“An Umpire.” That is how John Roberts properly described the duty of a Supreme Court justice during his confirmation hearings. His rulebook? The U.S. Constitution. Thank you sir, may I have another!
No, you may not. Now that John Roberts is Chief Justice Roberts, he apparently thinks it’s the umpire’s job to actually play the game—take a few cuts, run the bases, and score. Never mind that the Constitution doesn’t allow an umpire to play, Chief Justice Roberts inserted himself into the game and homered for the wrong team. Recognizing that President Obama and the Democrat Congress couldn’t play the game Constitutionally, Roberts literally changed the statute before him to make it conform to the Constitution. He magically converted a penalty into a tax, thereby changing the language of the law and the definition of what a “tax” really is.
What would happen to the game of baseball if umpires, recognizing the ineptitude of a team, began favoring or playing for it? The integrity of the game would be lost. Unfortunately, this is not a game. The future of liberty in history’s greatest nation is at stake.
When the decision came down on Thursday, I was at a meeting attended by hundreds of attorneys including former Solicitor General Paul Clement, the very man who argued that Obamacare should be overturned before the Supreme Court in March. While disappointed with the decision, the very impressive Mr. Clement succinctly highlighted the legal positives scattered throughout the opinion. Other attorneys noted the potential political upside for the Republicans in November. One attorney even said that Roberts had brilliantly planted a booby trap in the opinion that would ensnare government growth because any future mandates would now have to be characterized as a tax, which would be politically toxic.
That all may be true. Sometimes we get good results from bad decisions, and I hope we do. But that doesn’t change the fact that an umpire appointed as a supposed conservative didn’t accurately call balls and strikes according to the Constitution, but actually suited up to grant the losing team the victory.
Some at the meeting have known Justice Roberts personally for decades. They claim he is a man of the highest personal integrity, which I do not question. Given that, why would Roberts do this? Many suggested that Roberts wanted to bolster the respect and legitimacy of the court by debunking the perception that the court rules politically—five Republican appointees versus four Democrat appointees.
Frank Turek is coauthor of I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and the author of Stealing from God: Why atheists need God to make their case. See more of his work at CrossExamined.org.