Was John Roberts intimidated into ruling in favor of Obamacare?

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Glenn has always been a fan of Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), and this morning, Sen. Lee joined the radio program to talk about his new book Why John Roberts Was Wrong About Healthcare. In the book, Lee examined how several Democrats targeted Roberts and claimed his legacy would be tarnished if he didn’t uphold Obamacare and that by looking at the dissenting opinion it appears Roberts may have switched his vote.

“Mike Lee is a friend of mine and one of the really good guys in Congress,” Glenn said. “Senator Mike Lee is a guy who knows the Constitution inside and out and is a fierce, fierce opponent of anybody who stands against it.”

In his new book, Sen. Lee explains how the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act last June and why he thinks Chief Justice John Roberts may have been intimidated into changing his vote.

“So in my book, I explain what the Supreme Court did when it upheld this law. Even after finding this it exceeded Congress’ authority under the Constitution, the Supreme Court rewrote it in order to save it. Rewrote it not just once, but twice,” he said. “As I pointed out in the book, there are a lot of indication that Chief Justice Roberts may well have taken a different approach right after oral argument, but then changed his position. And it just so happens that it was during that same period of time, between the oral argument and the time the court issued the opinion on June 28 of last year, that there was a real campaign of intimidation by a lot of Democrats in the Senate, and also by the White House.”

During that period of time, Sen. Lee points to the statements made by many Democrats regarding how history will remember Roberts and how his credibility and legacy will be irreparably tarnished if he did not uphold Obamacare.

Furthermore, Sen. Lee, a former Supreme Court clerk for Justice Samuel Alito, describes the unusual tone of the dissenting opinion that led him to believe it may once have been written as the majority opinion.

“First of all, the mere fact that the dissenting opinion was written in many respects in the language of a majority opinion – it self-suggests to me that originally, Chief Justice Roberts was going to be part of what would have been a majority opinion,” Sen. Lee explained. “It doesn’t sound like a dissent. It refutes the arguments put forward by the government more than it does direct itself primarily toward refuting the arguments of the opinion of the court.”

“There are a lot of people that said, ‘Oh, look how great this is. He’s coming across the aisle,’” Glenn said of Roberts’ vote.

“Yes, and I specifically address that point,” Sen. Lee responded. “What I explain is there is no aisle in the Supreme Court. There is no aisle on that bench. Either literally or figuratively.”

The culture of the Supreme Court, according to Sen. Lee, is such that once a justice is confirmed by the Senate, the significance of whether one is appointed by a Republican or Democrat becomes “completely irrelevant.”

“So what I do is try to debunk systematically these argument that is suggest that this may have just been a brilliant move by John Roberts to try to preserve his reputation as Chief Justice,” Sen. Lee said. “It is not about reputation. It is about the right answer under the law. The right answer was not to rewrite the thing in order to save it.”

One of the primary problems with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law was the reasoning behind it. Obamacare was unable to pass the Democratically controlled House and Senate as a ‘tax’ because it was so politically toxic, and yet the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law based on the fact that it is, in fact, a tax.

“It required a difficult act of legal gymnastics,” Sen. Lee said of Obamacare’s upholding. “As I explained, what [Roberts] did was to say you know, I know this appears to be a penalty. And, in fact, he found that it was a penalty and not a tax for purposes of the anti-injunction action, which had he reached the opposite conclusion would have said the court couldn’t even address this case right now, probably for another two years after that.”

Basically, the Supreme Court ruled the ACA is a penalty for some purposes and a tax for others. When it came to the Constitutional analysis, the law ultimately had to be ruled a tax or else it would have been unconstitutional.

One of the primary reasons Sen. Lee chose to write this book is because the issue is much larger than any single law or Supreme Court decision. Stu pointed out his personal frustration with the fact that it always seems people on right are compromising, while those on the left rarely do. “It’s never Justice Ginsberg,” Stu said.

“The quickest explanation, the natural gravitational pull in Washington is towards bigger government and toward the erosion of the separation of powers along the vertical and horizontal axes,” Sen. Lee said. “That is the natural gravitational pull in this city. The reason we have hope is that the national gravitational pull the American people feel is not in that direction. Momentum is starting to move and it is moving in our favor. I explained in the book, we can move it, but we have to motivate people to expect more.”

“It’s always a pleasure and I’m glad that you are in Congress,” Glenn said. “Senator Mike Lee, thank you so much for everything that you do. God bless.”

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Intimidation, coercion, threats, blackmail: one or all of these Obama’s admin used to ensure Justice Roberts complied with Obama’s demands on Obama-care.

    • landofaahs

      We need to keep digging in this manure until we find the pony. 

  • landofaahs

    I posed that very question when the NSA garbage first came out.  Remember when everyone was stunned that Roberts vote for obamacare?  I do not believe in coincidences.  

    • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

      In government there are no coincidences: just many little clues that lead unto the truth and the government is fighting harder than ever to keep more truth of their criminal activities from appearing.

  • landofaahs

    Just the possibility and just us talking about this shows how dangerous a powerful govt that turns corrupt can be.  Starve the beast.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htXuNPBko3Q Sam Fisher

    I wonder what Obama had on Roberts. 

