Columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that Chief Justice John Roberts “sees his role as being the sleuth who goes into the law and somehow justifies it” with regards to Obamacare on Thursday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.
Krauthammer said (relevant comments begin around 4:40), “I think the biggest irony is that Scalia and Roberts agree on the motive behind Roberts’ ruling. They agree, in fact, Roberts sort of confesses this, he says that he doesn’t want the Court to overturn this. And if there’s any way that he can find to justify the exchanges, he will find it. In other words, he sees his role as being the sleuth who goes into the law and somehow justifies it. He made the same argument the last time he saved Obamacare when it was challenged because there was an illegal penalty. So he decided that it wasn’t really a penalty, despite the fact that in the government briefs they had admitted that, but it was a tax. So, he invented something that wasn’t in the law because he said he didn’t want to overturn it. Scalia says the same thing. The principle that Scalia’s saying that the principle Roberts is upholding is not the plain interpretation of the law. Roberts admits that the plain interpretation of the language of the law would strike down Obamacare. He admits it, but he has a higher principle. And the question is, why does he want to preserve Obamacare? I’m not sure it’s because he believes in the policy. I think he’s afraid that if the court overturns something so broad, so deep, so important, that was debated for a year and a half, it will damage the court. And he sees his role as a protector of the reputation of the court. I think he’s entirely wrong in doing that. But, it’s the only plausible explanation I can find. ”
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