June 29, 2012

At The Heart of Roberts' ObamaTax Sophistry Is The Remarkable Claim That The Law Is A Tax When He Needs It To Be But Not A Tax When He Needs It Not To Be
— Ace

York says this drove the conservatives on the Court "nuts."

I know it drove me nuts.

I'm going to boldface a single word in this excerpt.

Before getting to the heart of the case, the justices first wanted to deal with what seemed to be a side issue: Was the penalty imposed by the individual mandate in Obamacare a tax? If it was, the case would run afoul of a 19th century-law known as the Anti-Injunction Act, which said a tax cannot be challenged in court until someone has actually been forced to pay it. Since the Obamacare mandate wouldn't go into effect until 2014, that would mean there could be no court case until then.

No one had challenged Obamacare on that basis; the challengers wanted the case to go forward now. The White House, having argued strenuously during the Obamacare debate that the penalty wasn't a tax, wanted to go ahead as well. So the court, on its own, tapped a Washington attorney to make the argument that the penalty was a tax and therefore the case should not go ahead.

...

After Long made his case, it fell to the administration's lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, to argue that no, the mandate was not a tax, and therefore the case was not subject to the Anti-Injunction Act.

At the same time, everyone knew that the next day, when Verrilli planned to argue that the mandate was justified under the Constitution's Commerce Clause, he had as a backup the argument that it was also justified by Congress' power to levy taxes -- in other words, that it was a tax.

Justice Samuel Alito saw the conflict right away.

"General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax," Alito said. "Tomorrow you are going to be back, and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax. Has the court ever held that something that is a tax for the purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?"

"No," answered Verrilli.

Unprecedented.

It wasn't a tax for purposes of getting it passed politically, also wasn't a tax for purposes of delaying judgment based on the Anti-Injunction Act, but then magically became a tax in order to be upheld.

If the government now has the power under the taxing power to enforce its preferences regarding how citizens live their lives, Ed Morrissey proposes, modestly, a new tax on those who refuse to buy guns.

Allah considered a similar question yesterday: Whether the government could put a punitive tax on you for owning a gun. Gun ownership is a right, he thought, so the ObamaTax logic wouldn't fully apply. You can't burden a right.

Well, owning a gun is a right, but not owning a gun is not a right. Or at least it's no more of a right than not owning insurance.

We can pass a great many laws like this, enforcing our preferences in any area that isn't an explicit (or penumbra-ish) right under the Constitution.

Don't go to Church regularly? Why, we can tax that. And before you say it's your right not to go to church -- of course it is, but we can compel all Americans to spend at least two hours each week on philosophical contemplation, whether it be at church or in Quiet Home Study of non-religious philosophical texts.

If a temporary majority in Congress thinks it's a good idea -- tax away!

The Constitution apparently gives the government the right to dictate almost all of our personal choices, so long as it enforces these preferences via punitive taxes. So let's get started.

Posted by: Ace at 03:58 AM | Comments (182)
Post contains 680 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterfuck of a miserable tyrant.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 03:59 AM (8y9MW)

2 but Jay Cost says we won!/sarc

Posted by: AuthorLMendez at June 29, 2012 04:03 AM (yAor6)

3 I have an idea for a protest.

Every Patriot in a given area needs to buy some lanterns.  Then, they need to find a tree in their area- something big with lots of branches.  And, every night, they need to go hang lanterns on the tree.

I refuse to let the light of liberty die.

Who's with me?

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 04:03 AM (8y9MW)

4 >>Unprecedented.

Not to mention just completely ridiculous.

Schrödinger's tax.

Posted by: Mama AJ at June 29, 2012 04:04 AM (SUKHu)

5 Updating AllenG's favorite phrase:

Barack Obama and John Roberts are stuttering clusterfucks of miserable tyrants.

Posted by: GMan at June 29, 2012 04:05 AM (sxq57)

6 It could be used to force union membership. Don't want to pay $30 a month in dues? OK. Be sure to say that on the tax form. 

Posted by: Hal Burton at June 29, 2012 04:06 AM (iYvMQ)

7 To those who say we won:

"The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him."

Posted by: jjmurphy at June 29, 2012 04:09 AM (gWO5X)

8 "Gun ownership is a right, he thought, so the ObamaTax logic wouldn't fully apply. You can't burden a right."

He is correct , theoretically.  However, now the burden will be on an individual, not government.  An individual, literally, will have to fight city hall to protect himself every time some nonsense tax is enacted. How many people will do that ? How many people will have the means to do such a thing ?

Posted by: runner at June 29, 2012 04:09 AM (WR5xI)

9 It could be used to force union membership.

It could be used to force anything.  The US Congress has officially levied a tax on living.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 04:10 AM (8y9MW)

10 "Ed Morrissey, modestly, and new tax on those who refuse to buy guns." A real laff riot, that Poppin' Fresh. Hell, he probably swigged the champagne root beer last night after figuring out that Roberts just bought "the Captain" at least another 1461 days of Obamateurisms.

It's not just Bark Obama we have to fear -- it's the ever-squishier "conservatives" in Congress and teh Interwebz.

Posted by: MrScribbler at June 29, 2012 04:11 AM (MQc8e)

11

Barack Obama and John Roberts are stuttering clusterfucks of miserable tyrants.

 

 

Roberts is not a tyrant. He is a creature much worse than a tyrant; a coward, who meekly allows the tyrant to acquire more power. He deserves nothing more than scorn and contempt.

Posted by: Ghost of Lee Atwater at June 29, 2012 04:11 AM (JxMoP)

12 Liberal commenters are filling the airwaves with raves about how Roberts rose above it all to show how nonpartisan and mature he is.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Roberts was overcome by peer pressure like a teenaged girl to uphold a monstrosity of legal twisting, which permanently changes the power of the federal government over the individual, and will not be observed as any precedent on the commerce clause, merely to preserve a 'legacy' of a black man.  There is   nothing more politically craven than that.

Posted by: Vashta Nerada at June 29, 2012 04:12 AM (Z6meB)

13 yep. I quoted Omri Ceren from Commentary Magazine this morning: Voters were supposed to prevent Congress from taxing them into a health care mandate. The Court was supposed to check Congress from abusing its Commerce Clause authority to create a health care mandate. Democrats dodged voter oversight on taxation in 2010 by insisting ObamaCare wasn’t a tax, and then they survived judicial rejection of their Commerce Clause reasoning in 2012 by insisting it is a tax. It’s a neat trick, and one they shouldn’t have been allowed to get away with. But again, presumption is powerful, and it lets you throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. Conservatives would do well to heed that lesson.

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:13 AM (HOOye)

14 Gee, it's like we passed the bill and still don't know what's in it...

First time commenter (been lurking here since shortly before the 08 election, i think), and just wanted to tell you how much i appreciate your work, Ace.  Small comfort at a time like this, but thank you.

Posted by: Occam's Safety Razor at June 29, 2012 04:13 AM (8Mgrk)

15 The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson at June 29, 2012 04:13 AM (pUOpM)

16 Did the court actually rule it was a tax, or was that simply Roberts' worthless whore opinion?

Posted by: Bevel Lemelisk at June 29, 2012 04:14 AM (tmzN0)

17

I almost would have prefered the commerce clause.

I honestly can't think of a way this ruling could have been any worse, especially the way it went down.

Roberts cowed to pressure. We don't have three co-equal branches anymore. We have the almighty Executive and then it's smaller less equal branches of the judiciary and legislature.

 

Posted by: Ben at June 29, 2012 04:14 AM (C2Y4l)

18 we won though! that's what people keep saying! and we can't attack Roberts! right?/sarc

Posted by: AuthorLMendez at June 29, 2012 04:15 AM (yAor6)

19 But again, presumption is powerful, and it lets you throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. Conservatives would do well to heed that lesson.

What's Omri really trying to say?  Is he saying we should start doing extremely stupid things like the Dem just to see what we can get away with?

Posted by: EC at June 29, 2012 04:15 AM (GQ8sn)

20 I knew that Obamacare would be upheld after Ginsburg did her bit of public gloating about how all the guesses about the decision were wrong. So I can't say I was shocked when I heard the ruling: I was fully expecting it yesterday morning. I'm not even shocked Roberts stabbed the conservative movement in the back; after all, conservative justices always buckle, sooner or later. Liberal Justices NEVER waver. Just a rule of life, and you have to sort of admire the libs for their monomaniacal determination to have Big Brother rule over all. Nope, the bottom line is this: We have to do the heavy lift of smashing Obamacare thru elections and legitimate votes. By the way, I'm slowly getting my feet wet over at twitter. If you care to, follow me - I go by CoolCzech1 over there. If I get the sense anyone is actually reading anything I tweet maybe I'll become more prolific at tweeting.

Posted by: CoolCzech at June 29, 2012 04:15 AM (niZvt)

21 You're up early, Ace. Like me, hate has made you strong.

Posted by: toby928 at June 29, 2012 04:16 AM (QupBk)

22 7 To those who say we won: I seriously don't believe anyone thinks we truly "won." I think many are trying to find a way forward. This hit many of us - and stunned us: I still feel the residuals, and will for a long time. What's done is done, we need to fight harder, now.

