SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.
He single-handedly delivered the swing vote to approve Obamacare and perhaps even crushed the American health system that has been the envy of the world.
WND has selected U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. for its first-ever Benedict Arnold Award.
“There are lots of bad guys out there who would qualify as ‘Villain of the Year,’ but precious few candidates for the ‘Benedict Arnold Award,’” explained WND Vice President and Managing Editor David Kupelian. “Benedict Arnold, after all, was a good guy; he was an American general in the Revolutionary War who fought valiantly on behalf of the Continental Army – that is, until, for reasons yet unknown, he defected to the British side and betrayed the cause he had formerly served.”
Kupelian added, “That pretty much describes Justice Roberts, who gained the enthusiastic support of conservatives and other Constitution-lovers by virtue of his earlier rulings and judicial temperament, and yet betrayed that trust in a devastating way. And we still don’t know why he did it.”
On June 28, 2012, Roberts joined the left of the Court in a dramatic 5-4 decision to uphold President Obama’s signature legislation. The Court ruled that Obamacare’s individual mandate is not constitutional under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, but is reasonably considered a tax valid under Congress’ authority to “lay and collect taxes.”
“The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”
As a result of that decision, the penalties Americans are required to pay under Obamacare for going without health insurance were declared constitutional, and it all hinged on Roberts’ assertion that the assessments are taxes.
The court’s four left-leaning justices – Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor – sided with Roberts, who was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush.
Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
Justice Scalia, joined by the three justices in dissent, wrote that the ruling gives Congress nearly unlimited authority to control the lives of Americans.
“Whatever may be the conceptual limits upon the Commerce Clause and upon the power to tax and spend, they cannot be such as will enable the Federal Government to regulate all private conduct and to compel the states to function as administrators of federal programs,” he wrote.
The dissenting justices said that in addition to the mandate, they would have struck down the rest of the law, because it could not be sustained without forcing Americans to buy insurance.
Upon hearing news of Robert’s decision, talk-radio host Michael Savage compared the chief justice to the traitor during the American Revolution, calling him a “turncoat” and declaring, “Justice Roberts is a sellout. Period.”
Likewise, talk-radio host Mark Levin called for term limits for Supreme Court justices.
“If justices want to be political,” said Levin, “then they shouldn’t serve for life, because the American people deserve better than this. And that’s the bottom line. … The fact of the matter is we, the American people, deserve public officials – whether they’re elected or appointed to serve for life or for limited terms – who are going to uphold our institutions. And if not going to do it, there’s 312 million Americans – we’ll find some who can.”
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said Roberts’ decision was “appalling” and “disgraceful,” and he called Justice Roberts “a creature of the Washington establishment, a creature of the notion that government is the center of the universe.”
“The Supreme Court, a majority of the Supreme Court, found Obamacare unconstitutional. They found the mandate unconstitutional,” Limbaugh said. “The chief justice, John Roberts, kicked into activist mode and found a way around that. … I think he did what he wanted to do. He has sided with the liberal justices more often than not in previous decisions. I just throw that out as a statistic, not as evidence. I think he’s building a legacy. This is what he wanted to happen. He found a way for it to happen. And so now, folks, it’s game on.”
In his WND column, “John Roberts’ move to the dark side,” former five-term congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo declared, “Sadly, when the dust settles and all the arguments are considered, there is only one conclusion to be reached: Roberts surrendered constitutional standards in favor of the cultural standards of the nation’s power elite.
He added, “The lesson here is sobering, indeed alarming, for citizens who revere the Constitution and look to the Supreme Court as the ultimate safeguard against unchecked government power. That bulwark has never been perfect, but now it is in tatters.”
Outspoken rock-and-roll star Ted Nugent let loose a tirade against Justice Roberts and his deciding vote on Obamacare.
Nugent wrote in a Washington Post column: “Quite possible, with his vote, Chief Justice Roberts didn’t give Fedzilla an even bigger shovel, he gave Fedzilla an earth mover with which to dig bigger financial holes.”
Nugent offered President Obama some sage advice:
“The president should have Chief Justice Roberts over for dinner, give him a ride on Air Force One and apologize for not voting for him during his confirmation hearings.
“It’s the least the community-organizer in chief can do for the turncoat chief justice who saved the president’s socialist health care program.”
He offered the president some words of caution regarding judges in general, spoken by his own father some 50 years ago:
“With Chief Justice Roberts’ vote to save Obamacare, I was reminded of what my dad told me more than 50 years ago: Never trust a man who wears a black robe. He might be naked under there.”