Saturday, June 27, 2015

Chief Justice Roberts: is HE the smartest guy in the room?

Our Constitution contemplates three co-equal branches of government with competing interests being forced to co-exist in order to accomplish anything.  Considering the distrust our Founding Fathers had in government generally, it is not surprising that this arrangement did not, does not, and never will be terribly efficient.  But then, Jefferson was know to believe that eventually government becomes the enemy of individual freedom, so this attitude was certainly no surprise...and the truth of the underlying concept should be ignored at our peril.

Not surprisingly, there have been attempts by Congress ... and the President ... to make the Supreme Court join in a partnership against the third branch of government.  The President does this through the power to appoint new Justices as vacancies occur and assiduously attempt to divine the ideological bent of each and every person considered...with a remarkably low percentage of success when all are taken into consideration.

But until now each Justice once ensconced on the bench has evidenced a sharp mind and a distinct ideological vision of whether the Constitution was clear when written, remains clear today, is meant to cover all facets of life in America, contains commands or merely suggestions.  If in their legally restrictive view, they can see the Constitution agreeing with their view of what they would like it to say and mean, they will do...and have

Every Justice respects the others, even in the heat of intense disagreement.  They understand the confines of their considerations and as some would say, "they play by the rules."

However, now enter Chief Justice Roberts.  Either he disdains the "rules" or just doesn't understand that narcissism doesn't become any member of the Court.  Justice Kennedy is a swing vote.  But his decisions are always on very close call analysis of the law and what he sees as "justice" in accordance with the Court's purview.  He does not see himself as an Editor or Proof-reading aide to Congress or the President, with the obligation to save themselves from the consequences of foolish behavior or malfeasance..."mistakes" in laws have consequences, and those who make the mistakes are not to be saved from the consequences,..of either law or the electorate.

But Justice Roberts seems to believe that he is an adjunct of Congress...with the additional prescience to know what Congress means, even if they clearly write something into a law that is totally at odds with his vision.  For SCOTUScare, he knew that Congress meant tax, even though they wrote "fee."
And earlier this week he just knew that Congress did not (could not) mean that just because that they had written into the ACA a provision that subsidies would only be available to those who applied for coverage through STATE operated centers, that Congress didn't mean it.  How Godlike; how dictatorial: forget the words...the law says what I decide it says.

An inept Congress and President certainly appreciates this kind of assistance...this time.  But suppose Justice Roberts at some point decides that any clear wording an some law that comes up for review cannot be what Congress really wanted?  I wonder if the President and Congress will be so appreciative then?

Chief Justice Roberts needs to be taken out back by his colleagues for a "come to Jesus" moment before he destroys the Institution of the Supreme Court of the United States as a primarily legal institution and leads it to a subservient tool, albeit with a run-away, out of control Chief, of either Congress or the Presidency.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

No longer Checks and Balances on Congress by SCOTUS

Laws no longer mean what they say.  Congress no longer need concern itself with careful and accurate writing and wording.  The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will plug the breach, intuit the "real" intent of Congress while ignoring the actual wording of the duly passed statute, and save the day.  Of course, there is a consequence for this service: SCOTUS has now re-affirmed its move from co-equal branch of Congress to a second rate arm of Congress. We have ceased to be a nation governed by laws and now are dependent on a political class that continues to fund the courts as a sap to many who wish to continue to delude themselves that there is a check and balance against Congress. Anyone with a brain recalls how Congress "crowed" about the condition of creating a State Healthcare program as a prerequisite to getting Federal Funding. They tried to blackmail the States and it didn't work, so now they went to their underlings, the Supreme Court, to absolutely legislate from the bench and eliminate holding Congress responsible for its actions. "Umpires" indeed...if so this is the Black Sox Scandal with the Umpires bought off instead of the Players.  Does anyone question whether SCOTUS' budget request will now be granted in full?

There is a serious question of the legitimacy of any government structure when the laws mean nothing and can be interpreted as a politician wishes, instead of obeying the clear reading of words written and voted upon.  This is the result of the political class coming to adopt the Bill Clinton plea of "It depends on what the meaning of is is."  So many laughed as the absurdity of that comment, even as it turned out to be legally effective...and so we began to slide down the slippery slope of making honesty and truth and consequences immaterial in the American political world...and have also just made them immaterial in American life generally:  now it is apparently acceptable to narcissistically focus on getting "free" stuff even as we all know that someone is paying for long as that someone isn't "us."  How delusional...and how clearly designed to ultimately destroy our country.  Khrushchev will turn out to have been right when he claimed we would destroy ourselves from within...he is chuckling in his grave right now.  Deservedly so.