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:16 AM (HOOye)

23
Robets' mistake is that he probably thinks he insulated the court from liberal attacks.  He is not wise if he thinks that.  You cannot placate socialists, they will attack anyway.  I just got a glimpse of the next 12 months : "After CJ Roberts' moment of clarity, he reverted back to his old, bad ways of racism (affirmative action cases), homophobia (Defense of marriage, etc), right wing judicial activism and corporate patronage (citizens United challenges)..." Yep, I can totally see that.

Posted by: runner at June 29, 2012 04:16 AM (WR5xI)

24 Invisible ink legislation. FUCKING BULLSHIT. Fuck that commerce clause shit. THIS is what Roberts did yesterday. INVISIBLE INK PRECEDENT.

Posted by: Dang at June 29, 2012 04:17 AM (Ky1+e)

25 [i14 Gee, it's like we passed the bill and still don't know what's in it... First time commenter (been lurking here since shortly before the 08 election, i think),[/i] Come out of the closet more often!

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:17 AM (HOOye)

26 Looking around work today, it appears to be business as usual.

I'm thinking to myself that America fundamentally changed yesterday...and no-one noticed.

Depressing.

Posted by: trainer at June 29, 2012 04:17 AM (IVoJS)

27 What's Omri really trying to say? Is he saying we should start doing extremely stupid things like the Dem just to see what we can get away with? Posted by: EC at June 29, 2012 09:15 AM (GQ8sn) he's tossing reality at us

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:18 AM (HOOye)

28 "Conservatives would do well to heed that lesson."

Conservatives never learn any lessons.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at June 29, 2012 04:18 AM (1gzeK)

29 Plaintiff: Your honor, this guy sold me a ham sandwich and I got two pieces of bread with shit in the middle.

Judge: Well I do have a problem with that being called a ham sandwich when it's actually a shit sandwich. So what you bought is a shit sandwich, what's the problem?

Posted by: Dang at June 29, 2012 04:18 AM (Ky1+e)

30 20 I knew that Obamacare would be upheld after Ginsburg did her bit of public gloating about how all the guesses about the decision were wrong. yep, me too. It made me uncomfortable, her smirk.

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:19 AM (HOOye)

31 you don't have to work in the private sector, you can just pay a tax for not doing so.

Posted by: Ron Fucking Swanson at June 29, 2012 04:20 AM (KHo8t)

32 So, Ace, you're coming to realize that the Sixteenth Amendment was passed, NOW?!

Posted by: Zombie Mister Rogers at June 29, 2012 04:20 AM (lDz6c)

33 How about a tax on certain sexual activities known to lead to adverse health outcomes? Hey, if I'm subsidizing your health care, I don't want you shoving anything where it shouldn't be shoved.

Posted by: BS Inc. at June 29, 2012 04:22 AM (P2Ufm)

34

Roberts was also acting to protect the Federal government from challenges to its power. He could not find it as a justifiable power under the Commerce Clause because if the law were rejected on this argument then the floodgates may have opened for numerous other challenges to powers that the Feds have stolen under the auspices of the Commerce Clause. That could not be allowed to happen.

Posted by: Ghost of Lee Atwater at June 29, 2012 04:22 AM (JxMoP)

35 @26: Not really; I think the change occurred in the 2008 presidential campaign, when the American people for the first time in their history acted like Third World People: supporting a cult-like charismatic figure and voting for him based on a frenzy of irrationality. Even if Mitt wins this November - which I have to believe will be the case - I'll never have the same trust in the fundamental sound judgment of the American people again. If Obama - an abject Chicago Machine Political Hack eminently unqualified to be an American, never mind President - could be elected, who's to say what can't be elected in the future?

Posted by: CoolCzech at June 29, 2012 04:23 AM (niZvt)

36 And the unfunny commenters at Hot Air don't realize that he is being satirical.

Wow.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo (NJConservative) at June 29, 2012 04:23 AM (nEUpB)

37 CK's take Why did he do it? Because he carries two identities. Jurisprudentially, he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the court's legitimacy, reputation and stature. ht IBD

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:23 AM (HOOye)

38 27 What's Omri really trying to say? Is he saying we should start doing extremely stupid things like the Dem just to see what we can get away with?

Posted by: EC at June 29, 2012 09:15 AM (GQ8sn)



he's tossing reality at us




And that's why DC is fucking broken.  You're not supposed to be able to do this kind of thing and get away with it.  Now we have the ultimate court of the country saying it's ok.

Posted by: EC at June 29, 2012 04:24 AM (GQ8sn)

39

Well, it could be worse, it could be raining...

Posted by: David of PA at June 29, 2012 04:25 AM (RHrNg)

40

Posted by: Ghost of Lee Atwater at June 29, 2012 09:22 AM (JxMoP)

--

I agree with you.  Sadly, my hope was that those very floodgates would  have   been   opened, before we drove ourselves into national bankruptcy.

Posted by: Vashta Nerada at June 29, 2012 04:25 AM (Z6meB)

41

In response to terminating a genetically unique, developing human life that isn't yours: "Hands off my body!  Get the government out of my uterus!  If I wanted the government inside me, I'd fuck a senator!"

 

In response to regulating your entire body and very existence:  "More please!"

Posted by: Liberal LaLa Land at June 29, 2012 04:25 AM (rX1N2)

42 Drew M.'s "Dear GOP" letter captured the heart of the matter perfectly, in my opinion - but in truth, I think that the "I Quit" moment has come and gone already, and that, even if the GOP wins in November, they will not make good on their clamoring for repeal.


And even if they do, unsettling, dangerous precedent has been set here by the SCOTUS.  I'm still gritting my teeth that Kennedy wanted to throw the damn thing out, and Roberts went Benedict Arnold.

Posted by: Kinley Ardal at June 29, 2012 04:25 AM (ZGD9B)

43 Posted by: Ghost of Lee Atwater at June 29, 2012 09:11 AM (JxMoP)

Good point.

Hannah Arendt wrote about the "banality of evil." This is an excellent example of it.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo (NJConservative) at June 29, 2012 04:25 AM (nEUpB)

44 41 In response to terminating a genetically unique, developing human life that isn't yours: "Hands off my body! Get the government out of my uterus! If I wanted the government inside me, I'd fuck a senator!"

In response to regulating your entire body and very existence: "More please!"

Posted by: Liberal LaLa Land at June 29, 2012 09:25 AM (rX1N2)


Exactly.


Infuriating beyond words.

Posted by: Kinley Ardal at June 29, 2012 04:26 AM (ZGD9B)

45 "conservative justices always buckle, sooner or later."

Except Thomas—who therefore should be exemplary of the *left-most* acceptable SC nominee for future Republican appointments, if what the GOP wants is a future where conservative rulings from the SC occasionally happen.

And of course that's exactly what they want, their being the conservative party and all, so surely everything will turn out for the best.

MONEYBOMB

Posted by: nope at June 29, 2012 04:26 AM (cePv8)

46 The full horror of this ObamaTax has yet to fully register.  I for one didn't really pay attention to the details of the fascist medical directive because I was 99.99% sure it would be overturned.  The best way to crush the demoncrats in November is to start calling attention to the multitude of tyrannical details.

Posted by: SpongeBob Saget at June 29, 2012 04:27 AM (SDkq3)

47 Question: Invoking the anti-injunction thinger, does that mean this ObamaTax can be challenged once again, when payments become due and people start refusing? Sounds at first blush like a different sort of case, no?

Posted by: Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight at June 29, 2012 04:28 AM (RLTt1)

48 Will be interesting to see how the Catholic Church suit against obamacare pans out. With what happened yesterday, it's anybody's guess.

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:28 AM (HOOye)

49

The Dread Justice Roberts isn't the only one who's taken leave from his senses.  I got SHRM's (Society for HR Management) read on this--their wording in regards to this was "Health benefits are just one part of an overall total rewards strategy.  How does an organization's having (or not having) health benefits impact other talent acquisition and talent management strategies?" 

 

Fucking seriously?  This is always the number one question asked during negotiations.  

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at June 29, 2012 04:28 AM (Ec6wH)

50 Did the court actually rule it was a tax, or was that simply Roberts' worthless whore opinion?

Roberts simply came from the perspective that the legislative branch gets every presumption in its favor when it comes to the constitutionality of its laws.  They're the elected ones.  If there is a way of looking at legislation that makes it constitutional, then the court must look at the legislation in that way.

You could say this is a legitimate manifestation of conservative judicial philosophy.  Roberts was trying to be the exact opposite of the "activist" courts that drive conservatives up a wall by high-handedly overturning popular legislation. (9th Circuit, I'm lookin' at you.)  By looking at O-care as a tax, Roberts found a way to uphold it, even if the Dems never called it a tax.

I get what he did, but I think Roberts actually became an activist judge by taking that philosophy so far to the right that it became activism in its own way.

Posted by: Cicero at June 29, 2012 04:28 AM (6j180)

51 This is some good thinking. There needs to be more thinking, but I'm not gonna do it. I'm gonna have a beer for breakfast, and maybe some carne guisado tacos.

