In which young Barack Obama opposed John Roberts’ SCOTUS nomination

By siding with the White House on health care reform, by turning a “mandate” into a “tax,” U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may have just done more than any single individual to help Barack Obama to a second term as president.

The irony is that as a wet-behind-the-ears U.S. senator in 2005, Obama voted against confirming Roberts’ nomination by President George W. Bush to the high court. In “The Bridge,” an Obama biography, New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick says that Obama, determined to make a splash in Washington as a different kind of Democrat, gave serious thought to voting for Roberts.

But Obama was persuaded that it would hurt him, should he aspire to higher office. From Obama’s speech on the topic, via Obamaspeeches.com:

[T]he decision with respect to Judge Roberts’ nomination has not been an easy one for me to make. As some of you know, I have not only argued cases before appellate courts but for 10 years was a member of the University of Chicago Law School faculty and taught courses in constitutional law. Part of the culture of the University of Chicago Law School faculty is to maintain a sense of collegiality between those people who hold different views. What engenders respect is not the particular outcome that a legal scholar arrives at but, rather, the intellectual rigor and honesty with which he or she arrives at a decision.

Given that background, I am sorely tempted to vote for Judge Roberts based on my study of his resume, his conduct during the hearings, and a conversation I had with him yesterday afternoon.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind Judge Roberts is qualified to sit on the highest court in the land. Moreover, he seems to have the comportment and the temperament that makes for a good judge. He is humble, he is personally decent, and he appears to be respectful of different points of view. It is absolutely clear to me that Judge Roberts truly loves the law.

He couldn’t have achieved his excellent record as an advocate before the Supreme Court without that passion for the law, and it became apparent to me in our conversation that he does, in fact, deeply respect the basic precepts that go into deciding 95 percent of the cases that come before the Federal court — adherence to precedence, a certain modesty in reading statutes and constitutional text, a respect for procedural regularity, and an impartiality in presiding over the adversarial system. All of these characteristics make me want to vote for Judge Roberts….

The problem I face — a problem that has been voiced by some of my other colleagues, both those who are voting for Mr. Roberts and those who are voting against Mr. Roberts — is that while adherence to legal precedent and rules of statutory or constitutional construction will dispose of 95 percent of the cases that come before a court, so that both a Scalia and a Ginsburg will arrive at the same place most of the time on those 95 percent of the cases — what matters on the Supreme Court is those 5 percent of cases that are truly difficult….

The problem I had is that when I examined Judge Roberts’ record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak. In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General’s Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man.

I want to take Judge Roberts at his word that he doesn’t like bullies and he sees the law and the Court as a means of evening the playing field between the strong and the weak.

Obama is scheduled to make some remarks on the Supreme Court decision later this afternoon. One question is whether they will include any adjustment in his opinion of Roberts.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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70 comments Add your comment

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
12:27 pm

I revel in the despair that Roberts has caused his own party. Roberts does like bullies though as seen by citizen’s united and that cash is speech, but it was almost worth it ALMOST to wallow in the sheer anger and angst it has caused among the sociopaths. :D

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! :D

Centrist

June 28th, 2012
12:31 pm

Congratulations to liberals and socialists who have successfully nationalized health care.

We will now see over the next few years how rising premiums (except for 1,000+ special interest entities that gained waivers) and rationing of services play out.

Marlboro Man

June 28th, 2012
12:35 pm

Centrist, buddy up with a doctor if you are so worried.

Auntie Christ

June 28th, 2012
12:38 pm

Congratulations to liberals and socialists who have successfully nationalized health care.

We graciously accept your congratulations, and we strongly encourage you to go quickly to the nearest proctologist and get your nationalized prostate exam, so that you’ll understand how we feel when we see comments such as yours.

Bernie

June 28th, 2012
12:43 pm

Even then Sen. Obama was correct in his Judgement about Chief Justice Roberts. it seems to me The Chief Justice may have read the same speech again before making his decision.

The American spirit is not seen everyday. She only shows herself during the most
trying of times. She only enters the heart of those who truly value her existence and speaks only through those Leaders of her choosing. Today was one of those days.

Today, The American Spirit is speaking more loudly and clearer than ever.

She says ” We are One Nation, Governed by the People and For The People.”

Centrist

June 28th, 2012
12:44 pm

Marlboro Man posted “Centrist, buddy up with a doctor if you are so worried.”

I did that years ago. Hospitals and specialists are potential future worries for my family. The ruling class (around the world) will never have to worry – they will always have access.

At least the Canadians will probably have to start waiting in line in their own country now.

clyde

June 28th, 2012
12:46 pm

Am I to pay this tax to the government or to an insurance company?I’m bewildered.

Is it really constitutional for an insurance company to tax me?

What else is a tax?Mortgage payments??

Mark

June 28th, 2012
12:46 pm

Centrist

June 28th, 2012
12:31 pm

Congratulations to liberals and socialists who have successfully nationalized health care.

We will now see over the next few years how rising premiums (except for 1,000+ special interest entities that gained waivers) and rationing of services play out.

On behalf of us “liberals” we THANK YOU!

clyde

June 28th, 2012
12:50 pm

Bernie,
Today America said”you working stiffs are going to pay through the nose for all the deadbeats that refuse to work.Add in 12 million illegals to that number while you’re at it.”.

