High-court de­ci­sion

Los Angeles Times - - SUNDAY OPINION - Re “Oba­macare ap­pears ce­mented into law,” June 26 Stephen Smith Ea­gle Rock

Com­men­ta­tor Mark Levin has said that the ac­tions by Pres­i­dent Obama have left us in a post-con­sti­tu­tional Amer­ica. I now pon­der if Supreme Court Chief Jus­tice John G. Roberts Jr., with his opin­ions on the Af­ford­able Care Act, has had the same ef­fect.

With his first rul­ing in 2012, he es­tab­lished that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment may tax us for not pur­chas­ing a good or ser­vice, ig­nor­ing the spe­cific word­ing of the law that it was a penalty. The gov­ern­ment may now take the fruits of your la­bor for not pur­chas­ing a prod­uct that it wishes for you to have. With his sec­ond and most re­cent opin­ion up­hold­ing the le­gal­ity of fed­er­ally run state ex­changes, he ar­gued that the clear and spe­cific lan­guage of the law — that the ex­changes were to be run by the states — did not mean what it said.

Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia was jus­ti­fi­ably out­raged in his dis­sent. If spe­cific lan­guage means what­ever Roberts deems it to mean, the Con­sti­tu­tion has died.

“Words no longer have any mean­ing,” Scalia was quoted as say­ing in his dis­sent. He also ac­cused the ma­jor­ity of do­ing “in­ter­pre­tive som­er­saults.”

Where was this def­er­ence to plain lan­guage when he wrote the ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion in the 2nd Amend­ment dis­pute Dis­trict of Columbia vs. Heller, ig­nor­ing the part of the amend­ment about mili­tias be­ing the rea­son we have a right to own guns?

Talk about “in­ter­pre­tive som­er­saults” in de­fend­ing the 2nd Amend­ment.

Vince De Vita

Northridge

Mark Wil­son Getty Im­ages

STU­DENTS hold up signs in Washington af­ter the Supreme Court ruled in fa­vor of Oba­macare.

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