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Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on a Gut Shot Draw Against Barack Obama’s Pocket Aces in a High Stakes Game of America Hold’em

In a full ring game of high stakes political poker (9 Supreme Court Justices and the President), at the end of the day it came down to a heads up competition between two deep stacks – Chief Justice John Roberts and President Obama. While the left clearly won a major victory, the right is claiming the river card has yet to be dealt.

In other words, Obama’s pocket aces survived the flop and are in the lead at the turn, but according to political power brokers like Krauthammer, Erickson and Morris, Roberts dealt a turn card that clearly gives America multiple outs and favorable pot odds to draw to a victorious hand at the river in November.

How? By Roberts rewriting the legislative language to deem Obamacare a massive federal tax and therefore painting Barack Obama as a flagrant liar!

Before I pontificate on the clear violation of judicial activism on Roberts’ part, let’s examine the claim from pundits that this was a shrewd move that sets up a victorious showdown in January assuming Romney eeks out a narrow victory in November and repeals Obamacare right from the git-go.

Charles Krauthammer’s Washington Post column today . . .

“It’s the judiciary’s Nixon-to-China: Chief Justice John Roberts joins the liberal wing of the Supreme Court and upholds the constitutionality of Obamacare. How? By pulling off one of the great constitutional finesses of all time. He managed to uphold the central conservative argument against Obamacare, while at the same time finding a narrow definitional dodge to uphold the law — and thus prevented the court from being seen as having overturned, presumably on political grounds, the signature legislation of this administration.”

He goes on to write . . .

Why did he do it? Because he carries two identities. Jurisprudentially, he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the court’s legitimacy, reputation and stature.

As a conservative, he is as appalled as his conservative colleagues by the administration’s central argument that Obamacare’s individual mandate is a proper exercise of its authority to regulate commerce.

That makes congressional power effectively unlimited. Mr. Jones is not a purchaser of health insurance. Mr. Jones has therefore manifestly not entered into any commerce. Yet Congress tells him he must buy health insurance — on the grounds that it is regulating commerce. If government can do that under the commerce clause, what can it not do?

“The Framers . . . gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it,” writes Roberts. Otherwise you “undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers.”

That’s Roberts, philosophical conservative. But he lives in uneasy coexistence with Roberts, custodian of the court, acutely aware that the judiciary’s arrogation of power has eroded the esteem in which it was once held. Most of this arrogation occurred under the liberal Warren and Burger courts, most egregiously with Roe v. Wade, which willfully struck down the duly passed abortion laws of 46 states. The result has been four decades of popular protest and resistance to an act of judicial arrogance that, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “deferred stable settlement of the issue” by the normal electoral/legislative process.

Obamacare is now essentially upheld. There’s only one way it can be overturned. The same way it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress. That’s undoubtedly what Roberts is telling the nation: Your job, not mine. I won’t make it easy for you.”


Dov Fischer wrote on American Thinker . . .

“Long after many of us are gone, this 5-4 opinion finally setting limits on the reach of the Commerce Clause will continue to affect American lives and protect private citizens from Washington’s intrusions.
It is understandable that most Americans, who are not law school graduates, do not think in these terms, nor do most pundits outside the legal community who interpret news. However, attorneys and certainly law professors get it. We know what happened on Thursday. It was subtle and below the radar, like a tsunami beginning in the middle of an ocean, still days away from the shore. Only the trained insiders know what that rumbling will cause in the future. This was a tsunami, finally giving us our first Supreme Court precedential holding in nearly a century that reins in the federal government’s unbridled abuse of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. And the liberals, excited as they understandably are by the temporary survival of ObamaCare, do not even realize what has happened to a pillar of their enterprise. And that is fine.
Secondly, Chief Justice Roberts has punted the whole ninety yards, so to speak, with the expertise of a professional football kicker whose team has the ball on its own 8-yard-line, then punts ninety yards, pinning the other team on their own two-yard-line. Had Chief Justice Roberts sided completely with his four conservative colleagues, Obamacare now would be off the political table for the November elections. Obama would be campaigning and mobilizing his troops’ passions, arguing an urgent need to reconfigure the Court. Romney, by contrast, would be trying to mobilize passion for a lackluster campaign that is impelled legitimately by one crying urgency: jobs and the economy.”


