With all the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth about the Obamacare ruling many folks on the right are targeting their anger at Chief Justice John Roberts. The Chief of the Court, Roberts was supposed to be a reliable conservative, appointed by President George W. Bush and a firewall of sorts against liberal activism. Is he the villain in all this? Is he a turncoat who buckled under the pressure or, as has been argued by some, was more focused on protecting the credibility of the Court rather than the Constitution? No on both counts. In fact, Roberts’ lengthy opinion teaches us about the proper role of the Court. It also teaches us about our proper role as citizens.
In the opinion he states clearly, “We (the Court) possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” That is a very subtle way of saying “Wake up America. This is a glimpse of how expansive government can get. If you don’t like it you have the power to do something about it.”
The Court doesn’t debate good policy. They’re not in charge of figuring out how to fund a program or protect jobs or rewrite an incomprehensible bill filled with a morass of agencies and authorities. That’s the Congress’ job. We often love to fault Washington or Albany, but the fact of the matter is that as a nation we have helped give rise to an entire generation of elected officials, bureaucrats and jurists who believe that government can and should expand almost without barrier. The results are patent and dangerous. We have a President who is an unabashed radical who wants to create a culture of dependency, a Congress that is either complicit or to weak-kneed to take on real reform and an electorate that sits home when it comes time to choose who will lead.
Roberts’ opinion puts the Court’s role in proper perspective, but it is also a clarion call for every American to rise up and demand not just an end to Obamacare but reforms that will walk us back from massive taxation, debt and government intrusion that is limiting our freedom and destroying the American dream. Sometimes we have to see how bad bad can get before we act. If people band together in opposition to this $800 billion, job killing tax maybe John Roberts just did us a favor.