Posted by: Beefy Meatball at June 29, 2012 04:29 AM (yn6XZ)

52 Posted by: Occam's Safety Razor at June 29, 2012 09:13 AM (8Mgrk)

And we appreciate your nic.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo (NJConservative) at June 29, 2012 04:30 AM (nEUpB)

53 We won by losing. It's a genius masterstroke that will take 1,000 years to truly understand. Feel better yet?

Posted by: Ward of the State #4559141A at June 29, 2012 04:30 AM (trJge)

54 After having read the opinion, although I'm not happy with it, I cannot fault the legal theory Roberts used to arrive at his decision.  In the interests of cooling the lynch mob fever that currently previals, lets talk about this.  Maybe my reading of the decision is wrong.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 04:31 AM (48wze)

55

I'm also hearing from recruiters that since ObamaTax was passed, they have had zero engineer placements at medical device firms (previously, there had been a steady flow of 5-6 per year for these guys). 

 

Open enrollment's gonna be fun this year.   

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at June 29, 2012 04:31 AM (Ec6wH)

56 That's right. It's some kind of magic tax. Poof! Go poof yourself.

Posted by: Grumpy Scalia at June 29, 2012 04:31 AM (yn6XZ)

57 >>>>The Dread Justice Robert it's the Dred Justice Roberts

Posted by: Ron Fucking Swanson at June 29, 2012 04:31 AM (KHo8t)

58

I'm sure it's already been said, but to everyone in such major denial right now about this major loss, in case it hasn't been pointed out:

 

Remember when Social Security was sold as not a tax and then evolved into one and then got repealed?

 

Yeah.

Posted by: Burn the Witch at June 29, 2012 04:32 AM (rX1N2)

59 Can ObamaTax be challenged in court again once someone pays it? Could this mean we get to have our cake and eat it too?

Posted by: HoboJerky, profit of DOOM! at June 29, 2012 04:32 AM (ePYQF)

60 Did the court actually rule it was a tax, or was that simply Roberts' worthless whore opinion? I have damn good opinions, and my tossed salads are out of this world - why do you think Roberts doesn't wear undies beneath his robes?

Posted by: Roberts's Whore at June 29, 2012 04:32 AM (niZvt)

61 Drudge reports Mitt pulled in 4.2 mil after yesterday's ruling.

Posted by: Honey Badger, drinker of mead at June 29, 2012 04:33 AM (GvYeG)

62 Posted by: Cicero at June 29, 2012 09:28 AM (6j180) I think he's just an imperious asshole who has been corrupted by power. What I want to know is if his assertion it's a tax has any weight - is that the judgement of the court, or his own worthless whore opinion?

Posted by: Bevel Lemelisk at June 29, 2012 04:33 AM (wLibB)

63 #54 There's nothing to talk about.  We're now slaves, and it's because Robert's didn't have the balls to kill the entire law.  So instead he fucks us with this BS.

Posted by: GMan at June 29, 2012 04:33 AM (sxq57)

64

Yup.  This has been a handy tool I use for determining if some governmental power I wish to be exercised is a good idea - if my political enemies (and they are enemies now) use it against me, would I like that?  If the answer is no, then it's not a good idea. 

 

Fuck.  That.  Shit. 

 

If these are the rules, fine.  Let's play by them.  I believe that a tax should be levied on all those who elect to wear white shoes after Labor Day.  Also?  Taxes should abound on all of those who fail to use turn signals.  Hmmmm, that may run into some gender discrimination issues, but I'm sure the Court can handwave those away. 

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD 2012 at June 29, 2012 04:33 AM (VtjlW)

65 Gun ownership is a right, he thought, so the ObamaTax logic wouldn't fully apply. You can't burden a right.
--
Is free will a right?
It isn't even recognized, yet it is taxed.

Posted by: maverick muse at June 29, 2012 04:33 AM (BAnPT)

66 Let's just make sure we don't Win by Losing in November.

Posted by: CoolCzech at June 29, 2012 04:34 AM (niZvt)

67 Obama gloats on Twitter:

http://tinyurl.com/7wbed5c

Stay classy, jackass.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at June 29, 2012 04:34 AM (UOM48)

68 Roberts simply came from the perspective that the legislative branch gets every presumption in its favor when it comes to the constitutionality of its laws.

So it's not "checks and balances", but "checks, balances and genuflection, but mostly genuflection". Wonderful.

Posted by: Ward of the State #4559141A at June 29, 2012 04:34 AM (trJge)

69 54 - Also, it does finally specify a limit on the Commerce Clause.

Posted by: Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight at June 29, 2012 04:35 AM (RLTt1)

70 So , Roberts this "it's not a tax" and "it is a tax" bullshit is genius. They think that this law can be overturned with 51 votes in the senate, voila , nuthin up my sleave .... it is now not a tax...so repubs can go pound sand.. Roberts your a super genius

Posted by: JEF the pinko commie at June 29, 2012 04:35 AM (s72/N)

71

Switzerland mandates something along the lines of the firearms requirement for its Militia of Kickass.

 

Perhaps the border states should go this route. 

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at June 29, 2012 04:35 AM (Ec6wH)

72 Roberts missed the opportunity to revive Bailey v. Drexel. Back then the SC decided that taxation for regulatory purposes presents a danger to the 10th amendment and limited the federal governments ability to tax the shit out of people.

Posted by: Elize Nayden at June 29, 2012 04:35 AM (mnEHf)

73 What I want to know is if his assertion it's a tax has any weight - is that the judgement of the court, or his own worthless whore opinion?

What he said is regardless of what the Dems call it, it can be upheld as an aspect of Congress' taxing power.  The scary thing is, he makes some sense.  The taxing power has always had the inherent potential for really nasty abuse as a means of coercing behavior.  Fasten your seatbelts.

Posted by: Cicero at June 29, 2012 04:36 AM (6j180)

74

Did something happen yesterday? Also did anyone see last weeks Dancing with the stars? It was amazing!

Posted by: Independent at June 29, 2012 04:36 AM (iYvMQ)

75

Will be interesting to see how the Catholic Church suit against obamacare pans out.

 

 

I think I can answer that one. The liberals will bully Roberts by accusing him of religious bias. They will also make the argument that if they allow the Church as a whole to get out of it then lay employers will come forward and sue on the same grounds, which will cause a nightmare for the system. Their final argument will be that the Executive Branch has already accommodated the Church by allowing them to opt out (even though the opt out is a freaking shell game).

 

Roberts has already shown himself to be an easy mark and he will knuckle under.

Posted by: Ghost of Lee Atwater at June 29, 2012 04:36 AM (JxMoP)

76

Taft was Chief Justice back then:

Grant the validity of this law, and all that Congress would need to do, hereafter, in seeking to take over to its control anyone of the great number of subjects of public interest, jurisdiction of which the States have never parted with, and which are reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment, would be to enact a detailed measure of complete regulation of the subject and enforce it by a so-called tax upon departures from it. To give such magic to the word "tax" would be to break down all constitutional limitation of the powers of Congress and completely wipe out the sovereignty of the States.

Posted by: Elize Nayden at June 29, 2012 04:36 AM (mnEHf)

77

@ 35  Even if Mitt wins this November - which I have to believe will be the case - I'll never have the same trust in the fundamental sound judgment of the American people again. If Obama - an abject Chicago Machine Political Hack eminently unqualified to be an American, never mind President - could be elected, who's to say what can't be elected in the future?

Justice Roberts made the point that these choices are made at the ballot box, and the public maybe should be a bit more choosy.  Relying on the court to reverse stuff one doesn't like is a dereliction of the voters duty.  Not every insult to liberty is going to make it to the big show, in fact relatively few ever do.  Even when they do you've got a 50 50 chance of getting something even worse from an unaccountable group that is unelected with no hope of redress in a generation.  The lesson here is elect people who respect your liberty so you don't risk a crap shoot in the court, and this unfortunately means choosing the lesser of two evils.  The other lesson is never again choose the devil you don't know over the one you do.  It will be the people's sound judgement and love of liberty that is the only hope, and this has been and is being manifested by the Tea Party IMHO.  This is from a long-time lurking Canadian who wants the best for the US.

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 04:38 AM (VLifP)

78 Here's some real BS: "Remember how before this decision came out, every liberal within breathing distance was bemoaning the fact that the case Citizens United v. FEC, which they claimed was decided by a runaway “activist court,” had permanently ceded American government to those with money?" ... "Except Obamacare’s decision came down technically in their favor. And that means that all the liberals who were sharpening their knives to go after this “activist court” suddenly have to revise their low opinion and start treating the Court’s decisions as final." (ht blaze) I say total BS. Have these people NOT figured out that the libs could care less about what happened YESTERDAY. They will change their tune, and scream the opposite with the blink of a psychopathic eye. They do not care. It's all for the moment's soundbite! They have no shame.

Posted by: eat chocolate at June 29, 2012 04:38 AM (HOOye)

79 I think the TEA Party rallies should only have "Hands off my body!" protest signs.

Posted by: Burn the Witch at June 29, 2012 04:38 AM (rX1N2)

80 "54 After having read the opinion, although I'm not happy with it, I cannot fault the legal theory Roberts used to arrive at his decision. " I can. He's supposed to be a conservative. He voted against his party. Drop any pretense the Supreme Court isn't a tiny legislature. That's what it is, and that's how the Democrats (the people who win on all policy matters) treat it. The justices are politicians with bigger egos. Roberts is a corrupt, worthless whore.

Posted by: Bevel Lemelisk at June 29, 2012 04:38 AM (R6G5I)

81 The scary thing is, he makes some sense.

No.  He could have made some sense.

His statement "Oh, it's not constitutional under the commerce clause, but we're considering it a tax" is nonsensical- especially in light of the fact they found it to be not a tax to rule on it in the first place.

