Dr. Rebecca Peck has called my attention to the following excellent article by George Weigel: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/304578/roberts-opinion-george-weigel
Weigel thinks Roberts was wrong about the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the federal tax power, but he says that those who merely focused on debating that miss the ”deeper meaning” of the opinion – one that reminds us what we must and can do. At risk of gilding the lily, the following points in the article deserve to be highlighted:
“This is not to suggest that the chief justice got it right in his judgment…. But the chief justice’s opinion contained several dicta that point us to deeper truths about the continuing Obamacare debate, the Congress, the responsibilities of the American people, and the future of our democratic political culture…. [I]rrespective of its finding, the Roberts opinion can be seen as a welcome call to recover an American constitutional order that has been too often forgotten during decades of judicial supremacy.
The first of these “deeper” truths is that the … ultimate constraint on … power… is not the federal judiciary but the people’s moral and political judgments. The chief justice thereby suggests that if “we, the people of the United States,” do not like the way the Congress taxes and spends, it is not only our prerogative but our responsibility to do something about it by electing new representatives who will tax and spend differently.
So [if I object to] a power grab by the federal government over one-sixth of the U.S. economy, and if I disapprove of that on fiscal grounds, constitutional grounds, public-policy grounds, moral grounds, some of the above, or all of the above, then my duty is to help elect someone else, no matter how good “my member” is at delivering the Social Security check on time or straightening out my IRS problems, and no matter what party my grandparents habitually voted for. Thus the chief justice’s bluntly phrased reminder that “it is not [the Court’s] job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices,” far from being a dodge of judicial responsibility, ought to be read… as a summons to a new national political maturity — a recognition that voting is not a glandular exercise but an exercise in moral and political judgment.
[S]econd…, the] majority opinion underscored … that constitutional approval of the individual mandate was not a judgment on the mandate’s soundness as policy. This implies that the policy might, in fact, be a stupid one — stupid policy the Obama administration made worse by an appeal to the Constitution’s Commerce Clause that, upheld, would have destroyed the notion of the federal government as a government of limited and enumerated powers.
There were several barely disguised smackdowns in the chief justice’s refusal to accede to this Commerce Clause argument and to the lax congressional lawmaking it attempted to justify. They included a blunt lesson in elementary English (“the language of the Constitution reflects the natural understanding that the power to regulate assumes there is already something to be regulated”) and a devastating analogy (“Congress addressed the insurance problem by ordering everyone to buy insurance. Under the Government’s theory, Congress could address the diet problem by ordering everyone to buy vegetables”). Beyond this, however, deeper truths were beckoning: the truth that the Obamacare bill was a legislative dog’s breakfast that reflected badly on the competence, honesty, and public-spiritedness of a Congress whipsawed by various interests; the truth that the constitutional order is jeopardized when the Supreme Court becomes a crutch for irresponsible legislators who imagine that their malfeasance can always be fixed by the federal judiciary. Congress demeans itself when it acts irresponsibly, the majority opinion suggested, and such irresponsibility is one factor in the evolution of an imperial judiciary — an aberration that the chief justice seems to regret, to his credit.”
The most important immediate question is, “Where do we go from here?” For those who recognize the grave threat to religious liberty and conscience that is embodied in the HHS mandate that Obamacare made possible, our responsibility is to awake the “sleeping giant” of American horror and disgust at what is happening in Washington. We must unite with others who oppose this Administration’s agenda, no matter whether the objections are based, as Weigel points out, “on fiscal grounds, constitutional grounds, public-policy grounds, moral grounds, some of the above, or all of the above….”
In the words of Governor Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate:
“I stand with the Catholic bishops and all religious organizations in their strenuous objection to this liberty-and conscience-stifling regulation.” If elected president, the former Massachusetts governor said, he would eliminate the mandate “on day one.”“Such rules don’t belong in the America that I believe in.”
Yes, America, there is a sleeping giant that can rise up and end tyranny– the American people. Since the HHS mandate was an implementing rule and not part of the Obamacare statute itself, it can be ended without approval of Congress. It is our responsibility to get our family, neighbors and friends activated. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY…. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!