Supposedly Chief Justice Roberts felt he had to rescue the unpopular and unaffordable Obamacare to protect the reputation of the court. Or something. But the public loathes Obamacare and wanted, indeed expected, the Court to throw it out. But they didn’t. Go figure that the negative perception of the Court is up 11 points in one week.
Public opinion of the Supreme Court has grown more negative since the highly publicized ruling on the president’s health care law was released. A growing number now believe that the high court is too liberal and that justices pursue their own agenda rather than acting impartially.
A week ago, 36% said the court was doing a good or an excellent job. That’s down to 33% today. However, the big change is a rise in negative perceptions. Today, 28% say the Supreme Court is doing a poor job. That’s up 11 points over the past week.
Amazingly, Roberts admitted Obamacare was unconstitutional as written. So, naturally, he took it upon himself to combine a judicial rewriting of the law with some bizarre, tortured logic to make the thing constitutional in his mind. In so doing, he greatly expanded the power of the federal government at the expense of its citizen’s liberty. The practical effect of his decision is that the government can now do anything they want as long as they link their action in some way, regardless of how tangential, to taxes. They won’t need to use an expansive interpretation of the commerce clause any more, thanks to Roberts providing them with a red-carpeted path they can utilize to bypass it.
The Supreme Court is supposed to be apolitical and function as a kind of backstop or check on governmental power. Roberts had it correct during his confirmation hearings when he said he would simply be an umpire calling balls and strikes. But he decided to suit up and insert himself into the game. He made a political decision to ignore the constitution because he thought that would boost the reputation of the court over which he presides. Instead it had the opposite effect, and both the Court’s reputation – and his own — have suffered. Rightly so.