John ‘Bulletproof Conservative’ Roberts?

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of numerous books, including "Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America," now available from ISI Books. Read Daniel's blog at www.flynnfiles.com.


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“Pop the champagne corks, conservatives,” Powerline’s John Hinderaker reacted upon George W. Bush’s selection of John Roberts to succeed a retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. “Roberts is a fantastic choice, a brilliant and bulletproof conservative.” Paul Mirengoff, Hinderaker’s Powerline colleague, gushed: “I’m over the moon.” “BRAVO…an inspired choice,” opined Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy. Hugh Hewitt called Roberts a “home run for the president, the SCOTUS, and for the United States.”

But will you still love me tomorrow?

Chief Justice John Roberts became the first Republican to vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act yesterday. Ultimately, the George W. Bush-appointee’s imprimatur was the only Republican vote the administration needed. Democrats pushed the law. Only a Republican on a court in which GOP appointees constitute a majority could affirm its constitutionality. The vote of the chief justice tipped the balance 5-4 in favor of the president’s health reform.

The pattern of Republican-appointed jurists upholding constitutionally-questionable laws pushed by liberals is by now a familiar one.

Dwight Eisenhower made California Governor Earl Warren the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He wrote the 5-4 opinion invalidating the conviction of Ernesto Miranda, who confessed to kidnapping and raping a teenage girl, because the police hadn’t informed him of his legal rights. The demand that police serve as legal advisors to those they apprehend directly resulted in the release of numerous dangerous people, including a man who had stabbed his wife and five children to death. Miranda v. Arizona proved one in a line of cases in which the Warren Court weakened the criminal justice system.

Ike famously dubbed Warren “the biggest damn fool mistake I ever made.” Other Republicans would repeat rather than learn from the 34th president’s “damn fool mistake.”

Richard Nixon appointed Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in the Roe v. Wade case invalidating the abortion laws of every state. Gerald Ford nominated John Paul Stevens, who wrote the majority opinion in Kelo v. New London, which empowers governments to take private property for the benefit of private interests that supposedly better serve the public good. George H.W. Bush-appointee David Souter and Ronald Reagan-appointees Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy wrote the plurality decision upholding Roe v. Wade in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

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  • Brian Donegal

    The Chief Justice is a conservative in name only. His vote has set another vile precedent for more tyranny and repression by the federal government. Inch by inch liberals have been taking away the rights of the people with unjust laws. Someday soon, perhaps sooner than expected, the U.S. will become the next gulag archipelago.

  • Reason_For_Life

    People who actually studied Roberts' decisions prior to his becoming Chief Justice knew that he believed in deferring to legislatures on issues of constitutionality. Essentially, all legislative actions are considered to be constitutional unless they violate a clear, unmistakeable meaning of the Constitution as, for instance, establishing slavery or censorship. This was the reason that so many conservatives supported Roberts. They wanted "judicial restraint" when their legislative agenda was challenged in the courts.

    The problem, of course, is that deferring to the legislature cuts both ways. The same Roberts that they hoped would overturn Roe v Wade and defer to state governments on abortion decided to defer to the Congress on the issue of ObamaCare. The result was one of the worst, most destructive decisions in the history of the court.

    Be careful what you wish for. The unintended consequences can be fatal.

    • Jim_C

      Well, aside from the melodrama of "fatal," an intelligent post. Roberts was acting consistently.

  • Passer by

    Bureaucracies are first and foremost interested in expanding the power of bureaucracy. Whether they are stuffed with liberals or conservatives is secondary to their aganda.

  • Adam

    Great article, it really needed to be said. All I have read is how this is supposedly a win for the right… Glad to see not everyone has lost their minds. What should also be pointed out, not only are Republicans nominating horrible anti-Constitutionalists, but when the Liberals put a known Socialist up, the Republicans in the Senate tuck tail and wet themselves. Elana Kagan was Barack Obama's Soliciter General during the Obamcare fiasco, and her vote was counted and even allowed. How did she even get confirmed to the court? That is the real story here.

