The Future of the Roberts Court

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adam Liptak of The New York Times discusses what we now know about John Robert’s path to supporting the individual mandate, and reports of a schism among conservatives on the nation's highest court.


Adam Liptak

Comments [12]

Joe the Plumber from Bronx

I say he stayed true 2 form being Bush 1 got him the job and having 2 things 2 pick from taxes or commerce.He went with taxes saying people R
not commerce because they do not have Health insurance.So then happens after 2014?.

Jul. 12 2012 12:43 PM

What will be the effect of the SCOTUS "leaks" when their sources and motives are revealed in the next Wikileaks document dump?

Jul. 11 2012 11:33 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

The problem is not whether Justice Roberts may eventually turn liberal, but that the conservatives are now in direct opposition to a justice who interpreted a law based on its constitutionality - which is what the Supreme Court is supposed to do - and that even though the conservatives claim that they are constitutionalists, they are just plain ideologues. John Roberts is a constitutional scholar and found in favor of the health care law based on his education in and knowledge of the constitution. Any conservatives who can't abide that are just sore losers. They were glad he was placed on the court only when they thought all of his decisions would be rightwing; when they found he was doing his job, they are all of a sudden against him. Plain old sour grapes.

Jul. 11 2012 10:29 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Well said Shelli - unfortunately it's legal to do so.

Jul. 11 2012 10:28 AM
DC from Brooklyn

In all this talk about the leak from the Court I haven't yet heard one mention of the fact that there were calls for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from this case because his wife not only works directly for groups that oppose the ACA but that the Thomas's also failed to report said income.

Also, does a leak like this, which seems to come directly from 2 Justices, bolster the calls by EJ Dionne and others that Justice Scalia has gone past the point of no return in the bald and nasty political nature of his behavior?

Jul. 11 2012 10:27 AM

I think Robert's decision now enables the Privatization of our health coverage, the opposite of Universal Health Care which would have been of huge benefit to our country. Instead we will all have the additional burden of trying to muddle through the complexities of an ever growing pool of inadequate insurance policies which, hopefully, will cover the health issues that come up. This was not a "progressive" or liberal act, despite it's shoring up of the President

Jul. 11 2012 10:24 AM
John A

Didn't Bob Dole(R) once refer to a work product of Newt Gingrich(R) as "garbage"? I've been waiting almost 20 years for wisdom to return to the republican party... Can it be now? Thank-You John Roberts.

Jul. 11 2012 10:21 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Long story short. Roberts simply said, by his decision, that elections have consequences. Taxes are a four letter word these days but it is not illegal.

If a sitting government wants to tax its citizens for having babies, or return to a 70% tax rate, it's up the its citizens to vote for a change.

Jul. 11 2012 10:21 AM
Bruce Pribram from Kensington, Brooklyn

The prolonged discussion of the process of arriving at this decision reminds me of the Monty Python skit in which radio commentators are gathered on a beach in Cornwall, exclaiming over each word Thomas Hardy writes. A little of this goes a long way to inform us, so I understand its importance. However, at what point does this becomes over-reporting to the detriment of the work of the Court?

Jul. 11 2012 10:18 AM

to follow on this point, doesn't this case really explicitly demonstrate the inherently political nature (in contrast to pure judicial objectivity) of the supreme court.

Jul. 11 2012 10:17 AM
gavin from Manhattan

Isn't it possible CJ Roberts made a political decision by giving his "it's a tax" ruling, knowing that that could be thrown back to Congress, knowing the Republicans will just attack Obamacare with an "anti-tax" agenda? That way, Roberts seems apolitical in the court room, knowing that he would single-handedly strike it down by sending it back to congress?

Jul. 11 2012 10:16 AM
austin from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

I think Robert Reich summed it up nicely:

"First, Chief Justice John Roberts is — or should be — concerned about the steadily-declining standing of the Court in the public’s mind, along with the growing perception that the justices decide according to partisan politics rather than according to legal principle."

"The Supreme Court can’t afford to lose public trust. It has no ability to impose its will on the other two branches of government: As Alexander Hamilton once noted, the Court has neither the purse (it can’t threaten to withhold funding from the other branches) or the sword (it can’t threaten police or military action)."

Jul. 11 2012 10:15 AM

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