    • landofaahs

      My guess is something about his adopted children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shinedling Martin M Shinedling


  • DaveGinOly

    The ruling was a gift, a hint about the direction from which a successful challenge could come.
    Nutshell (everything here can be verified):
    Under the US Constitution, there are two kinds of taxes – direct and indirect.  (If you recall, direct taxation must be apportioned and indirect taxation must be geographically uniform.)
    Direct taxes are upon things, like people (poll or head tax) and indirect taxes are upon activities, occupations, or events.  (Indirect taxes are usually levied according to the profit generated by the activity, occupation, or event, and therefore superficially appear to be on the profit itself.  They are not, the profit is merely used as a measure for the tax, the liability for the tax is created by the activity, occupation, or event.)
    The Income Tax is an indirect tax (Brushaber v Union Pacific RR, 1916).  (The 16th Amendment, according to some, abolished the difference between an indirect and a direct tax.  This is not so.  The purpose of the 16th Amendment was to overcome a ruling by SCOTUS in Pollock v Farmers Loan and Trust that said if an indirect tax is administered like, or is indistinguishable from, a direct tax, it must be treated like a direct tax and must be apportioned.  The 16th Amendment abolished the argument made in Pollock, by permitting indirect taxes “from whatever source [the taxed occupation, event, or activity] derived” without the need for apportionment, even when the tax functions like a direct tax, by preventing, to paraphrase SCOTUS, the removal of the tax from the category – indirect – to which it belongs.  SCOTUS explains this extremely well in Brushaber.  Read it.  DO NOT rely on third parties when it comes to Brushaber.  They lie about it and will tell you that it said exactly the opposite of what is actually says!  e.g. Wikipedia’s article: “the courts have interpreted the Sixteenth Amendment and the Brushaber decision as standing for the rule that the Amendment allows a direct tax on ‘wages, salaries, commissions, etc. without apportionment.'”  This is simply not true.  Income taxes remain indirect taxes, but, because of the 16th Amendment, can no longer be challenged for being unapportioned merely because they are administered as if they were direct taxes, i.e., they cannot be removed from the category to which they belong.)
    An income tax must be upon revenue taxable activities, occupations, and events, meaning that there are activities, occupations, and events that are beyond the government’s authority to tax (i.e., not all are taxable).
    Question: Is a decision to buy or not buy any particular article of trade or service a “event” that is taxable for revenue purposes?
    I suggest that it’s not.  And that’s the argument to make in court – Personal decisions about the purchase of, or refusal to purchase, an article of trade or a service, such as insurance of any kind, is not a revenue taxable event.
    SCOTUS found the penalty constitutional as a tax, but did not rule on the constitutionality of the tax.  This was not part of the challenge to Obamacare, and is an argument that can still be pursued.

  • Anonymous

    Not really a question of IF he was blackmailed but rather just what they had on him that would make him abandon the Constitution, his principles, and America? 

    Must have been really bad.

    • Just Me

      There had to be a reason that the NSA suddenly started prying into all our phone calls and emails and storing all that data. Obama is not entirely stupid– the fastest way to get people to do what you want is to know their most personal/dangerous/intimate/ embarrassing secrets and threaten to use them. I think this explains the strange behavior of the Speaker of the House as well. Maybe there’s a big reason he hasn’t been willing to do much to call Barry’s hand when he starts stomping on the Constitution? Could explain a whole lot of what’s happening in Congress cause, as we know, they aren’t exactly a choir of angels up there on The Hill. They seem to be running scared of something.

  • Anonymous

    Senator Guillory, thank you for speaking truth, my prayer is that those bashing you will wake up before it is to late, can they not see the writing on the wall.  It is my opinion their ears and eyes are closed to truth.  We are loosing our nation and it is right down the road. I pray daily for our wonderful USA, that our children and grandchildren will get to enjoy the freedom that we have known.  Again, Senator thank you, I thought the speech was awesome.

  • Anonymous

    with out a supreme court that can not separate law and poultices we are in deep dodo

    • Mike Nelson

      I agree.  Any combination of law and poultices should be handled exclusively by town Elders and the local Witch Doctor, or an extinct bird may result.

      Be assured, I’m not against extinct birds, unless the Supreme Court is having one.

  • Anonymous

    John Roberts is in a position where he s not to be intimidated, ne is suppose to stand for the Constitution not against it, he is a coward that hurt this country!

    • Anonymous

      Maybe it was something of a  very personal nature he was threatened  or intiminated with to make him change. You never know in these Orwellan and scary times. When all this happened, that ran through my mind.

    • greywolfrs

      Really? You actually believe that a Supreme Court Justice can not be intimidated? You better wake up.

  • not a fool

    Chief Justice John Roberts tipped the scale at the expenses of the americans’ future,
    end of story.

