Friday, June 29, 2012

Roberts on Taxes: More Commentary

Ilya Shapiro of Cato and Volokh Conspiracy dissects Roberts' "constitutional legerdemain"  on SCOTUSblog.  Like me, he finds it makes no sense at all ("13 cryptic pages").  Very worthwhile for his excellent dissection of what sort of "tax" the mandate penalty is, and the implications of Roberts' strange opinion.

Michael Tanner, also of Cato, does a nice job mocking Roberts' tax "logic," and makes two very important points worth repeating here:

What Congress said the individual mandate is — an exercise of the Commerce Power — the court said is not constitutional. But what Congress said the mandate is not — an exercise of the Taxing Power — the court ruled is constitutional. Everybody got that?

This ruling has created two enormous problems for American democracy and the rule of law.
First, Roberts’ flip-flop means the Supreme Court just upheld a law that Congress did not pass and never would have passed. If Congress had called the mandate a tax, the law never would have reached the president’s desk.

Second, the Supreme Court just told Congress it is okay to lie to the people in order to get a bill passed.

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