A correct statement would be"It's not constitutional as written, because it attempts to draw on the Commerce Clause, and we cannot find the power to compel commerce.  If the Congress wanted to re-write the law so that the mandate functioned specifically as a tax, it might be constitutional on those grounds."

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 04:38 AM (8y9MW)

82 Yahoo Headline: Did Chief Justice Robert Save the Supreme Court?

Posted by: Beefy Meatball at June 29, 2012 04:39 AM (yn6XZ)

83 "35 @26: Not really; I think the change occurred in the 2008 presidential campaign, when the American people for the first time in their history acted like Third World People: supporting a cult-like charismatic figure and voting for him based on a frenzy of irrationality"

This is what has always struck me as being so fragile about American exceptionalism. If you believe, as I do, that everything in this world is driven by biology, it's not as if Americans are not part of the same species as all of the other shithole countries around the world. That same kind of monkey instinct to subordinate oneself to the more powerful or the group is just as alive in an American person as in a Mexican or an Iranian, as is that same instinct to lord it over others when possible. For a long time, "The American Way" has been able to keep that part of the American citizen's psyche suppressed, but the Left seems hell-bent on unleashing it. Nietzsche said somewhere "Decadent parents have even more decadent children". That's a perfect encapsulation of what's happened to the Left in this country.

Posted by: BS Inc. at June 29, 2012 04:40 AM (P2Ufm)

84 A correct statement would be"It's not constitutional as written, because it attempts to draw on the Commerce Clause, and we cannot find the power to compel commerce. If the Congress wanted to re-write the law so that the mandate functioned specifically as a tax, it might be constitutional on those grounds."

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 09:38 AM (8y9MW)


Yes, that would be the correct way.

Posted by: Temper Tantrum at June 29, 2012 04:40 AM (AWmfW)

85 "70 54 - Also, it does finally specify a limit on the Commerce Clause. " Nope. That is the worthless whore opinion of Roberts, not the finding of the court.

Posted by: Bevel Lemelisk at June 29, 2012 04:41 AM (R6G5I)

86

@78--you're exactly right, they are psychopathic. 

So IRT the court's credibility--are the 45% of the population who are conservative a mirage?  We're supposed to continue believing in the intellectual sanctity of Roberts, the four dimwits, and Kennedy half the time?    

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at June 29, 2012 04:41 AM (Ec6wH)

87 >> Taxes should abound on all of those who fail to use turn signals. Hmmmm, that may run into some gender discrimination issues

Oh, I think cell phones have been a great equalizer.

Posted by: Mama AJ at June 29, 2012 04:42 AM (SUKHu)

88

Having never been to law skool, let alone an Ivy League law school, I've gotta wonder about the curriculum. 

Are there classes named Torture of Language 101? 

Avoidance of Common Sense 203?

Plain Language Reinterpetation 302?

Financial Rape 401?

 

 

Posted by: Jaws at June 29, 2012 04:43 AM (4I3Uo)

89 #76!

TAFT Republicans...Coolidge

Posted by: maverick muse at June 29, 2012 04:43 AM (BAnPT)

90 "Relying on the court to reverse stuff one doesn't like is a dereliction of the voters duty.

 

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 09:38 AM (VLifP)"

 

Bullshit.  We were relying on the court to reverse stuff that's unconstitutional.  You know, the stuff it's there for and stuff.

 

Mischaracterizing The Unconstitutional as "stuff one doesn't like" is childish. 

Posted by: Burn the Witch at June 29, 2012 04:43 AM (rX1N2)

91 I can make a strong argument with an economic and government purpose for implementing a tax on those who choose not to marry, and not to procreate above the replacement level.

Posted by: Jean at June 29, 2012 04:44 AM (eLCau)

92 A further point about my last post: That would also have been in complete keeping with their oh-so-precious "precedent."  The Supreme Court has often said, "Hey, the way you wrote this doesn't pass muster, here are some guidelines to use if you want to try again."

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 04:44 AM (8y9MW)

93 70 54 - Also, it does finally specify a limit on the Commerce Clause. Posted by: Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight at June 29, 2012 09:35 AM (RLTt1) That's like saying Hitler finally came up with a winning plan for winning WW2... in May 1945.

Posted by: CoolCzech at June 29, 2012 04:44 AM (niZvt)

94
Nope. That is the worthless whore opinion of Roberts, not the finding of the court.

Posted by: Bevel Lemelisk at June 29, 2012 09:41 AM (R6G5I)


But you can take Roberts opinion to the bank , he does..

Posted by: Temper Tantrum at June 29, 2012 04:44 AM (AWmfW)

95

Will be interesting to see how the Catholic Church suit against obamacare pans out.

Fuck the catholic church suit. Why should they get special dispensation? That is not going to turn the whole law over, it's just going to carve out special exceptions for catholics.  

Posted by: entropy at June 29, 2012 04:45 AM (TULs6)

96

Who cares about the Commerce Clause limitation?  It's not like the four libs are going to be bound by it at any point in the future.  Anyone who wants to push this bullsh!t is simply engaged in the abused wife justification.  He really loves you, he just has so many things on his mind and you probably deserved it anyways.

Posted by: Joe at June 29, 2012 04:45 AM (QGV47)

97 91 I can make a strong argument with an economic and government purpose for implementing a tax on those who choose not to marry, and not to procreate above the replacement level.

Posted by: Jean at June 29, 2012 09:44 AM (eLCau)


No , that is Justice Roberts job.

Posted by: Temper Tantrum at June 29, 2012 04:46 AM (AWmfW)

98 So, did we at least ovrrturn the anti-in junction act yesterday?

Posted by: Jean at June 29, 2012 04:48 AM (eLCau)

99 Any word yet if any States are electing to opt out?

Posted by: Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight at June 29, 2012 04:48 AM (RLTt1)

100 #99 Gov. Walker in WI said yesterday that he wouldn't implement the exchanges, and our worthless (republican BTW) AG said "You have to".

Posted by: GMan at June 29, 2012 04:49 AM (sxq57)

101

His statement "Oh, it's not constitutional under the commerce clause, but we're considering it a tax" is nonsensical- especially in light of the fact they found it to be not a tax to rule on it in the first place.


 

Bingo. If it's a tax, then the Anti-Injunction Act comes into play and this should have been punted on those grounds.  Here's the thing, if it's a tax, then that means that in 2014 we get to do this all over again when people start going to jail.  Unless it's repealed by then, of course.  I'll be holding my breath atop that unicorn over there for that happening.

 

The bit about courts giving every deference to a law being constitutional is pretty much black letter law.  Of course, that is much like the pirate code, it's more of a guideline when a court wants to do something. 

 

AllenG, I was thinking about you last night as I know you work in the insurance industry.  It must utterly suck to be you right now because I don't believe anyone knows what the hell the law is going to be six months from now. 

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD 2012 at June 29, 2012 04:50 AM (VtjlW)

102 I think the fundamental problem we as conservatives face is that many on our side do not fully comprehend what transpired yesterday.

The compact has been altered. We shall see if it is irrecoverable or not.

Posted by: General Woundwort at June 29, 2012 04:50 AM (06lNq)

103

@80, as a conservative, then do you want the courts to rule according to ideology, or according to the law?  If you answer according to ideology, then you are not a conservative.

 

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 04:51 AM (48wze)

104 Occam's Safety Razor at June 29, 2012 09:13 AM (8Mgrk) I second this (thanks Ace and the interweb's wittiest commenters!) I mostly lurk, but I come here everyday because I feel like I am taking crazy pills when I observe the utter stupidity of our leftist government. I have to get the antidote to stupid at the HQ. The dumbass Democrat Socialists love to decry our polarized political landscape and wish for the days when Republicans were so moderate and docile. This decision magnifies the polarization by 1000x. When the government dictates every. single. decision one makes- every. single. decision becomes a political choice. Sickening.

Posted by: Shannon at June 29, 2012 04:51 AM (QxDuX)

105 Rest assured that the next time the stars have aligned to where the Dems have another majority in both the house and the senate, and own the executive, we'll see another turd like this pinched out for our enjoyment.

I haven't researched how often this has happened, but I'm willing to bet that some of the worst legislation on record has been because of the above scenario.

Posted by: Fritz at June 29, 2012 04:51 AM (/ZZCn)

106

To me, this seems like a perfectly valid exercise of Congress's power.  It does this sort of thing all the time.  For example: "We're going to tax your income at x%, but, if you have a mortgage on a residential property, you can deduct your interest payments from your income for purposes of calculating how much you owe under x%."  You don't have to buy a residential property with a mortgage, but if you choose to we'll lower your taxes.  Same thing with electric cars.  You don't have to buy one, but if you choose to, you can take a $3000 credit against your income taxes.

Same thing with Obamacare.  "You will pay a tax, whatever it is, but if you choose to purchase a certain type of health insurance, we'll lower your taxes by some amount.  You don't have to purchase health insurance, but if you do you will benefit under the tax code."

How am I wrong about this?

Posted by: JoeShmoe99 at June 29, 2012 04:52 AM (xamKk)

107 79 "Don't tread on me" is never limited to the emblem of the revolutionary segment per Colony serpent.

Yet it took the unified Colonies revolutionary segment of the American population to effect our Independence through abject suffering and sacrifice, and to reach amicably our Constitutional Governance.