  • Anonymous

    I think that the WH used the same tactic on Roberts that they used on Gen. Petraeus….and reporter Rosen….i.e. one of O’s minions falsified a reason(s) to check out all of the records and metadata the NSA has on Roberts (and all the other Justices…and Congress, etc..etc..)….this metadata is clearly being “misused” to the advantage of O and Hillary…..it’s a total “power grab”….he who holds all the cards…wins! It’s beginning to look more and more as if this is one of the various means that O won the 2012 election…i.e. by having “real time” data on critical voters….Remember….according to O…the “war on terror” is over for all practical purposes…he still needs to “fundamentally transform” the USA….

  • Anonymous

    democrats telling Roberts he needs to uphold obamacare or his legacy will be ruined reminds me of democrats telling republicans they need to vote for amnesty to get the hispanic vote 

  • linda barnett

    People who know something about this need to step forward or live with themselves
    As they watch this once great country go under. Right now, whistleblowers and
    Lawsuits are our best chance at saving america. As a corporate whistleblower,
    I know the threats, stress, etc. But not speaking up is worse.

  • Sue Brown

    If Robert’s is so shallow as to fall for the threat to his “legacy” and go against his supposed principles, I don’t see how he has reached the pinnacle of his chosen profession.  I know they dismissed the thought that the coercion  WASN’T due to the NSA monitoring, but how do they know that?  And that is the reason WHY it- is such a bad thing to have the US gov’t spying on citizens in the name of national security.  If it truly was, then they should have caught the Boston Bombers because that was a no-brainer.

  • Take 2

    Roberts should have never touched the rewrite and should have sent it back to have Obama admit even to his own DEM Party that He Lied that it was not a Voluntary TAX w/Penalty…A re-vote would have been with a new GOP Congress. Had Roberts shot down as a Voluntary Tax with Penalty same as SS Voluntary TAX Federal Voluntary Income TAX w/Penalty and Medicaid would all three tip over…! 

    The BIG issue was Roberts not sending it back for Congress to make the changes and DEMS opposing IF a TAX with Penalty could have done a re-vote.  Woodrow Wilson fathered this con using the word Voluntary with Penalty.  

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    the chief supreme court justice first takes an oath to uphold the Constitution.  in his job he serves to interpret the law in accordance w/the Constitution.  

    Q:  he rewrote the law in order for him to vote FOR it.  so, who is he serving?

    A:  if he was threatened, he serves himself.

    every one of the nine is duty bound to uphold the principals of the Constitution.  he did not do that, therefore, he should have resigned his place in scotus or come clean as to any indiscretions that came his way.  he did neither.  he’s a traitor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jules.p.guidry Jules P. Guidry

    Roberts was coerced, one way or another, to change his opinion. My personal favorite, given the tone of this administration, is threats on his family. Possibly harassment from one of the alphabet agencies which this administration uses to quiet its critics.
    As we are now seeing, this administration is not above using any tactics to quell dissent from anyone who disagrees with them.
    Hopefully, this administration is setting itself up for its destruction. Congress needs to keep pushing to stop Ocare and the rampant disregard for the Constitution via the various agencies bent on making us subjects not citizens.  

  • Anonymous

    The Bible says,’let your yes be yes and your no be no’.  If he was so easily persuaded then he has no business being on the Supreme Court.  You have to stand for what is right and hold on to your convictions. 

  • Herbert Shallcross

    Conservatives want to be reasonable. Liberals want to prevail.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who thinks that these judges can’t be bought just look at the state of our system there are so many useless laws that the population looses interest in the system when they come to terms that justice is an illusion.
    Therefore getting bought off no longer is the first step to corruption threaten the weakness in any person and they do exactly as there told.
    When people come together as one there aren’t enough jail’s ,prisons to house U.S. all.

  • Anonymous

    I too feel that that the Supreme Court was political all the way with this majority decision. Throughout the history of the Court decisions have been made that shows that the Supreme Court is not impartial and is capable of re-writing our freedoms based on the prevailing political atmosphere at the time. Remember the Dred Scott decision. Remember Franklin Roosevelt trying to pack the court with those who supported him. Remember a great deal being made over Obama’s nominees to the Court and their liberal leanings. Has this not served Obama well?

    Very few people remember, or even know, that the Court’s ability to rule on the constitutionality of a law passed by Congress or executive order of the President was never included in the Constitution. As a matter of  fact in the unofficial record of the Constitutional Convention, James Madison’s journal, shows that three attempts were made to include it in the Constitution as a power of the Court and each time it was voted down by the delegates. The most votes that it could garner was three delegates. It did not become a policy until the Marbury vs. Madison decision of John Marshall’s court was rendered in 1803 almost 15 years after the United States of America began operating under the Constitution. It went unchallenged by Thomas Jefferson for what I believe can be traced to political reasons.

    So to thinks that these nine individuals are above political pressures is at best naive, and at worst hiding our heads in the sand and denying the truth.

  • greywolfrs

    I do not know if he was or not, but it would seem there is something going on. The man changed the law so he could push it through…

  • Anonymous

    Roberts is a coward and a traitor, I have no respect for this tool. Bush should feel ashamed for appointing him, but I guess we’ll never know how bush feels about all of this, for some reason he has been quit on everything and refuses to say anything negative about this administration. I think Bush said someting about respecting the office of the President and about how we should read his book.

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