Monday, July 02, 2012

The Angry Liberal

One might have thought that the four liberal Supreme Court Justices would have been happy that Chief Justice Roberts switched sides to join them in upholding Obamacare. They weren't. Instead, they were furious. Here is Justice Ginsburg excoriating Roberts as "rigid," "crabbed," "specious," and "stunningly retrogressive":
"According to the Chief Justice the Commerce Clause does not permit that preservation. This rigid reading of the Clause makes scant sense and is stunningly retrogressive. . . . The Chief Justice's crabbed reading of the Commerce Clause harks back to the era in which the Court routinely thwarted Congress' efforts to regulate the national economy in the interest of those who labor to sustain it. . . . The Chief Justice's novel constraint on Congress' commerce power gains no force from our precedent and for that reason alone warrants disapprobation. . . . The Chief Justice also calls the minimum coverage provision an illegitimate effort to make young, healthy individuals subsidize insurance premiums paid by the less hale and hardy. This complaint, too, is spurious. . . . Failing to learn from this history, the Chief Justice plows ahead with his formalistic distinction between those who are "active in commerce," and those who are not. . . . The Chief Justice accepts just such specious logic when he cites the broccoli horrible as a reason to deny Congress the power to pass the individual mandate. . . . If long on rhetoric, the Chief Justice's argument is short on substance."
The full text of the Court's decision is here (PDF). The above excerpt was collected by James Taranto.
Note the left's casual disregard for the constitution when Justice Ginsburg complains of Roberts' thwarting of efforts to "regulate the national economy in the interest of those who labor to sustain it."  The Constitution has no provision enabling regulations in favor of "labor" to override other Constitutional provisions.  Our Constitution is not Marxist.
As a side note, one of the left's justifications of Obamacare is that health care is expensive because of the high cost of the uninsured which is cost-shifted onto those who pay. However, Justice Ginsburg writes:
As a group, uninsured individuals annually consume more than $100 billion in health-care services, nearly 5% of the Nation's total.
In other words, even by Justice Ginsburg's numbers, the cost of the uninsured is a small fraction of healthcare costs and hardly a reason to destroy the system that the rest of us use.

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