As all Conservatives know by now, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling upheld the Obamacare tax subsidies. Chief Justice John Roberts, who conservatives hoped would lead the court away from judicial activism has done the opposite. In both of his Obamacare decisions Roberts has gone against the text of the law and the intent of it’s framers.
In 2012, Roberts declared the individual mandate Constitutional. According to a Heritage Foundation analysis, Congress wrote in the Bill that the Commerce Clause was the source of it’s authority to force people to buy insurance. The Chief Justice rejected this argument however, instead he accepted the argument that the fine imposed on people who don’t buy insurance was actually a tax. The text of the law never called this fine a tax and in the Presidential campaign leading up to the decision Democrats fought against Republican claims that it was a tax. President Obama in an interview with George Stephanopoulos pushed back on the hosts claim it was a tax saying he ‘absolutely rejects the notion’ it could be considered a tax.
On Thursday Justice Roberts, in his opinion wrote that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.” The fact that the law was created by the Democratic Party leads many to doubt his reasoning since they hate Big Companies in general and the health insurance companies in particular. With only this opinion on the intent of the laws framers, Roberts essentially rewrote the law by declaring that States that didn’t setup their own exchanges would still receive subsidies, even though the law says only State run exchanges would receive them. We know from the laws architect Jonathan Gruber that the law was written this way specifically to force Republican led States to establish exchanges. In 2012 Gruber said “ what’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a State and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits… I hope that’s blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here.” This quote shows that Roberts opinion on what the laws framers were trying to accomplish was wrong. This part of the law was an attempt at political coercion not a mistake that the Court should fix.
The Chief Justice thus has saved Democrats from the the fallout of their political decisions i.e. being responsible for millions of people losing their subsidies. This is something Roberts has said doesn’t fall within the Courts purview. With his act of judicial activism Roberts has dealt a blow to the rule of law because now the words of a statute mean whatever a President or the Court says it means. The case made by Mark Levin to establish some sort of legislative veto of the Supreme Court just got a lot stronger. It is up to us, the people to enact such a veto through the Article V amendment process.