Posted by: maverick muse at June 29, 2012 04:54 AM (BAnPT)

108

How am I wrong about this?

 

Home ownership is voluntary. Breathing is not.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD 2012 at June 29, 2012 04:55 AM (VtjlW)

109

@101 Alexthechick said, "If it's a tax, then the Anti-Injunction Act comes into play and this should have been punted on those grounds."  It's not that simple.  If you read the decision, the Anti-Injunction Act is miswritten so that the same standards used to determine the status of a tax for constitutional purposed cannot be applied to the Anti-Injunction Act.  If that is not what congress intended, then it is up to congress to amend the Anti-Injunction Act, because otherwise, Roberts hands were tied when it came to applying the Anti-Injunction Act.

We do want the courts to rule according to how the laws are written, do we not, and not how we would LIKE them to rule?

 

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 04:56 AM (48wze)

110 AllenG, I was thinking about you last night as I know you work in the insurance industry.

Luckily enough for me, it's "used to work in the insurance industry."  I've been elsewhere for a couple of years now, but I still know most of it.

And they do know more or less what's going to happen, the organic fertilizer will hit the rotary ventilation device.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 04:56 AM (8y9MW)

111

I believe Romney will win, and will eventually be regarded as Reagan's equal as a conservative icon and successful American president probably before the end of his second term.  Romney will have the opportunity both because of  1) the hot mess and 2)  and Repub. congress Obama will be leaving him with.  Inheriting a bad situation is an opportunity despite what Pres. Obama claims.   Cooming in down 4 runs you can get a win.Coming in with a 6 run lead, you can't even get a save.   Romney will deserve it on his own merits and what he achieves, but the comparison with Pres. Obama will speed this process. 

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 04:57 AM (VLifP)

112 Orwellian doublespeak.

Posted by: Purp (@PurpAv) at June 29, 2012 04:57 AM (vJ6vx)

113 @106: I think the weak point in your argument is that this "tax" applies only to a specific group of people, i.e., those without employer-provided insurance plans. Someone like I, that already has employer-provided based insurance, won't be affected by the mandate at all. Since when is it acceptable under the Equal Protection of the Laws Clause to tax only one category of the population?

Posted by: CoolCzech at June 29, 2012 04:57 AM (niZvt)

114 MATTHEW 12

25Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.

30“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

33“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

43“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Posted by: maverick muse at June 29, 2012 04:57 AM (BAnPT)

115 #113

Well, you have employer provided insurance *now*.  But you won't when your employer figures out that it's MUCH cheaper just to pay the fines...err, sorry, "tax".

Posted by: GMan at June 29, 2012 04:58 AM (sxq57)

116

67 Obama gloats on Twitter:

http://tinyurl.com/7wbed5c

Stay classy, jackass.

Once a Chicago thug, always a Chicago thug.

Posted by: Bulldog in Kansas at June 29, 2012 04:58 AM (z1C58)

117 @105

If history has taught us anything it is that when the socialists and the statist hold power they move us as fast and as far in their preferred direction as possible, ever leftward.

When they are not in power they use any means at their disposal to frustrate and hamper any effort to reign in their expansions or restore us to a proper constitutional equilibrium.

Ever leftward, ever leftward.

Posted by: General Woundwort at June 29, 2012 04:59 AM (06lNq)

118

I predict they (libtards) will have a lightbulb go off - it will be this:

As ans example - My employer deducts about $300 from my paycheck each month for my healthcare. It is taken out PRE-TAX. Think of all those extra income taxes if they now refuse that pre-tax status and say it has to be taken out and TAXED as income. THIS is what I think they will finally realize. Since 'this is now in the IRS' ball court, they will use the tax code to collect EVEN MORE.

I also think it is completely plausible that ala Mayor Bloomberg - we could see fat and sugar taxes. In other words, they will try to change our behavior through the stiff arm of the IRS. They WILL use this entrance that John Roberts made possible to create other "taxes that are for your own good." JUST WAIT. This is only the beginning. Grocery stores will have to report how much sugar and fat are being sold, pay a tax on it and it will be passed on - you will have to pay LOTS AND LOTS to support your butter and bacon habit. It sounds silly - but I think they will figure our some way to do this eventually.

Posted by: Janetoo at June 29, 2012 05:00 AM (L3Itw)

119 Maverick, the revolutionary segment won independence, then lost most of it a few years later after the whiskey rebellions when the Constitution was written. Jefferson should have hung Marshall after Marbury. When he acted with restraint, the pendulum swung back to the elites.

Posted by: Jean at June 29, 2012 05:01 AM (eLCau)

120 How am I wrong about this?

One: That's not what they said.  In fact, they said exactly the opposite.  In this case, it's not "we're taxing you x%, but we'll lower it if you buy health insurance."  It's "buy health insurance, or pay a tax."  Those are two fundamentally different world-views.

Two: The income tax, itself, is avoidable.  Simply (heh) make no income.  If everything you make is "capital gains" you don't pay the normal income tax.  If you're rich enough that all your capital is liquid, you wouldn't pay any taxes at all (yes, there are examples of this).  In this case, they are not taxing economic activity (making an income, buying a product, whatever), they're taxing economic inactivity.  You may no longer, legally, choose whether or not you carry private insurance; the Federal Government has decided that you must (unless you're a Muslim, Amish, or other protected group- hmmm... what happened to "equality under the law?") purchase a private product from a private entity.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 05:01 AM (8y9MW)

121 Janetoo at June 29, 2012 10:00 AM (L3Itw) doesn't sound silly at all, I am sure plans are already afoot to do just this.

Posted by: Shannon at June 29, 2012 05:03 AM (QxDuX)

122

@113, CoolCzech, his reasoning is not weak at all.  Governments assess targeted taxes all the time.  Gasoline taxes are assessed only to those who buy gasoline.  Same with cigarette taxes and liquor taxes.  The constitution permits Congress to levy taxes.  There is no prohibition against how this tax is formulated.

As Ace says, Remember Plan A.   Elect Romney, and elect conservative Republicans to Congress, and repeal the damn thing.  That has ALWAYS been Plan A.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 05:03 AM (48wze)

123 Posted by: Dirks Strewn I have to ask if that nic is a Tai-pan reference?

Posted by: toby928 at June 29, 2012 05:05 AM (QupBk)

124 Employer funded healthcare is toast, so the 'Pubs need to get the healthcare deduction moved to a personal deduction. Or, should everyone incorporate and then write off the money they pay for healthcare.

Posted by: Jean at June 29, 2012 05:05 AM (eLCau)

125 Is their a plan z?

Posted by: Jean at June 29, 2012 05:07 AM (eLCau)

126 The other there

Posted by: Jean at June 29, 2012 05:07 AM (eLCau)

127 Bo....harvard lawyer
John Roberts.....harvard lawyer
mittens romney....harvard laweyer...

They all stick together....still trying to figure out their endgame.....it seems political affiliation doesn't matter to them....their endgame matters..

Posted by: starry at June 29, 2012 05:10 AM (oZfic)

128 Governments assess targeted taxes all the time. Gasoline taxes are assessed only to those who buy gasoline. Same with cigarette taxes and liquor taxes.

The problem with that is that those are voluntary economic activities.  That is, one chooses to purchase gasoline, or cigarettes, or liquor.  To avoid those taxes you don't have to do anything.

Specifically- you just have to choose not to engage in that economic activity.

In this case, it's exactly the opposite.  To avoid the tax you must engage in an otherwise voluntary economic activity.  They're taxing inactivity.  They're taxing your choice _not_ to buy a product.

That's beyond perverse.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 05:12 AM (8y9MW)

129 @122

We will never be able to repeal it. We will never have a filibuster proof majority.

If the GOP manages a majority in both the house and the senate I would prefer they take up other matters than have to battle over this again.

The executive can kill it through non-implementation. Much like Obama is frustrating our efforts to secure our boarders through non-implementation of laws passed by congress.

Posted by: General Woundwort at June 29, 2012 05:12 AM (06lNq)

130

The Constitution apparently gives the government the right to dictate almost all of our personal choices, so long as it enforces these preferences via punitive taxes

 

That is why the idea that Roberts did anything but strip away the last vestiges of the Republic is an idiotic one.

Posted by: Colonel Pooteh at June 29, 2012 05:13 AM (nsT1z)

131 @127, Starry, Roberts is getting a bum rap here.  He ruled not according to a desired outcome, but according to how the law is written.  I'd be glad to explain that to anyone that is prepared to listen, but first, you have to be prepared to listen.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 05:14 AM (48wze)

132

"Don't go to Church regularly? Why, we can tax that."

 

We already do that, if you assume that the money people donate to churches is connected in some way to their regular attendance at church.   People who don't go to church regularly are less likely to donate money to those churches -- or, studies have shown, to any charity -- and thus are not going to get the deduction for charitable donations.   I.e., they are going to pay more in taxes than a regular churchgoer.

 

If the argument is that the government shouldn't be using the tax code to incentivize changes in behavior... well, that boat has long since sailed.   Maybe we can unring all those bells, but I doubt it.

 

Posted by: The Regular Guy at June 29, 2012 05:14 AM (qHCyt)

133 This tax not a tax aspect of the opinion is the one thing (other than the upholding of the ACA) that bothers me most.  If it is a tax, and the AIA applies, then should not the USSC just have punted on the question of constitutionality?  What am I missing?

