In his opinion about the ACA John Roberts ignited a fire storm from conservatives across the country. The nicest thing he was called a traitor. Some actually thought he must have been blackmailed by the President. How could this decision be explained otherwise they wondered. This couldn’t be what he really thought.
For Roberts thank God this case was not about how much he either liked or didn’t like the law. I don’t think his motivation had anything to do with this specific law at all. I think it had to do with how he felt about The Law. It had to do with believing what you saw instead of seeing what you believe. It had to do with using the facts to make a decision instead of making a decision and looking for “facts” to justify it. It had to do with justice.
The case itself was ridiculous. Plaintiffs picked out 6 words in a 2000 page bill to make it sound like those who wrote the bill were saying something they never said. It was never discussed, never thought of, never voted on and never implemented. It was a fraudulent, back door attempt to defeat something by “rule of law” they couldn’t legislatively touch. Even the people who had voted against the ACA knew no one had ever voted for what the plaintiffs claimed. The whole thing was so stupid and it was a matter of serious debate for the Court. And the lives of millions hung on this serious debate. The potential for widespread and debilitating chaos was so very real.
It was ironic that Justice Scalia accused him of agreeing simply because he liked the law when his own blinding hatred of the law left him defending a cheap fantasy created by people who didn’t care about the truth or how many people they hurt trying to get their way.
Scalia accused him of judicial activism (strange coming from a man who voted to allow billionaires to try to buy our elections) but Roberts simply refused to sell out The Law to destroy a law.
Roberts chose justice. And because of it millions of people have a real chance at life, not an unnecessary and cruel death, liberty not slavery to illness and financial catastrophe and missed opportunities, and the pursuit of happiness instead of a desperate fight to find resources to get adequate care denied them because of their financial status.
The planned and systematic death and sickness of those who are poor and vulnerable can not be the policy of a decent and just people.
Justice Roberts said yes to justice.
He said yes to justice.