Erick Erickson of Red State wrote . . .

“It seems very, very clear to me in reviewing John Roberts’ decision that he is playing a much longer game than us and can afford to with a life tenure. And he probably just handed Mitt Romney the White House.”


I couldn’t disagree more with these political prognosticators!

If anything, what John Roberts did was allow his ego to get in the way of his jurisprudence and vote to throw the American people, along with the Constitution, under the bus.

It was the height of judicial activism (judicial tax-writing). Judicial malfeasance would be more accurate — a sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice playing short-stacked political poker out of position against a deep-stacked worthy opponent with pocket rockets on the button who’s willing to ride them all the way to the river.

While Roberts may see it as a long term utility value play with positive expectation (a galvanizing of the conservative base and clarion call for them to rally around Mitt Romney and repeal Obamacare in January), five months is a lifetime in politics. Walking back a mammoth bill like Obamacare with more far-reaching tentacles than an octopus on steroids is akin to stopping a run away locomotive with your bare hands. It was a negative expectation bet on Roberts’ part and a costly one to the American taxpayer.

Obama’s willingness to aggressively bet his pocket aces (a bipartisan healthcare bill approved by both houses and passed into law) is clearly the stronger move with positive expected value.

Even with a favorable board, e.g. an up and down straight draw with a backdoor flush possibility and seventeen uncounterfeited outs to eclipse Obama’s aces on the river, America is still a 1.8 to 1 underdog.

Considering the fact that Roberts already put us “all in,” the odds are not in our favor.

In his high stakes game of political poker with President Obama, Roberts failed to counterfeit a few of his outs by underestimating how this colossal victory for the president would reenergize Obama’s moribund base. It’s the hope and change that many of his awol dissenters were looking for — socialized medicine and a step closer to an entitlement addicted nanny state.

Bottom line: The middle class just received the largest tax increase ever foisted upon the American people with this monstrosity of an unconstitutional bill that will absorb a full 1/6th of our GDP.

More importantly, it opens the floodgates for complete statist control of every aspect of our lives. The government now chooses the winners and losers of economy and penalizes those who don’t comply with their purchase mandate as we rapidly evolve into at best a plutocracy and at worst a socialist state headed by a despot that’s guided by his Marxist worldview.

The biggest cost of healthcare is obesity, so what’s next? A mega tax on salt? A surtax on specific fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King? Maybe I should open a health club that’s subsidized by Uncle Sam and ask him to penalize those members who don’t come in at least three times a week to keep from being a burden on our system of socialized medicine.

What’s to keep the government from mandating that I buy an electric car in the near future and if not, be taxed for contributing to “global warming?”

The answer is not a burgeoning interventionist federal government that stifles the private sector, puts medical practitioners out of business, decreases the quality of healthcare and stunts economic growth by making it cost prohibitive for companies to provide health insurance for their workforce.

The real solution is less burdensome regulation, lower taxes, more competition, including the ability to purchase insurance across state lines (interstate commerce) and the biggest grand daddy of them all, drum roll please . . . Tort Reform!

Go after the high priced lawyers and limit the ungodly amount of punitive damages that line the pockets of ambulance chasers at the expense of the hard-working middle class tax payers. That’s when you will drive down the cost of healthcare.

Spin it any way you want, but the fact of the matter is the GOP, Tea Party and Conservatives got our balls handed to us courtesy of John “Judas” Roberts — Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He may know policy, but he doesn’t know poker.

Roberts got stacked by Obama and we got sacked by the largest single tax increase ever foisted upon the American people, a mere appetizer before taxmageddon when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year.

Until next time . . . Wake Up America!

Kevin A. Lehmann

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  1. 20 Comment(s)

  2. By Ron Cram on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    Roberts wrote that it is not the responsibility of the court to protect citizens from the government they elect. This is exactly wrong. It is the express responsibility of the court to protect citizens from the government in power. That is the entire purpose of having three branches of government with checks and balances.

