama, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

      • Sebastian Page says:

        Exactly on point about the domination of the media, education and culture. But even any modest student of leftist political history knows that these are, and have always been, the core tactics of the totalitarian left…absolute control over the microphone to “educate” and control the useful idiots.

        This is what Breitbart understood so well…until we learn to beat them at their own game (without mimicking their deceit), we will always be in trouble.

  4. Erinyes says:

    Yep. Exactly how I saw it as well. It’s rather comical to listen to the left crowing about such a kick in the balls…

  5. cmblake6 says:

    You read over at mine, right? Sun Tzu is an extremely good way to compare it.

  6. Laurel says:

    Really good post! I have noticed a plethora of advertisements touting the beauties of Obamacare over the last couple of days (mostly via ROKU television viewing). These ads really bother me because they make it sound as if we can all get unlimited health care on the spot, on demand, when we want it and completely free. Such a lie. I really hope that the Romney campaign is intelligent about these tactics and hits the weaknesses hard and blows holes in the Obama campaign. Conservatives cannot afford to sit back and shake their heads and play nice any more. We need to play honestly, but make it like a championship football game and play hard and strategically. Romney needs to keep a sense of humor while being tough as well. We all need to do this. Wimpiness on the part of conservatives is no longer an option, and I hope we all step up not only in November, but in all the months leading to it.

  7. Dave says:

    I actually Judge Roberts is a genius and playing the”log game”.

    “- Any future gross exercise of power by Congress will have to be framed as a tax to survive constitutional scrutiny. Voters are not terribly inclined toward extensive tax increases.”

    Since no one has had to pay a penalty (tax) yet, it won’t be heard by the SCOTUS. The first case of the application of the penalty (tax), will then be brought to the SCOTUS as an unauthorized tax that was not approved by the legislation.

    And, as you stated, his ruling basically took the wind out of his sail, and pointed it towards the GOP platform of repeal.

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