07.12.2012 2

Net Right Daily Warned of Media Pressure Against Chief Justice Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts

Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey/Flickr

By Kevin Mooney — Here, in a nutshell, is what several astute commentators on the right, including George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and others have told readers in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare:

Associate Justice John Roberts would have ruled to strike down the federal health care law, but Chief Justice John Roberts felt an institutional obligation to shield the high court from political criticism. Fear not; there is cause for encouragement because Roberts imposed restrictions on the Commerce Clause that will advance the cause of limited government over time.

If Mitt Romney is elected president, and if the Republicans win control of Congress, and if GOP leaders follow through on their pledge to repeal the legislation, Justice Roberts could go down in history as a shrewd tactician. But those are a lot of “ifs” and constitutional conservatives know better than to put too much stock into Republicans who elevate bipartisanship over principle.

After equivocating on repeal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell backpedaled on his equivocation and is now solidly back in the fold. At least, this is what he told National Review in a recent interview.  With a little push from the Tea Party, he may yet follow through. Roberts did make it clear in his ruling that it is ultimately up to the American people, operating through the political process, to uproot the legislation.

“We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies,” he wrote. “That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders…”Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

Fair enough, except that Team Obama did not exactly play by the rules in passing legislation that has been unpopular since its inception.  After Scott Brown (R-Mass.) scored an upset electoral victory, largely in the back of his opposition to government-run health care, to become a U.S. Senator in 2010, the administration did not yield to public opinion. Moreover, the weight of evidence suggests that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), with a little helped from an ACORN-backed secretary of state, stole the 2008 election from Norm Coleman who was the Republican incumbent. Without Franken, the Democrats would not have had the 60 seat filibuster proof majority needed to pass ObamaCare.

U.S. Supreme Court judges are given lifetime appointments so they have the ability to stand outside of politics and to safeguard the freedom enshrined within the U.S. Constitution.  That is why legal scholars on both sides of the political spectrum ardently support the concept of judicial review, which was established in Marbury v. Madison.

Even conservatives who are comforted by the “considerable consolation prize” described by Will in recent piece, acknowledge that chief justice twisted  himself into pretzel to uphold the health care mandate. There is no getting around the fact that Roberts did take politics into account. So much for the insulation supposedly ingrained within lifetime appointments. Rush Limbaugh speculates that Roberts succumb to elite opinion in Washington D.C. and to media pressure. If this turns out to be true, it can be said that Net Right Daily was way out in front of warning against a campaign that specifically targeted Justice Roberts.

As Net Right Daily previously reported, “This effort began in earnest with a front page hit piece on the New York Times,” which ran July 24 2011. The article was built around a database created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that gauges the ideological complexion of court rulings and the leanings of individual members. “In the database, votes favoring criminal defendants, unions, people claiming discrimination or violation of their civil rights are, for instance, said to be liberal,” the report explains. “Decisions striking down economic regulations and favoring prosecutors, employers and the government are said to be conservative.”

President Obama himself personally attacked the court during a State of the Union address, and in other settings, with more vigor than any other chief executive since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

On his radio program, Limbaugh has suggested that the chief justice is now controlled by the media. Krauthammer, who maintains faith in Roberts, is inclined to believe that the chief justice was driven more by perceived institutional obligations.

“Roberts’s concern was that the Court do everything it could to avoid being seen, rightly or wrongly, as high-handedly overturning sweeping legislation passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president,” Krauthammer wrote.

In the words, the anti-constitutional campaign organized on behalf of ObamaCare out of the White House in concert with sympathetic press organs succeeded.

Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor for NetRightDaily.com. You can follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinMooneyDC.

Copyright © 2008-2023 Americans for Limited Government