Did Justice Roberts plant booby traps in health care decision?

The “tax, yes/Commerce Clause, no” decision [in Robert’s health care ruling] is nothing to necessarily celebrate. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, wrote separately, arguing against Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion: “The Chief Justice’s crabbed reading of the Commerce Clause harks back to the era in which the Court routinely thwarted Congress’ efforts to regulate the national economy in the interest of those who labor to sustain it.” Did, in fact, Roberts lay the groundwork for “gutting the Commerce Clause,” as Tom Scocca writes in Slate? [http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/scocca/2012/06/roberts_health_care_opinion_commerce_clause_the_real_reason_the_chief_justice_upheld_obamacare_.html]

“But the health care law was, ultimately, a pretext. This was a test case for the long-standing—but previously fringe—campaign to rewrite Congress’ regulatory powers under the Commerce Clause…

“By ruling that the individual mandate was permissible as a tax, he joined the Democratic appointees to uphold the law—while joining the Republican wing to gut the Commerce Clause…”


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