Protein Wisdom was right, and we were wrong. Roberts has surrendered to Leviathan, and given us a ruling that makes no sense on a law that makes no sense.
The AFA (ObamaCare) cannot be justified under the commerce clause, but can be justified as a tax. The Administration explicitly said it was not a tax, but the Supreme Court now says that it is.
Also, the Medicaid expansion got limited, but not thrown out. Which means that the federal government can offer states Medicaid cash, but can’t penalize states for not participating in it. Whatever that might mean.
For all intents and purposes, we are back to the Warren Court, under which Caeser could do whatever he damn well pleased, and the Court took it upon itself to re-write the law and lay it down upon any puddle in Caeser’s path.
Justice Kennedy’s dissent (yeah, you read that right. Reagan’s crappy post-bork justice got this right, and Bush’s super-conservative Prince of Judicial Restraint got it wrong. Nice job, George), downloaded from Business Insider:
The case is easy and straightforward, however, in another respect. What is absolutely clear, affirmed by thetext of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendmentratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power—upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon thesovereign States. Whatever may be the conceptual limitsupon the Commerce Clause and upon the power to taxand spend, they cannot be such as will enable the Federal Government to regulate all private conduct and to compel the States to function as administrators of federal programs.
Exactly. And in case you were wondering, this is what the word regulate (as in “regulate interstate commerce”) means:
In Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 196 (1824), Chief Justice Marshall wrote that the power to regulate commerce is the power “to prescribe the rule by whichcommerce is to be governed.” That understanding is con- sistent with the original meaning of “regulate” at the time of the Constitution’s ratification, when “to regulate” meant“[t]o adjust by rule, method or established mode,” 2 N.Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828); “[t]o adjust by rule or method,” 2 S. Johnson,A Dictionary of the English Language (7th ed. 1785); “[t]oadjust, to direct according to rule,” 2 J. Ash, New and Complete Dictionary of the English Language (1775); “toput in order, set to rights, govern or keep in order,” T.Dyche & W. Pardon, A New General English Dictionary (16th ed. 1777).1 It can mean to direct the manner of something but not to direct that something come into being. There is no instance in which this Court or Congress (or anyone else, to our knowledge) has used “regulate”in that peculiar fashion. If the word bore that meaning, Congress’ authority “[t]o make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces,” U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 14, would have made superfluous the later provision for authority “[t]o raise and supportArmies,” id., §8, cl. 12, and “[t]o provide and maintain a Navy,” id., §8, cl. 13.
We do not doubt that the buying and selling of health insurance contracts is commerce generally subject to federal regulation. But when Congress provides that (nearly) all citizens must buy an insurance contract, it goes beyond “adjust[ing] by rule or method,” Johnson, supra, or “direct[ing] according to rule,” Ash, supra; it directs the creation of commerce.
A society in which you cannot refrain from buying something is not a free society.