Last week Chief Justice John Roberts blatantly ignored the Constitution and the law and purposefully rewrote Obamacare in order to rule it legal. He called Obamacare a "tax" instead of an individual mandate; he then proceeded to blithely expand the government's power to tax to encompass a tax on breathing, which is what Obamacare is.
Now I had warned conservatives years ago that Roberts was a rotten pick for the Supreme Court. "Roberts is not an originalist," I wrote in 2005. "There is nothing in his very short jurisprudential record to indicate that his judicial philosophy involves strict fidelity to the original meaning of the Constitution."
Nonetheless, Roberts' decision was stunning.
It was stunning because the Obamacare decision represented the greatest single judicial limitation on American liberty since Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), in which the Supreme Court ruled that under the Constitution, blacks were not human beings. Dred Scott is the judicial benchmark for evil decisions, and far surpasses the Obamacare decision in its legal flaws and moral emptiness. And there are many other evil and disgusting Supreme Court decisions that threatened American liberty: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), allowing states to segregate by race; Buck v. Bell (1927), allowing states to forcibly sterilize the mentally retarded; Korematsu v. United States (1944), allowing the federal government to order Japanese Americans into internment camps based on the need to prevent espionage.
All of these decisions were wrong, both legally and morally. But Obamacare surpasses all but Dred Scott in its violation of profound foundational American principles.
Essentially, the Obamacare decision said that the federal government can force you to do anything. They don't have to tax behavior. They can tax nonbehavior. They can tell you to do virtually anything they want; they can tax you unless you buy the right foods, listen to the right music and/or engage in the right type of work. If you refuse to pay the tax, they can jail you. The Obamacare decision destroys the basic concept of American liberty: freedom to live as you choose without interference by the federal government, so long as you don't affect the lives of others. Now the government can penalize you in the privacy of your own home for failing to do as they say.