Re "Roberts shows he puts law above politics," June 30
What a sad state of affairs that we praise the chief justice of the Supreme Court because he "puts law ahead of politics." Have we stooped that low?
Of course, the country can be thankful thatJohn G. Roberts Jr.'s constitutional training brought him to his decision. Our country will be better for it.
Are we to take from this that the four justices who voted against the Affordable Care Act put their politics before the law?
Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor, who became a swing vote. Reagan also nominatedAnthony M. Kennedy, who likewise became a swing vote. PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush nominated David H. Souter, who was certainly not a conservative judge.George W. Bush nominated Roberts, who voted with the court's liberals on healthcare.
The Democratic selections have truly been loyal liberals. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer have been predictable. They are now joined by Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Roberts has followed the Republican tradition of the last few decades. This should surprise no one.
With all the gushing about Roberts "putting law before politics," as indeed he did, nobody seems to question whether the four liberal justices have put politics before law. The unspoken assumption is that of course the liberal vote is nonideological and simply affirms the Constitution, whereas any dissent is just the opposite.
This self-righteousness of the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party may help to explain why so many finally bolt the party as they mature and achieve a degree of wisdom.
If liberal Justice Ginsburg had sided with the four justices who voted to overturn the healthcare law, would the headline have read "Ginsburg shows she puts the law ahead of politics"?
The law and politics aren't two different things; they are just two different ways of making social policy, the main difference being that politicians are elected. Roberts created new law by claiming that a mandate to do something is a tax if there is a penalty attached. There is nothing in the Constitution referring to this.
Now it will be possible for Congress to mandate all sorts of behaviors as long as there is a penalty attached for noncompliance.
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