Let’s cut to the chase regarding yesterday’s stunning Supreme Court decision about ObamaCare: conservatives have no one to blame but themselves for this — and, in fact, looking back at the SB 1070 ruling, should have seen it coming. Everyone got a little too comfortable with the notion that John Roberts would be a reliably conservative — i.e. political — vote. And now look.
But the real lesson is this: it’s not the Supreme Court’s job to save the country from the folly of its legislators. To quote the chief justice:
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
That’s the part he got right. And then, as if to emphasize the point, he went and upheld a law that effectively destroys the notion of limited government and personal sovereignty, when he could have struck it down. Welcome to the emanations of the penumbras of ”fundamental transformation.”
The Arizona case had already showed the Court’s willingness to split the baby, without regard to the larger political issue. For all the Left’s shouting about the politicized nature of the court, Roberts pulled that rug out from under them with his strangely muddled exercise in legal sophistry — an opinion that saved the Democrats’ bacon by deciding that the individual mandate was not a penalty (even though that’s what the administration argued) but a tax, and while Congress couldn’t use the Commerce clause as a cudgel to beat the public into submission, the General Welfare clause would serve just as well. In other words, even though the effect of this one man’s thinking was political, it was arrived at by lawyerly means.