In the most important case of his career to date, our Chief Justice employed liberal rather than legal reasoning. Step one: determine the outcome you want. Step two: scramble around and come up with whatever nonsensical argument you can muster up to attempt to support it.
This is precisely how we got stuck with Obamacare. It’s no surprise we’re getting reports now that Roberts flipped at the 11th hour. Evidently, he started out planning to make a legal decision, which of course would mean throwing out the entire statute based on the unconstitutionality of the mandate as too broad of an extension of the commerce clause. Even Justice Kennedy figured that out.
But Roberts couldn’t let it rest there. He had to salvage this monstrosity somehow–he had a predetermined outcome in mind. Hence, the asinine argument about the penalty being a tax when the government itself has argued vehemently all along that the penalty is NOT a tax and simple logic itself dictates that I can’t be taxed for not buying things.
The next time I’m at Macy’s, I am supremely confident that no sales clerk is going to hunt me down and force me to pay a sales tax in the rare event that I fail to make a purchase.
This is the kind of mess that is created when the court applies the liberal approach to making a ruling. It works backwards. First, you decide the outcome, then scrounge about for any argument, no matter how idiotic to try to support it.