    People should not forget that Germany had a strong constitution when Hitler was elected, very similar to the US Constitution. The German constitution protected the rights of minorities and limited the power of government. But Hitler was popular and the German Supreme Court would not stand up to Hitler as he walked all over the constitution and denied rights to Jews and Blacks. If the court had stood up to Hitler, it would have saved the lives of millions of people.

  3. By Janet on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with you, wholeheartedly! I think all this bravado by Krauthammer and Co. is wishful justification because they can’t believe the betrayal of Roberts.

  4. By Ally on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    YES and AMEN!! I completely agree with your asessment!! What I’ve noticed is that the Attorneys (real Constitutionalists) recognize this for the TRAGEDY that it is. The Pundits, no matter how intelligent they may be, are trying to make Lemonade out of it…but? they have no sugar. June 28th, 2012 is a DARK and TRAGIC DAY for America. Roberts JUDICIAL ACTIVISM/LEGISLATING FROM THE BENCH will cost us our Nation. (And sadly? I don’t even think the man realizes it.)

  5. By SRQ Tad on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    Not… Roberts heard the demos argue that it was a tax… and it is. Enumerated powers and the 16th ammendment give the power to lay and collect taxes. Roberts also gave us the ability to repeal the bill with only 51% as versus the 60% previously needed.
    Don’t like the Health care bill?? Join and select true citizen legislators.

  6. By Viv Honicutt on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    This doesn’t go into effect till 2014 and gives Romney time to repeal Obamacare and relace what Bush had started and keep our TAXES lower instead of raising them!!!! All we have to do as TRUE AMERICANS is ALL STICK TOGEATHER and VOTE ROMNEY, then we have TRUMPED Obama, that is how I read it! Stay with ROMNEY this VOTE, and if he doesn’t come through, vote him out in 4 years, but Obamacare will be gone! I think that is the window Judge Roberts gave us!!! It isn’t commerance it is pure and simple HIGHER TAXES! Which will try and break OUR Nation!

    Kevin I want YOUR opinion on this from my point of view, am I really off base?

  7. By john cinque on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    kevin i could not agree more..i have been saying the same thing…only without the knowledge and in site you give it….Roberts is playing with fire….SCOTUS is and was never meant to be a political entity….and the chief just placed the court directly in the political game….

  8. By charlotte on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    Roberts protected the Constitution

  9. By Kevin A. Lehmann on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    Roberts DID NOT protect the Constitution. He usurped it.

  10. By areopagitica on Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

    As a “tax” the mandate part can be voted down under “reconciliation” with the simple majorities we hope and expect the Republicans will have in both houses of Congress next year. With a Republican president, a hope that is linked to the previous one, such a bill would be duly signed. The “ACA” or what Yomamacare is officially called would be unfunded, but it would still stand in its two thousand page remainder. Elimination of that could still require a supermajority we would have little likelihood of attaining. Finding and denying every peace meal item it contains would take a decade of such votes. Meanwhile, money to build its infrastructure would be squandered every working day, and dismantlement of current procedures and administrative apparatus would have already occurred. Practitioners would early retire, and insurers would flee to more certain underwriting categories. The newly amnestied would clog the waiting rooms and the elderly would be written off. Reprehensible legacy of Justice Roberts.

  11. By SRQ Tad on Jul 1, 2012 | Reply

    He did not usurp it. You want the court to legislate from the bench when it suits you. The damnable Dems argued it’s constitutionality on the basis of the Fed’s power to tax. They clearly have that power. They are already running many such social progrmms using that power. It is WE the people that have given them that power, abdicating our own, with our chronic ignorance and apathy. NObody cares as long as the economy seems to be OK. Get off your asses. Turn OFF the boob-tube. Get PERSONALLY involved with your Local, State and Federal elected officials. Join your local Republican Executive Committees and GET TO WORK. NOBODY but US can turn this noise around.

  12. By Rich on Jul 1, 2012 | Reply

    Obamacare Law orginated in the Senate not the House… only because the bill was not a “tax” bill and the fines for not having coverage were treated as a penalty, the legislation was approved by the House, Senate and signed by the President.
    Now, however, since the Court declared Obamacare a tax bill, the legislation should be treated as null and void because all tax legislation must, under the Constitution originate in the House. It is time for the House to declare the legislation invalid because of this Constitutional requirement.