  • Steve Chavez

    HE KNOWS SOMETHING, as do the other Conservative Judges, and they are letting the liberals think they have won something. (Do they know he's not eligible but this is part of their plan to get him out without causing riots?) His "THIS IS A TAX," when Obama screamed that is wasn't, is part of that plan to add to NAILS IN OBAMA'S COFFIN. THEY KNOW THAT WHEN INSURANCE COMPANIES are forced to pay for a rash of "pre-existing conditions and for the twenty-six year children on their parents plan, which will the companies will be forced to pay for the twenty-six year old's OWN CHILDREN, THEY WILL BE BACK IN COURT AND THEY WILL WIN SINCE THEY ARE PRIVATE COMPANIES WHO CAN'T POSSIBLY AFFORD TO HAND OUT MILLIONS EVERY WEEK WITH PREMIUMS ONLY INTO THE THOUSANDS! What company, no matter how many new clients they get, can afford that? SO ROBERTS WILL HEAR THOSE CASES AND WILL RULE AGAINST OBAMACARE.

    WILL ILLEGALS BE EXEMPT FROM THIS ONE TOO??? Here in New Mexico, ILLEGALS are allowed to get a Drivers License and many do so using fraudulent documents. THE REASONING OF OUR FORMER BILL RICHARDSON AND HIS DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE, is that they need a vehicle to get to a job, OUR JOBS, and they will also be required to BUY INSURANCE. REALLY? Now the Obamacare supporters are saying to give them amnesty so they can pay taxes, ON UNDER-THE-TABLE CASH PAYMENTS (?), AND SO THEY CAN ALSO PAY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE LIKE THE REST OF US. REALLY?

    WHEN IRS GOONS ARREST LEGAL AMERICANS FOR NOT BUYING INSURANCE, THEY WILL EXEMPT ILLEGALS! So here's a solution: Move to Mexico, denounce your U.S. citizenship and become a Mexican, then cross the border and say you are illegal and you get everything for free! "What a country."

    (My brother had a medical condition in Mexico that required hospitalization and he had to pay $6000 on a credit card before they would let him out and he is still feeling psychological problems due to them tying him down to the bed, feces not being cleaned up, and injecting of drugs because he wanted to get out but couldn't till he paid up but he couldn't because he was so drugged up therefore requiring a longer stay and more money.)

  • Lady_Dr

    Michael Savage (yeah, that one – on the fringe but he does know his stuff) claims that John Roberts take a medication which could be impairing his thinking! Intersting – will someone who knows more about this please investigate?

    • Amused

      Michael Savage ? And you claim to be a doctor ? Savage needs a large dose of lithium .Between Savage and his standard stand-in , they both make up an insane assylum . Not to mention , it does not say much for you .

    • AzDebi

      Truth is that Dr. Savage predicted Roberts would sell out…I believe it was on his Tuesday radio broadcast (the week before)…as far as the medication issue with Roberts, Dr. Savage was simply poking in the eye all those liberals who tired to use his medical condition against him when (I think it was in 2007) they reported in the NYT he had had a seizure and the medication he would have to take would definitely impair his judgment…they did this in order to disqualify him when Bush nominated him! They were afraid that he would be too CONSERVATIVE! Ha Ha Ha…looks like the joke is on US!

  • Alex

    Pelosi made history? So did Lenin – then Russia murdered 60,000,000 of their own people who did dare to criticize socialism…..
    Pelosi's kids and their kids will s p i t on her grave

    • Amused

      Take a f—ing aspirin Alex .

    • aliko

      Socialists don't believe in afterlife so they don't give a damn about what happens on their grave.

      Given the policies implemented, they'll take everyone to the grave with them. Hitler did it to the German people, first to the army he sent to die against a superior enemy in the east and then he ordered the country destroyed to leave only rubble.

      Socialists will make it look as if they care for their people but they have no loyalty to anyone (they kill themselves too) except for their stupid cause as written in the Socialist anthem – first they have to destroy the old world before they build a new one.

