June 28, 2012

Ouch, That Hoit!

Disappointed as most of my compatriots by the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare. There's a strong desire to psychoanalyze Roberts, since he's the only really surprising vote. Who knows what he was thinking, but the tendency is to think he'd gotten a taste of criticism (in the form of the decision about "corporations are people" and campaign funding) and didn't much like it. Humans are social animals, and it's pretty hard to ignore the socialability aspect.

The truth is stranger than fiction in that we all couldn't imagine that Roberts would be the deciding vote. That said I would've gone with Roberts as the second most likely to uphold (after Kennedy). Perhaps it's hindsight, but I always thought he was more of the judge's judge than a strict constitutionalist, which is to say he's a bit more into pragmatism. In other words, willing to wiggle on what "tax" means.

In general it sure seems as though Democrat-appointed judges are more lock-step with the liberal cause than Republican-appointed judges with conservative philosophy. There certainly was no liberal judge on this court who was going to vote to repeal Obamacare. You can say that Republican-appointed judges are more impartial than Democrat-appointed judges and that the price of being good, in this world, is often a lack of success. On the other hand Scalia is good AND right so they're not mutually exclusive, ha.

It's just beyond me why Democrats continue to enjoy auto-liberal votes from authentically liberal judges while Republicans don't enjoy the same advantage when Republicans win the presidency. Perhaps that's why the Tea Party, God bless it, was invented. It's a necessary response to a tipped playing field in which the gentlemanly Orin Hatch blesses the Democrat- SCOTUS nominee while Ted Kennedy pledged jihad against any conservative with a paper trail. Asymetrical warfare indeed.

Perhaps it comes down to Republican presidents just not being that firmly committed to the social issues (because we know that social issues = abortion and abortion = that which must be protected by liberals at any cost, and the Supreme Court has been, unfortunately, the decider on abortion. To put it simply, Democrats want abortion more than Republicans want it outlawed.)

8 comments:

dylan said...

I like this post. Much truth here!

TS said...

Thank you yon Dylan!

William Luse said...

SCOTUS meekly defers to Congress and the "anything goes" commerce clause.

One caveat if I'm reading you right. Roberts specifically ruled out the commerce clause as validating the mandate. He said instead that it fell under the government's power to tax. Which is probably equally stupid, but there it is. As for the rest, I'm with Dylan: you are very truthy.

TS said...

Yes that's a good point -- I just figured that the other four justices who voted to uphold found the commerce clause flexible. But not Roberts, that's true.

TS said...

Removed that line from the post!

William Luse said...

"I just figured that the other four justices who voted to uphold found the commerce clause flexible."

Very interesting majority decision, in that the majority didn't agree with each other. 3 for commerce, 1 for tax. Also, with Kagan recused, it was a 4-4 tie. In an attempt to overturn legislation, a tie keeps it in place. I guess.

William Luse said...

I goofed. Kagan's recusal was in the immigration case, so this was indeed a 5-4 decision.

TS said...

Yeah I was confused about that and just figured you meant that she should've recused (there were calls for her to do so) and were speculating on if she had what would've happened.