Friday, June 29, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts as the Wizard of Twistifications: My post-ruling selection of the 3 best op-eds

(Full disclosure: I like Chief Justice Roberts's sucker punch at GOPers!)

One of the ironies of Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority
opinion to uphold the so-called Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), as
The Guardian aptly reminds readers in its article on the ruling, is
that then Senator Barack Obama voted nay at Roberts's Senate

And now, The Guardian speculates, the same Roberts may be handing
Obama his major argument to win his second term.

In fact, I feel that Chief Justice Roberts has also been very
accomodating to Obama from the very beginning of his presidency.

I remember that after Obama's bungled public oath of office on
Inauguration Day, Chief Justice Roberts went to the White House the
next day for a proper swearing-in private affair--of which to my
knowledge there are no video records.

(Watching with my daughter Elikia live events on CNN on Inauguration
Day, I told her that Dick Cheney was wheelchair bound as a way of
showing Obama his middle finger. I vaguely remember that they claimed
Cheney had hurt his back while lifting boxes: the guy had to move out
of the Naval Observatory! Baloney!)

Anyway, the argument of The Guardian may be flawed.

Though I'm not a proponent of essentialism, it's my biased opinion
that Americans by and large are a species adverse to taxes.

It's true that so-tagged tax-and-spend American liberals consider
filing their tax returns as their sacred duty to the commonwealth.

But even they often object to city, state, and federal impositions.

I lived for many years in the arch-liberal city of Cambridge,
Massachusetts, where I often watched, on Cambridge Community
Television, city councillors haggle over even the most insignificant
proposed tax hike.

I just read a blog that said that Roberts might have indeed just done
irreparable harm to the Obama campaign by deeming the "individual
mandate" a Congressional constitutional taxing authority.

Mitt Romney campaign could therefore package Obamacare as a massive
tax increase on the "American people" and carry the day.

Then, President Romney could "act" to repeal the A.C.A. when he takes
over come January 20, 2013.

I'll stop myselft right there...

As I don't presume to talk intelligibly about this complex ruling,
here's my short list of the 3 best opinion pieces I read in the
aftermath of the SCOTUS ruling and which I believe capture well its
gist (my pre-ruling opinion was mostly shaped by Jeffrey Toobin on The
New Yorker) :

1) The piece on The New Yorker by Ryan Lizza titled "Why Romney Won't
Repeal Obamacare," which lists the insurmountable obstacles to the
repeal of the A.C.A.

(Page Address:

2) "The guts of Roberts' ruling" (on The Chicago Tribune), brilliantly
written by Jonah Goldberg, where I learn that:

A) Justice Antonin Scalia, writing the minority opinion, charges that
Chief Justice Roberts "carries verbal wizardry too far, deep into the
forbidden land of the sophists."

(Justice Scalia is most definitely a wordsmith with a jeweled pen!)

B) Jeffrey Rosen, a constitutional scholar, "speaking on National
Public Radio, even celebrated Roberts' brilliance at finding a way to
save the reputation of the court by deploying what Thomas Jefferson
called 'twistifications.'"

(I thus discover that Jefferson's brain was wired like Jon Stewart's.)

(Page Address:,0,6123570.column)

3) The methodical exposition by Jonathan Hurley titled "Et tu,
Roberts? Federalism Falls By The Hand Of A Friend," where I learn

A) The author--a liberal constitutional scholar, lawyer, professor,
blogger, and TV pundit-- has been all along against the "individual
mandate" of Obamacare.

B) In Chief Justice Roberts' ruling, there was short rise, then a hard
fall of all the sacrosanct principles of "Federalism."

(Page Address:


PHOTO CREDITS: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

1 comment:

Alex Engwete said...


I meant, Jonathan TURLEY (not Hurley)!