  13. By jgh on Jul 1, 2012 | Reply

    Romney will NOT REPEAL NOTHIING listen to what he said he will “ACT ON REPEALING the healthcare bill NEVER DID he say I will repeal this heallthcare bill………… have no idea the danger we all are in. THE SUPREME COURTS SCREWED US …..SICK AND TIRED OF THE PROPAGADA OF SUGAR COATING THE TREASON………. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

  14. By Greg H on Jul 1, 2012 | Reply

    There is NO limit here on the Commerce Clause–Mark Levin shredded this pie-in-the-sky thinking. Roberts is an odious COWARD–and if Obama wins election, a willing Judas in the death of Liberty!!

  15. By Larry Dunbar on Jul 1, 2012 | Reply

    Excellent piece to wake up the masses who continue to sleep. They really have no clue of what just happened. This law is not about healthcare and was never intended to be. Its about 100% control of the private individual. We just surrendered willingly all the little liberty we had left. The Constitution makes it possible to correct actions like this and it now rest with the people especially those that give a damn.

  16. By PeoplePower on Jul 1, 2012 | Reply

    I thought the Supreme Courts duty was to the Constitution yet they deemed this obamanation constitutional?

  17. By Dianna on Jul 1, 2012 | Reply

    I have been on both sides of this thing since Thursday. I’ve heard Roberts called a genius for this maneuver. But really, what this boils down to is that he did not do the job he was supposed to do. His job-THEIR job-is to interpret the constitution and to rule whether or not a law is constitutional as it is written. Period. Not to twist the wording around and change a bill so that he CAN uphold it. That’s crazy talk. I think he is taking a huge gamble with OUR lives-not his-not his family’s-but OURS. I can’t get rid of the thought that he was trying to “go rogue” and come off as some sort of “hero” -a cowboy who rides in to save the day and save us from ourselves. Someone who thinks he so much more clever than anyone else. Bull! We needed the Court to do the right thing and let US then do the right thing this November. I think he overstepped his bounds. And if we end up with obama again-and don’t get a majority in the Senate-we are screwed forever. He risked a lot-not on his own life-but on ours. And our children’s and their children’s. And if he was intimidated or influenced by the bad mouthing he got from obama and the liberal media-then he’s not fit to be a justice. So either way-I think he was wrong.

  18. By Ron Cram on Jul 2, 2012 | Reply

    Robert’s decision effectively gives the federal government powers that it never had before. Now the government can require citizens to engage in economic activity and punish them with a tax if they do not. This puts Robert’s decision and the 10th Amendment on a clear collision course. Robert’s opinion will be determined to be unconstitutional in the future.

  19. By JudgeRight on Jul 10, 2012 | Reply

    Funny, I was just writing a post that compared our government’s current actions with that of pre-Nazi Germany. I’ve been off blog for a while as I’m shifting gears from moralist and political pundit to survivalist. Hell on earth is en route and like a runaway freight train, it’s not impossible to turn or stop it, just highly unlikely it will be done before it hits town. I haven’t posted the article yet and won’t until I can include some pictures, but it will be up shortly at

  20. By blackyb on Sep 19, 2012 | Reply

    I believe Justice Roberts was playing a much larger game than we all realize too. He is brilliant, a genius to at least, a degree, and they cannot touch him. What he did was for the country, knowing he would receive criticism from most conservatives. That is not easy, but I believe somehow in my heart he did a better turn for the country because Commerce could have been been used and expanded to fit demands that would enslave America. I am thinking this is right,for what Justice Roberts had to work. Like most people who do things beyond what is seen on the surface, Judge Roberts should be able to sleep at night for he did show this as a tax, a tax that the leftists still will not admit too, they say it is “sort of” a tax, but “not really.” Judge Roberts probably slowed the take over of this country down to where we have a chance to right the course of America. He did show Obama as the liar he is, but that just came as sort of residual of the U.S. Supreme Court vote. I believe Justice Roberts was wanting to preserve America.

  21. By blackyb on Sep 19, 2012 | Reply

    You have to admit. Justice Roberts is trey cool.

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