Posted by: Flounder at June 29, 2012 05:14 AM (Kkt/i)

134 What am I missing?

The Chief Justice's desire to be "non-partisan" which means, as ever, "do what Democrats want."

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) Channelling Breitbart at June 29, 2012 05:16 AM (8y9MW)

135

90 "Relying on the court to reverse stuff one doesn't like is a dereliction of the voters duty.

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 09:38 AM (VLifP)"

Bullshit. We were relying on the court to reverse stuff that's unconstitutional. You know, the stuff it's there for and stuff.

Mischaracterizing The Unconstitutional as "stuff one doesn't like" is childish.

 

The word came down yesterday that it is constitutional, it was in all th epapers.  Justice Roberts had to rewrite it to make it so but there it is.  Both of us agree that it was a bad decision, but like in baseball, if the umpire says you're out, you're out.  That leaves Obamacare in the category of stuff we don't like or are you still claiming its Unconstitutional?  Why do you dislike "stuff" so much.  Did you have a bad experience with oreos?  I was making a different point about avoiding laws that are either unconstitutional or simply bad legislation both by electing the right people, and changing them when you disagree and having the newly elected reverse if and when they can.  Why would you want to rely on something that repeatedly lets you down, wishing it were different?   That's childish.

 

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 05:18 AM (VLifP)

136

"I also think it is completely plausible that ala Mayor Bloomberg - we could see fat and sugar taxes. In other words, they will try to change our behavior through the stiff arm of the IRS. They WILL use this entrance that John Roberts made possible to create other "taxes that are for your own good." JUST WAIT. This is only the beginning."

 

Again, where have you been?   The cigarette tax... for your own good.   The gasoline tax... indirectly for your own good as a way of lowering consumption and conserving a scarce resource (that's the theory anyway).   Deductions for interest on home mortgages... for your own good, to incentivize home ownership.   Etc., etc.   Roberts talks about this long history of using taxes to incentivize behavior in his opinion. 

Posted by: The Regular Guy at June 29, 2012 05:19 AM (qHCyt)

137 Flounder, Roberts explained in the decision that based on the way Anti-Injunction Act is written, the standards specified in the law are NOT the same standards that are used to determine the status of a tax under the Constitution.  That is a flaw in the Anti-Injunction Act, and if congress didn't intend that to be the case, then congress needs to amend the Anti-Injunction Act.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 05:19 AM (48wze)

138 @135 Dick Strewn, no, if you read the opinion, Roberts didn't rewrite the law, he applied proper precedents to interpret the law, as is his job.  I'd be happy to clarify, if you are willing to listen, but you have to be willing to listen.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 05:22 AM (48wze)

139

"I can make a strong argument with an economic and government purpose for
implementing a tax on those who choose not to marry, and not to
procreate above the replacement level."

 

Again, we already do this.   I have three children.  For each child I get a deduction.   If I had four children I'd pay less in taxes.  If I had two children, I'd pay more.   The government has for a long, long time used tax policy to incentivize behavior.   I wish Roberts was wrong on this, but wishing it doesn't make it so. 

Posted by: The Regular Guy at June 29, 2012 05:23 AM (qHCyt)

140

123Posted by: Dirks Strewn

I have to ask if that nic is a Tai-pan reference?

 

Yes.  Fits in with the pirate motif at AoS.  I read the Mencken quote and said this blog's for me.  Heard about it when Angry Rich mentioned it one day.  I was also thinking Dirk's Throne, Dirks Thrown as other possibile vars of Dirk Struan.  Unfortunately its a sign of the times that when people hear Dirk, they think Diggler. 

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 05:28 AM (VLifP)

141 137 Flounder, Roberts explained in the decision that based on the way Anti-Injunction Act is written, the standards specified in the law are NOT the same standards that are used to determine the status of a tax under the Constitution. That is a flaw in the Anti-Injunction Act, and if congress didn't intend that to be the case, then congress needs to amend the Anti-Injunction Act.

Thanks, and thanks to the other glib responder. I have not had a chance to read the full opinion, and I only skimmed the dissent.

I guess what I am saying is that, usually, when the USSC chooses a path to decision on a matter they seek a path that preserves as much of the status quo (re:precedent, legislation, etc.) as possible without deciding new or novel questions that are not ripe for discussion, for example, by deciding on issues of standing or jurisdiction and the like, and without getting to the questions presented. 

I need to do more research to be sure, but it seems like this could have been disposed of with the tax and the AIA questions, without reaching the questions of constitutionality, because, for example they might not be ripe under the AIA.  But again, more research is necessary.  I hoped that someone here might be more familiar with these issues.  

Posted by: Flounder at June 29, 2012 05:33 AM (Kkt/i)

142 "If the government now has the power under the taxing power to enforce its preferences regarding how citizens live their lives, Ed Morrissey proposes, modestly, a new tax on those who refuse to buy guns." Can't we start with some of Justice Roberts' delicious broccoli?

Posted by: TooCon at June 29, 2012 05:36 AM (YcTIW)

143 @141 Flounder, it may seem like the issue could have been disposed of, but as I said, Roberts specifically addressed this issue in the decision, and listed the applicable precedents and the legal principles by which he determined that AIA could not be applied.  Your best bet to understanding this is to read the decision.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 05:37 AM (48wze)

144

120

One: That's not what they said. In fact, they said exactly the opposite. In this case, it's not "we're taxing you x%, but we'll lower it if you buy health insurance." It's "buy health insurance, or pay a tax." Those are two fundamentally different world-views.

It's basically the same thing.  Is there a difference between them saying "we'll tax you at 1% higher unless you purchase health insurance" or them saying "if you don't purchase health insurance then we'll add on a 1% tax."  They're contrapositives and therefore logically equal.


Two: The income tax, itself, is avoidable. Simply (heh) make no income. If everything you make is "capital gains" you don't pay the normal income tax. If you're rich enough that all your capital is liquid, you wouldn't pay any taxes at all (yes, there are examples of this). In this case, they are not taxing economic activity (making an income, buying a product, whatever), they're taxing economic inactivity. You may no longer, legally, choose whether or not you carry private insurance; the Federal Government has decided that you must (unless you're a Muslim, Amish, or other protected group- hmmm... what happened to "equality under the law?") purchase a private product from a private entity.

Again, there's no difference.  I can choose to buy a home to lower my taxable income or I could choose to buy health insurance to lower my taxable income.  What's the difference?  You don't have to do either, but if you choose to then you get a benefit.

 

Posted by: JoeShmoe99 at June 29, 2012 05:40 AM (xamKk)

145 138@135 Dick Strewn, no, if you read the opinion, Roberts didn't rewrite the law, he applied proper precedents to interpret the law, as is his job. I'd be happy to clarify, if you are willing to listen, but you have to be willing to listen.  Yes, Roberts applied the the proper precedents so its a "tax" not a "mandate".  I apologize if I gave the impression that I meant Roberts "rewrote" it literally.  Calling a dog a duck doesn't make it a duck.  In this case, I believe that for most of the time, the Obama adminsitration was calling a "Tax" a "Mandate" and Roberts was applying the "If it walks, quacks, looks...like a duck, its a duck" standard to the interpretation.  My experience is that judges look to the letter of the law or to its intent or effect, and uphold or dismiss on whichever basis suits them.  I haven't read the decision, I have enough sh*t to read in the course of a day.  I'm always happy to listen.  That's why I've been lurking for years without making a peep.  I 'm assuming you didn't mean "listen" literally.

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 05:43 AM (VLifP)

146   A parade of morons …
---
A penalty (imposed by state) for not participating in commerce (that government is not allowed to create as per justices – including liberals Kagan and Breyer) can be reasonably construed to be a tax ?

Wow!! John Roberts, WOW! Once again.. Wow! [shaking my head]
...
Future historians will look at the decline of US this century and identify this parade of morons - Greenspan (cheap money), Bush(unnecessary wars), Bernanke(cheap money continued), Pelosi, Obama (obamacare) and now John Roberts (setting the stage for further erosion of individual liberties and propagation of entitlement culture sponsored by government) - as the main reason. The way these guys have systematically destroyed the foundational limited government principles of this country is astounding...and the price will be paid by future generations.
…..
Slippery slope arguments are real : not long ago tax on cigarettes (which was opposed by libertarians) was justified as government “rightfully” imposing penalty to curb "bad" behavior NOT to raise revenues. Today states use it to primarily raise revenues. Go figure.

Roberts cited the precedent of cigarette penalty/ tax in his justification of individual mandate penalty/tax. "Its primary function is not to collect revenues but to curb certain behavior".

What's next – penalty/tax for not eating broccoli, eating steak, driving a car above a certain mileage per year, not providing contraception...

Irrespective of your political inclinations - you should be worried .. big government just got unshackled!!
-- BTW, morons come from all parties - 4 of the 6 I listed were republican or republican appointed. What a shame

Posted by: ajaj at June 29, 2012 05:44 AM (SO2Q8)

147

Flounder, Roberts explained in the decision that based on the way Anti-Injunction Act is written, the standards specified in the law are NOT the same

 

And the dissent blew that opinion out of the water. Because the Court has never held that a penalty is actually a tax because the penalty isn't punitive. And that just because it is collected by the IRS doesn't make it a tax any more than the dozen of other penalties collected by the IRS and considered taxes. Roberts opinion is lacking both substance and logic.

