Rich Galen

Roberts said in his opinion that the Court could not, and would not rule on whether the policy of forcing people to buy health insurance was a good one, writing:

We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation's elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions

… Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.

Unlike half the political pundits in Washington, Gov. Mitt Romney read the decision correctly and said,

"Let's make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the Court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it's good policy."

At his confirmation hearing in June 2005, Roberts said:

Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules.

But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.

There were plenty of people outside the Supreme Court building yesterday to see the "umpires." At one point I tweeted (I'm @richgalen)

"Is there any more useless activity than demonstrating outside the Supreme Court? Other than demonstrating at the base of a volcano, I mean."

I think the nation owes George W. Bush a national round of applause for nominating John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the United States. I don't know if former President Bush agreed with the ruling or not, but he had to admire the fact that Roberts told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth at his confirmation hearing.

Pretty good stuff, that.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at