Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ObamaCare Decision

                    The Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled on June 28, 2012, that ObamaCare was constitutional by a vote of 
5-4.  I was in shock when I first read about the ruling; I could not believe that the Justices would consider it constitutional for the federal government to force Americans to purchase insurance or pay a fine!  When I learned that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices to pass the ruling, I became very confused and wondered:  What in the world is happening in our country?  Has the world turned upside down?  Are we living in an alternative universe?

                    I read news articles and various opinions; I listened to several different conservative talk show hosts.  Everyone seems to be confused as to just what happened and why.  Some people called Roberts a traitor; other people called him a genius; still others called him a hero.  Rush Limbaugh said that he turned the Constitution upside down and caused it to hang by a thread.

                    CBS News reported that Roberts first sided with the conservative justices but later switched his vote.   "Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.
                    "Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said.  Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy - believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law - led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.

                    "… But this time, Roberts held firm.  And so the conservatives handed him their own message which, as one justice put it, essentially translated into, `You're on your own.'
                    "The conservatives refused to join any aspect of his opinion, including sections with which they agreed, such as his analysis imposing limits on Congress' power under the Commerce Clause, the sources said.
                    "Instead, the four joined forces and crafted a highly unusual, unsigned joint dissent.  They deliberately ignored Roberts' decision, the sources said, as if they were no longer even willing to engage with him in debate."

                    Rick Moran referenced the CBS article, particularly the questions about why Chief Justice Roberts changed his vote.  Does Roberts really see things the way he wrote or was he swayed by outside pressure?  Even though some of the justices do not read or listen to news items while issues are pending at the court, "Roberts pays attention to media coverage."  Did "Obama stare him down?"  Did he "buckle to the liberal pressure?" 

                    Moran followed his reference by writing, "This has always concerned me about this case:  Why is it `judicial activism' to uphold the principles of the Constitution -- even if, as in this case -- the legislation could be upheld based on precedent alone?  Conservatives were arguing not for activism, but for restraint on the government.  If the Court had a liberal majority, you can bet that the commerce clause would have been used to justify upholding the mandate.  This is the very definition of `judicial activism' in that the Court would have vastly expanded the definition of `commerce' just to uphold the law. 
                    "It is Congress that overreached, and the Court's job -- as most of us see it -- was to rein in that power and define the limit of that power as it related to the commerce clause.  Setting limits on power is not activism, it is the primary job of the Court."

                    Mytheos Holt at The Blaze  took a different view.  "Ever since the shocking ruling by the Supreme Court today that labeled Obamacare's highly controversial individual mandate a `tax' was handed down, conservatives have been reacting with a mixture of depression and cold fury, especially toward the man who made it possible, Chief Justice John Roberts.  Branded a `coward' in some corners, and a traitor by many, Roberts has been relentlessly criticized for a decision which many see as eroding the last obstacle to an overpowered government, and which certainly has the potential to do just that if the political philosophy that has so dominated the current administration continues unabated.

                    "However, sympathetic though we are to these admittedly weighty fears of increased state power, we think one fact may have been a bit obscured by this response - this is still a decision by John Roberts.  And John Roberts is still a Bush appointee, with a judicial philosophy that makes hardcore judicial liberals cringe, albeit a little less now.  As such, since the decision was released, a steady drumbeat of commentary has gone up from everyone from Reason Magazine to Charles Krauthammer to Erick Erickson to George Will to even Ken Cuccinelli, one of the people who lost in the case, claiming the decision might be a sleeper victory.  With a list of people like that believing they've secretly won, we figure we owe it to them to at least try to sum up the case for the Obamacare case being a success.  Here are the top five reasons we can see why the Obamacare case might come back to haunt the Left and make the Right cheer:  1) Mitt Romney now will have a much easier time defeating Barack Obama; 2) This deflates Occupy Wall Street's biggest cause; 3) Roberts actually set up a limit on the Commerce Clause; 4) The liberal judges inadvertently brought Federalism back; 5) It made taxation the panacea for constitutional questions."  For more information on these five reasons check out the story at The Blaze.  

                    Christopher Chantrill believes that Chief Justice John Roberts handed President Obama a "poisoned chalice."  "What in the world was Chief Justice Roberts trying to do by voting with the liberals on ObamaCare?  Conservative opinion is all over the map, but conservative talk show hosts were clear … that the ball was in the voters' court.

                    "Whatever you think of Roberts' decision, his message was unequivocal.  If you don't like ObamaCare then you'd better vote it down in November.  In this he gives conservatives real clarity.
                    "If the Supreme Court conservatives had voted down ObamaCare by a vote of 5 to 4 the liberals would not have accepted it, any more than the pro-life movement accepts Roe v. Wade.  There was only one way in 2012 to make a Supreme Court decision to invalidate ObamaCare stick, and that would have been for Justice Kagan to join the conservative majority in a 6-3 decision…. 

                    "Good luck with that.  So the only way to make liberals accept a repeal of ObamaCare is by the brute force of political power, the mandate of the voters expressed at the ballot box, just as Chief Justice wrote in the majority decision.
                    "Chief Justice Roberts did his level best [to] `nudge' the voters.  First of all, he ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional because it is really a tax.  This means that Mitt Romney and a dozen Super PACs can tell the voters that President Obama has raised taxes on the middle class.  Secondly, Roberts ruled that the federal government cannot penalize states that don't accept expanded Medicaid.

                    "These two poison pills hand the president a poisoned chalice.  `Tell it like it is,' Howard Cosell used to say:  a tax is a tax.  Forget using Medicaid as a bludgeon to force the states to enroll the near poor."

                    I do not understand the ruling or how it will affect our freedom, independence, and liberty, but I am not concerned.  I believe that everything will work out for the good of our country in the long run.  Why?  Soon after I learned the ruling, I knelt in prayer to learn what Heavenly Father knows about the ruling.  I have been pleading with God for months to please inspire the justices of the Supreme Court to make the right decision, the one that is best for the United States of America, the one that will protect freedom.  I simply asked God if the decision was the one that He wanted, and I received a comforting feeling that the ruling is according to God's desire.  Was Chief Justice inspired by God to change his vote?  I believe that he could have been inspired by the Spirit to see the bigger picture.  I know that God inspired the Framers of the Constitution to write it, and I know that He still wants the United States of America to remain a free and independent nation.  I know that our future is in the hands of God after all we can do!

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