Posted by: Colonel Pooteh at June 29, 2012 05:44 AM (nsT1z)

148 @ 144  Sorry but the spaces don't seem to translate.  My response began at third line "yes, Robert's..."  Obviously there is something wrong with my technique.

Posted by: Dirks Strewn at June 29, 2012 05:45 AM (VLifP)

149 "do you want the courts to rule according to ideology, or according to the law? If you answer according to ideology, then you are not a conservative. Posted by: Brent Glines" How about by the repeated declarations in the text of ACA that it is not a tax. How about Obama's and the other Dems' speeches, repeated many times, that it is not a tax. John Roberts has injected the word 'tax' into this. It was a radical and ideological intrusion of a jurist, legislating from the bench. Apparently, you didn't read the dissent where Anthony Freaking Kennedy is ripping Roberts a new one for his radicalism. I see some trying to praise Roberts for not being a slave of "formalism", for going beyond the mere words to find a "tax" where only a "fine" was ever written or spoken of. I find it bizarre that anyone is out here on the boards, trying to tell us that Roberts' vandalizing the Constitution transparently was the height of conservative jurisprudence. And instead of letting the libs levy a fine for not buying a product, Roberts just gave them a new toy, a tax for not buying a product. And he set no limits to what the present or future Courts can do with the Commerce Clause, contrary to much nonsense the libs keep whining about. The four liberal Justices voted Monday to overturn Citizens United in the Montana case. Obviously, they are bound by no precedent, only by lack of a majority. For now. In short, just go to hell.

Posted by: TooCon at June 29, 2012 05:45 AM (YcTIW)

150 I think Roberts just choked. He felt the weight of the nation on his shoulders; the NYT, his Harvard pals, his friends would look askance at him if he revoked the whole damn law. You conservative wingnut, their eyes would say!

And so he choked.

Posted by: PJ at June 29, 2012 05:50 AM (DQHjw)

151

This makes perfect sense to me. You see Obamacare is so small it exists at the quantum level. So whenever you are not measuring it, it behaves like a mandate. But the instant you attempt to measure it, it instantly becomes a tax.

And yes, this will be on the final.

 

Posted by: Heisenberg at June 29, 2012 05:52 AM (3Zo6I)

152

8 "Gun ownership is a right, he thought, so the ObamaTax logic wouldn't fully apply. You can't burden a right."

---

oh that is just so quaint.

Posted by: NYC at June 29, 2012 05:53 AM (3Zo6I)

153 The Reguler Guy, you're missing the very important point that all these target taxes you keep listing are voluntary activity. If you want the tax credits, have kids, don't want to pay cigarettes or gas taxes, don't buy gas or ciggettes. But if I don't want to buy health insurance, I get fined. This is outrageous and something not even Monarchs did.

Posted by: Jawknee at June 29, 2012 05:55 AM (fK55S)

154

See, now we know what is in it...

Posted by: Nancy P at June 29, 2012 05:56 AM (3Zo6I)

155

@145, if you had read the Roberts opinion, he specifies quite clearly the legal principle and precedents that apply.  I can explain further if you are willing to listen, but first you have to be willing to listen.

@146, the dissent did not blow that out of the water.  The dissenting Justices disagree, but that is part of the judicial process.  The majority opinion, like it or not, is the deciding opinion.  You can argue that Roberts was in error in the principles he applied and the precedents cited, but I'd like to see you make that argument so we can discuss it.  I think Roberts was correct, but I might be mistaken.  If you'd like to present a counter argument based on the law, I'd like to hear it.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 05:58 AM (48wze)

156

I think what the legal geniuses forget is that ordinary people will look at the result of their mental gymnastics.

The law ultimately is of the people, for the people and by the people.

 

When the people look at your handiwork and call Bullshit en mass on your cleverness, the court loses (in the eyes of those who disagree with the result).

I think i'd have been happier had he just gone with the libs on the commerce clause. That would have had the advantage of being coherent, rather than pretzel twisting.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Buzzsaw90 at June 29, 2012 06:00 AM (3Zo6I)

157 15 The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots unicorns and tyrants gnomes.   ---- FIFY

Posted by: Barack O. at June 29, 2012 06:02 AM (3Zo6I)

158

The law ultimately is of the people, for the people and by the people.

 

And we wore onions on our belts, because that was the fashion at the time, and a cabbage only cost 2 and a half pennies!

 

Who do you think you're voting for in November, Eisenhower?

Posted by: entropy at June 29, 2012 06:23 AM (TULs6)

159 142 @141 Your best bet to understanding this is to read the decision.

Thanks. That's what I imagined, just don't have the time to right now.  But I'll reserve judgement on Roberts until after I have read it. 

Posted by: Flounder at June 29, 2012 06:29 AM (Kkt/i)

160 #54 Hey Brent -- who the fuck are you and who asked ya? FOAD, troll.

Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 06:44 AM (ecyur)

161 "Again, we already do this. I have three children.For each child I get a deduction. If I had four children I'd pay less in taxes. If I had two children, I'd pay more.The government hasfor a long, long time used tax policy to incentivize behavior." Again, you're mistaken. You don't pay more for two children. There's no "third child credit" given to you for having a third child. The government looks at your income and determines how much you owe. Under certain conditions, you may owe the government less. I strongarm you in the street and take your wallet. I later send you your money, minus $10 for my tribute. I walk up to you on the street and remind you that, under the law, you owe me $10. You give me $10. Would you describe these two circumstances as equivalent? You end up with the same amount of money, so why not?

Posted by: Galos Gann at June 29, 2012 06:49 AM (T3KlW)

162 @158  Well argued and reasoned.  To answer your questions, in turn, I am a staunch conservative, which means I want to see the courts render decisions according to the law.  If you want to question my conservatism, go over to the Ace of Spaces Facebook page, and examine my posts over there.  Enjoy.

As far as who asked me, that has never been a requirement here that I know of. Even so, by making his original post, and by permitting comments, Ace asked me.  Take your complaint up with him.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 06:53 AM (48wze)

163 Roberts didn't want to open the box to find out if Schrodinger's tax was dead or alive so he simply ruled it was whatever it had to be. Positively Clintonian.

Posted by: crazy at June 29, 2012 07:06 AM (DymQ2)

164 @161, nope.  He made the ruling based upon valid legal principles and precedents.  I don't like the outcome, but I can't argue with the reasoning.  Remember Plan A.   Elect Romney, and elect conservative Republicans to Congress, and repeal the damn thing.  That has ALWAYS been Plan A.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 07:12 AM (48wze)

165

WE"RE FUCKED!   Just reading the posts and comments the last few days it is pretty obvious, those who see the 'silver lining' in Robert's Ruling and those who defend it in the littlest, are also those that have been strongly pushing Romney.

 

We have to toss Romneycare at the convention, this is going to get ugly if we allow him to be President.

Posted by: doug at June 29, 2012 07:13 AM (gUGI6)

166 @162. I hear you but we'll just have to see if this tax gets repealed faster than the Spanish-American War tax did. That one only took 106 yrs.

Posted by: crazy at June 29, 2012 07:17 AM (DymQ2)

167 #162 "He made the ruling based upon valid legal principles and precedents."

Well aren't you just so special in your reasonableness. Is re-writing the law on behalf of the Left a "valid legal principle" now? I kind of thought that thing was frowned upon when perpetrated by the judiciary. In fact, I would think in light of the fact that the Administration lawyer's talking out of both sides of his mouth during arguments -- "It's not a tax!" "Okay, it's a tax..." it would have been ever more proper for them to strike it and return it to Congress for correction and another go at passage.

As far as the AOSHQ page -- goody for you. You're just going to have to lump it if you don't like the fact that we've had about 1,000 Concern Trolls here on the HQ in the last 24 hours and your smarmy shit struck me exactly as the same kind of crap and I'm sick of it. It's time for lynch mob fever, if you hadn't noticed, when the goddamn mouth-breathers in Washington abscond with our liberty, so get angry, or get in line for your shackles. I hope they sit lightly upon you, craven.

Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 08:10 AM (2i1Kt)

168 @165, quote me the passage from the opinion that you think is in error, and lets discuss it.  If you can't, I would be careful about throwing the term 'mouth-breather' about loosely.  It betrays your lack of self knowledge.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 08:37 AM (48wze)

169 @166 Stop acting dense, troll. The chief justice just sat down and re-wrote the law--argued as an exercise in the power of the Commerce Clause, selling the individual mandate and identifying the monetary goad as a "penalty" and not a "tax." In an effort not to appear too "activist," he basically re-wrote the legislation to identify the penalty as a tax... and consequently ruled that Congress can tax anything it likes. Also, my self knowledge is just fine, fuck you very much.

This, like the Kelo ruling, attacks fundamental personal liberties and if you can't see that you're hopeless, and if it doesn't infuriate you, you're not "conservative." FYNQ

Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 09:08 AM (xyeTi)

170

Well, I guess we just disagree then.  I'm of the opinion that Roberts applied proper legal principles, presedents, and a correct interpretation of the Constitution, as outlined at length in the majority opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States.  You, on the other hand, REALLY REALLY DISAGREE.  And you know how to spell troll.

