Thursday, June 28, 2012
hail to the chief
Five-to-four will do just fine, thank you very much. I was astonished that it was the Chief, a clear red, who sided with the blues. I read part of the opinion on the SCOTUS blog to see if Justice Kennedy wrote a separate dissenting opinion. He did not; the four dissenters wrote a joint opinion that doesn't let the reader know who the author is, and I am not familiar enough with each member's style to figure it out. The Dynamic Duo, Scalia and Thomas, can be counted on to dissent from almost everything rational or with a social justice impact. Alito is also a pretty strong bet. So the mandate stands, albeit unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause but acceptable as a tax. That one was a surprise although the government "mentioned" the tax slant in its brief, as it had to because it couldn't argue it without previous notation. Now the state-by-state fallout on Medicare will be another show. I think Roberts' agreement with the liberals may be more devious than one might think. He did make a comment to the effect that if you don't like this outcome you can change the make-up of those who brought it to you. Was this a ploy to get the anti-Obamacare troops fired up? Some are calling him the Earl Warren of the Bush appointees. It is rumored that Eisenhower, who appointed Warren as Chief Justice, rued the day he ever did that, thinking Warren was a reliable conservative. We'll see.