Lefty and center-lefty jurists tend to rewrite the Constitution to protect a law. Chief Justice Roberts tried something different: he rewrote a law to protect the Constitution. As such, the Constitution came out of today just fine. The people? Not so much.
Whatever Roberts may have felt towards the document from which our government was built, his respect for the legislative process is dangerously low. His renaming of the health insurance penalty as a tax leaves behind a law that wouldn’t have won 60 votes in the House, let alone the Senate. I prefer the wisdom if the dissenters, who understand that when a law runs afoul of the Constitution – particularly an unseverable law such as Obamacare – it must go down, and it must go down hard.
Moving from the legal to the political, the new dog’s breakfast (henceforth called Robertscare) means far fewer to-be-newly-insured, and a tax-hike label on every Democrat who voted for the 2010 version.
Meaning health care as a policy issue will be revisited again.
If Mitt Romney is smart (and he’s not stupid), he’ll emphasize his post-2008 preference for tax credits over mandate penalties/taxes. It will shift the debate from who gets covered to why can’t Washington stop taking our money, plus the added bonus of showing voters he can learn from his experiences as Governor and correct mistakes (qualities wholly absent from the incumbent).
Meanwhile, if you think this is the biggest story of the day, I have one word for you: Barclay’s.
Cross-posted to Virginia Virtucon