 

I remain unconvinced.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 09:14 AM (48wze)

171

Galos Gann: What you're arguing is that this is a fine and not a tax.  Accept for the moment the Supreme Court's decision that this is a tax.  What has happened, in effect, is that Congress has raised everyone's taxes by an amount equivalent to what you would have to pay if you don't purchase health insurance - let's say $500.  So now every man, woman and child in the US has to pay an extra $500 in taxes, unless they purchase health insurance, in which case they get a $500 credit. 

 

Thus, it's no different than a mortgage interest deduction.  You have to pay whatever you have to pay, but if you choose to engage in some specified activity then you get a tax break. 

 

Your analysis relies on the "tax" being slapped on after a certain inactivity, i.e., failing to purchase health insurance.  That would make it a penalty, i.e., an amount you have to pay for a certain required action or inaction.  What the Supreme Court did is say that it is a "fine" that is levied on everyone upfront, regardless of their action or inaction, and you can avoid it if you purchase health insurance.  A "fine" that is slapped on regardless of activity or inactivity is otherwise known as a tax.

Posted by: JoeShmoe99 at June 29, 2012 09:24 AM (xamKk)

172 Golly gee whiz, let me guess -- you're a lawyer, huh.

The fact is that Roberts basically re-wrote their bad law. They restricted the use of Commerce Clause - great! But then Roberts and the majority re-wrote the law FOR THEM, rather than pointing out its deficiencies and instructing Congress to try again. It's not that difficult Mr. Staunch Conservative -- they are attacking our liberties.

And, yes, I can spell, and it's spelled "precedent," Concern Troll. Pound sand.

Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 09:34 AM (S4iiU)

173

Miller (170): As far as I remember, the argument was made by the government that this is a tax and not a fine.  It was a tertiary argument to be sure, but it's not as if the Court thought it up itself.  It was in the briefs beginning with the lower courts.

 

What confuses me (a lawyer, and pretty familiar with constitutional law) is that the Court held in the 20's or 30's that Congress could not accomplish with a tax what it could not accomplish with another power granted to it.  So, I believe, in the case I'm thinking of, the Court held that the government may not ban children of under a certain age from working, and therefore could not impose a heavy tax on the employers to accomplish the same end.  I guess that decision is now out the window...

Posted by: JoeShmoe99 at June 29, 2012 09:42 AM (xamKk)

174

@171, if you had read the decision, which as a mouth breather, you haven't, you'd know that yes indeed, the governement DID argue that it was a tax.  It wasn't their main argument, and it wasn't an argument many took seriously.

 

Well guess what?  Roberts took it seriously, and ruled upon it according to precedent (see, I am trainable).  We may not like that, but if you read the argument, which you won't, because you are a mouth breather, it seems to me that the precedent (two for two) is applicable and valid. 

 

Explain to me then, why, as a conservative, I would not want Roberts to rule according to law, but rather according to my personal ideological preference.  We hate that when liberals do it.  What hypocrites we would be if we wanted the courts to do for us what he hate in others.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 10:06 AM (48wze)

175 JoeSchmoe, my apologies if you thought I was talking to you -- I should have addressed my comments more clearly.

The taxation issue is the part of this that infuriates me the most. From Obama down, they denied this was a tax repeatedly during the debate stage while they were pushing this through the House and Senate. Then, it appeared that their counsel, arguing the case before the Supremes, not only continued to deny that it was a tax, but also admitted that it can be construed as a tax. So Roberts and the majority strike the aspects that rely on the Commerce Clause and reign it in, only to turn around and through fancy footwork and linguistic gymnastics "correct" this bad law to allow people to be taxed for not buying something...

This despite the fact that the original bill was passed through the Senate by reconciliation, and according to the Constitution (if I read it right), any law dealing with taxation has to originate in the House. If that is true, shouldn't the law be stricken and returned to Congress so that it can (properly) be initiated by the House? If that is true, is it not *incorrect* for the Supremes to validate the law, since the proper procedure was not followed in its initial passage?

Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 10:12 AM (KA6ls)

176 @172 Oh, yes, tell me how Concerned you are, Brent. I've read enough of the decision to understand that Roberts took away with the left hand and gave it back with the right, and as you continue to fail to address, by doing so basically affirmed that any Congress can tax pretty much any act (or failure to act) at their whim, which is to me completely anathema to a free society. Does it not trouble you, Mr. Concern, that in the same argument, the Administration's counsel argued both sides, that no-it's-not-a-tax, but, okay, yes-it-is?

Most conservatives I know take exception to judges taking laws as they are written and tweaking them, finding rights or restrictions where they are not actually extant in the text of the law. Why would I be any happier when Roberts does it? ObamaCare(Tax) was not written with this "penalty" as a tax and was not sold as a tax. Why should I accept it when the majority on the court "helps" their liberal brethren along and rewrites this monstrosity, twisting it to identify it as a tax and push it through? Granting the government massive new power over our lives and liberties?

That doesn't begin to address the fact that it was passed via reconciliation, and should have been stricken and sent back to be *properly* initiated by the House of Representatives, if they are stipulating that this penalty is a tax. Which it is.

So, thanks for your concern. FYNQ.


Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 10:27 AM (xyeTi)

177

Miller, I would have preferred if an argument had been presented about this bill not originating in the House, but no one made that argument.  And yes, it is counterintuitive for the government to argue simultaneously that penalty is not a tax, but is maybe kinda a tax after all.  That one curdled by brains for while when I first read the argument as well.

 

From the argument, however, Roberts explains how he is constrained by how laws are written and how laws have been previously interpreted through precedent.  He can't just go free-spirit, and pull stuff out his ass, although you obviously think that is exactly what he did in the decision.  However, in reading the decision, Roberts listed each legal principle and each precedent, both for and against, going back a hundred years or more in some cases.  Based on the arguments he made, the precedents he listed, and what I think is a valid interpretation of the Constitution, I still think this was a ruling based on the rule of law.  As a conservative, I HAVE to go with that. 

 

We can disagree on the validity of the arguments, but we can't disagree regarding where we have to go from here. 

 

Plan A.  There is no alternative.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 10:33 AM (48wze)

178

Miller said, "... and as you continue to fail to address, by doing so basically affirmed that any Congress can tax pretty much any act (or failure to act) at their whim, which is to me completely anathema to a free society."

 

I don't think I've failed to address this, but I've been bouncing back and forth on two threads here, on other websites, and on FaceBook, so maybe so.  According to the opinion, Roberts affirmed that Congress CANNOT tax pretty much anything according to their whim.  He outlined the tests required by the courts under the Constitution and by precedent to determine what is and what is not a valid tax.  He cited precedents where Congress imposed a tax, and the courts knocked them down based upon how the tax is computed, how it is collected, and upon whom the tax was imposed.  He also cited precedents where Congress did not mention the word tax at all, but based again upon how the tax is computed, how it is collected, and upon whom the tax was imposed, the courts have upheld what Congress called a fee as a tax, regardless.  Going by those precedents, the mandate 'penalty' in the eyes of the court, is actually a tax, according to valid legal precedent.

 

Further, Roberts also considered whether Congress was authorized to impose such a tax under the Constitution, and cited the tests used by the court to determine that, and found that there is no constitutional bar to imposing the tax.

 

The decision to impose the tax is a political one, then, and not a legal one.  Our decision on what to do about the tax as well as the law as a whole also must be political.  Plan A.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 10:45 AM (48wze)

179 That is my point entirely--if it was, is, and always will be a tax, and the court, the administration, and the opposition all agree that it is a tax, despite the precedents and previous laws, doesn't the fact that it was passed via reconciliation and  NOT initiated (Constitutionally) by the House as it should have been, automatically make this law null and void until  it can be at the very least re-introduced through the proper procedure? If you have rules and the rules were not followed, then does it not invalidate the outcome? However measured Roberts' approach, just that small change, from a "penalty" to a tax, should have invalidated the law, should it not?

Despite all that, yes, Plan A.

Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 10:51 AM (DPqcf)

180

"if it was, is, and always will be a tax, and the court, the administration, and the opposition all agree that it is a tax, despite the precedents and previous laws, doesn't the fact that it was passed via reconciliation and NOT initiated (Constitutionally) by the House as it should have been, automatically make this law null and void until it can be at the very least re-introduced through the proper procedure?"

Let me think about that.  No.

We operate by the rule of law, so we can't just ignore applicable precedents and laws.  This is the way it's done under out system.  Now that the decision has been handed down, we can take another 3 years or longer to mount a legal challenge, or pursue Plan A, and be done with it after November. 

 

I choose Plan A.

Posted by: Brent Glines at June 29, 2012 11:23 AM (48wze)

181 Yeah, the new thread cleared up how Reid's shenanigans with this bill were technically constitutional anyway. We're boned if Plan A fails.

Posted by: Miller at June 29, 2012 01:40 PM (/7Qc0)

182

So there can be a tax if one doesn't have (fill in the blank)?

I can be taxed on:

Not having a boat.

Not having a porshe

Not having a motorcycle.

Not having a vagina.

Not having access to Chief Justice Robert's wife's Va-jay-jay on Tuesday nights at 9:45 PM

Not having a bowling alley

Not having an American Express Card.

Not having a copy of "Saturday Night Fever" on Blu-Ray

 

Posted by: Minuteman at June 29, 2012 01:53 PM (hR4S/)

Hide Comments | Add Comment

Comments are disabled. Post is locked.
209kb generated in CPU 0.17, elapsed 1.2657 seconds.
62 queries taking 1.143 seconds, 418 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.