      Even the radical Muslims pale compared to the destruction ambitions and abilities of the Socialists.

  • Arnold Putnam

    From the way I read ihis decison, Roberts' is right. I mostly note the portion relating to Article 1 of the Constitution:

    Section. 8.
    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    If you read his reasoning you'll find that he is going with the law, i.e., the Constitution. He is not "making law," as so many judges like to do.

    Am I happy with it? No.

    However, there is one quote well worth thinking about.

    "We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enactthe challenged provisions. "

  • csthomas59

    Enough of this. This is insanity. Insanity is trying to convince your arch enemy to be like you. This web site and other just like it are doing nothing to convince liberals to become conservative. We need to simply refuse to obey the laws passed by these "Democratic" idiots. They cannot arrest millions of us if we all just refuse to obey their bizarre laws.

    • Amused

      Dont worry CHUMP , no one will further bother you with FACTS , Constitutionality , and btw , nullification is un-american . Criminals refuse to obey laws they feel are "bizarre " . And finally , NO no liberals will be conviinced to become conservative , mainly because of jerks like you , and a great number of like minded idiots on this blog . So keep your day job , and forget about any political prosyletizing , for conservatives have already proven what utter HYPOCRITES they are . If I thought you possesed the intelligence to understand , I would point out the TWO types of elitists that are wrestling for control of this country ….but it would be like explaining calculus to a frog .

  • Steve Chavez

    Just thought of this: I thought Obama and the Democrats were PRO-CHOICE? "IT'S MY BODY NOT YOURS!"

  • Edna

    Perhaps we should have kept quiet when G.W. offered us Harriet Miers. Would she have ever done such a disgraceful thing as did Roberts? I wonder what her thoughts on this are.

  • Amused

    LOL….the moral of this story IS ….maybe Republicans oughta stop appointing Supreme Court Judges .

    • mah29001

      Funny how you Lefties are praising this Supreme Court decision, but when it came to the same folks in the black robes saying that corporations are people, they have the right to freedom of speech you went ape about it.

      • Jim_C

        Funny how you Righties decry this Supreme Court decision. Close Constitutional readings without regard for the soundness of policy can cut both ways, as a poster pointed out, above.

        • mah29001

          Do you realize the Supreme Court can be historically wrong like what happened with Dred Scott? Or Brown v. Board of Education? Apparently it's okay the government can now impose a tax if you do not sign up for healthcare.

  • jacob

    I would like to ask whether justice Kagan was or wasn't supposed to recuse herself after being known
    "ad nauseam" where her vote would be and I'm surprised not having heard or read one single word
    about this particular issue…
    Whereas justice Montemayor and the opinion he has voiced about how stupid American are when
    compared to Latinos and which had no bearing on her confirmation for fear of being called "Racists"
    was another vote for Obamacare known from before…
    Talk about impartiality and fairness of this Supreme Court…..

    • Amused

      yea DO talk about that .

  • Amused

    Yea , he's acting like a black man aint he ? Man what a paranoid schmuck you are !

  • jimi belton

    I think there is a lot of room to manouver in what J.R. did….I think he is a real man of Honor, and maybe he did see things in this and wisdom in this to vote as he did…..Osambo will have to pay the piper for this, surely…..Here is a chance for conservatives to unite with Paulistas, and Tea Partistas, and Indipendantists, and every other form of ISTAS and hope and pray for massive change in DC….I have reserves that it will happen, but i will continue to hope….I do think that if 0samb0 gets back in in November, We are In dire straits…..and better start praying….

  • amused

    oh gee look …..lol….the post mentioning Thurgood Marshall… went away . now that is amusing .

  • amused

    hahaha …..you guys are the bomb .

  • Ronald Johnston

    The only solution to finding a completely impartial judge for the supreme court is to use lie detectors on them!!!!

  • http://ampatriot.blogspot.com/ C.R.

    I knew John Roberts was a globalist when in his confirmation hearings he stated he liked to use foreign law to make his rulings–and now I know him to be a Marxist too–he is no conservative, but rather a traitor!