Sunday, July 01, 2012

Justice Roberts, a Bully?

Not quite on par with those who inspired me to poke fun at Peggy Noonan, but really? Ilya Somin argues that, in light of the ACA ruling, then-Senator Obama's comments on Justice Roberts seem prescient, that in his "history of public service...[Roberts] has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak". Somin argues that the ACA ruling fits that description, fancifully arguing that,
Justice Roberts sided with “strong” insurance companies (who are major supporters of the individual mandate) and “those in power” in the “executive branch and the legislative branch” against the comparatively “weak”: small business and the majority of ordinary voters who opposed the mandate and wanted it invalidated.
Somin then admits that he does not believe that Roberts was "motivated by any great love for insurance companies or hostility to 'the weak'", but that "it’s ironic1 that his ruling in this crucial unintentionally fits Obama’s 2005 critique of his record".

With all of the years Roberts has been on the court, and all of the instances in which the Court has explicitly sided with the legislature or with monied and powerful interests2 when they were lined up against much weaker opponents, Somin picks this case as his first (and presumably best) illustration of Obama's point?


In this world in which the "broccoli mandate" is advanced as a serious argument for why a health insurance mandate would inevitably lead to atrocious overreach at the federal level - but be completely acceptable and virtually free of risk at the state level - have we lost touch with the concept of "self-parody"?
1. A black fly in his chardonnay?

2. Under Somin's strained - dare I say overwrought - interpretation of Obama's statement, most cases that come before the Supreme Court have powerful interests on both sides.


  1. I'm so tired of you people.

    Yes, yes, the Individual Mandate is "just like" car insurance, in that it forces people to buy insurance for emergency medical care.

    And then you know what?

    It adds in a few other things to. You have to buy insurance for doctors visits and many, many other things besides.

    But so long as we ignore the bill as it was actually passed, and pretend the Individual Mandate forces people to ONLY by insurance for Emergency Care, well then, it is "just like" auto insurance.

    Except, you know, it's not.

  2. "You people" being... people who think?

    I don't recall mentioning auto insurance in this post, let alone comparing the health insurance mandate to auto insurance. But don't let me be the one who lets facts get in the way of your ranting - I wouldn't want to spoil your fun.

    The best state-level comparison for the mandate, incidentally, would be to Romney's health insurance mandate in Massachusetts.

  3. "Whatever"

    Except it is not a bill. A bill is a theoretical law, yet to be passed by both houses, signed by the President, and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. Since the aforementioned is true, we can at least quit with the feeble de-legitimization attempts and call it what it is: a law which you are now subject to.

    Cheers! Laura