Was John Roberts intimidated into ruling in favor of Obamacare?

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.”

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

Dates:
June 15-17

Location:

Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.