Andy

June 28th, 2012
12:50 pm

Roberts will now be called the biggest joke and mistake Bush ever made.

Frederick Douglass

June 28th, 2012
12:56 pm

This ruling puts the ball squarely into Mitt Romney’s court; he’s been running around the country crying “repeal and replace”, now he has to clarify his stance, tell us (THE PEOPLE) what it is that he’ll replace it with. The dance around the specifics should start today, and culminate in a crescendo during this fall’s debates…..great theater.

emo

June 28th, 2012
12:56 pm

So what’s the point? That had Obama known Roberts would save his signature piece of legislation, he would or should have voted for him? He was still right, except for the “qualified to be on the Supreme Court” part.

Centrist

June 28th, 2012
1:03 pm

clyde posted “Today America said you working stiffs are going to pay through the nose for all the deadbeats that refuse to work. Add in 12 million illegals to that number while you’re at it.”

Working stiffs now can have coverage and pay the lower tax/penalty instead of premiums, and many will take that logical economic option. Deadbeats will start using national healthcare for sniffles and elective procedures in much greater rates due to reduced or no costs – rationing will be the reaction. ILLEGALS will not be an added burden since they already use “free” emergency rooms for their healthcare that insured payers subsidize.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
1:20 pm

@Strawman – The vast majority of Canadians are perfectly happy with Canadian health care. Just because their psychopath portion of the population is lower, doesn’t mean that there aren’t people stupid enough up there to want to come down here to use the broken one.

Will

June 28th, 2012
1:21 pm

Republican newspaper writers and tv/radio entertainers are a hoot!

Yesterday that all said that jobs, spending and the economy shoudl be the focus of the election and that, by staying focused on this, Governor Romeny would be elected. They said any other issue raised was only done so by the liberal media in an effort to divert attention from this issue.

Today they say that the Supremes elected Governor Romney by upholding Obamacare as this issue will be the defining issue of the election!! What….wait…..we said we would “spike the ball” over the coming overturn of Obamacare but…wait…we meant we would do this over Obamacare being upheld…like…wait for it….we are doing over losing three of four issues regarding immigration because…..losing means we are actually winning…you know…like we said President Obama would lose because gas was going to $5.00 a gallon but we are really winning because gas is heading below $3.00 a gallon because…..we were right that rising gas prices were the fault of President Obama but we meant that falling gas prices are the fault of President Obama because he is secretly fixing prices so he can win!!!

You have to give it to ole Newt…he told me if I would vote for him gas would be $2.50 a gallon. I did and, dog if it doesn’t look like he is going to keep that promise!

Middle America

June 28th, 2012
1:22 pm

As the father of a child with congenital heart disease, this is a great day for my son. No insurance company will be able to deny him coverage (to pad their bottom line) because of a condition he did not choose or deserve. It amazes me how blind and insensitive people like “Centrist” are to their fellow man and how difficult a situation can be to those locked out of the health insurance system. I don’t wish that situation on anyone, but if they were in it for one day (and worry over their children and their future health situation) I believe they would have a different perspective. Plus it would help if they actually educated themselves about what is in the law. They say “government healthcare” or “socialized healthcare” but that is completely a Tea Party/GOP falacy. I have UnitedHealthcare currently and as the law activates I will then have…UnitedHealthcare. And it is like that for everyone who has insurance already. You won’t have to be in a version of Medicare for the under 65. And neither will those without insurance currently. They will also be buying into plans from private insurers. So check yourself and read something instead of being force fed false information from Fox News.

Weetamoe

June 28th, 2012
1:22 pm

Gee Mr Galloway look at the tweets hurling racist insults at Justice Thomas and the tweets from the DNC of all groups exemplifying the sorest of sore winners and tell us again who the bigots are.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
1:24 pm

Oh Canada!

By the way, the vast majority of Canadians LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE their health care.

Every population has a certain number of psychotards who think Americuh is better, so they come here instead. “Yay! We likes teh brokenness!”

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
1:25 pm

@Weetamoe – I’m sorry. Did I just hear the word ‘look at racist’ from you?

Remember Zimmerman much? Cause I sure do. Want me to copy and paste your comments?

Liberty

June 28th, 2012
1:26 pm

it’s mind boggling how clueless you libs are. And you couldn’t be more wrong Galloway. John Roberts just saved the country and guaranteed Obama is gone and conservatives take the Senate while holding the House. The whole mess will be repealed by the end of January 2013. Read Roberts comments, ‎”It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” -Chief Justice John Roberts Erickson nails it as well:
http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/06/28/im-not-down-on-john-roberts/

Mark

June 28th, 2012
1:29 pm

Liberty

June 28th, 2012
1:26 pm

Please get a grip! Obama was just re-elected and you Repubs cannot stand it!

clyde

June 28th, 2012
1:31 pm

Centrist,
As I said,the working folks of America pay all the bills.They’ll just be higher than they are now.

HELP ME, MAMA

June 28th, 2012
1:41 pm

Centrist, are you including Chief Justice Roberts in that category of “liberals” and “socialists”?

Kris

June 28th, 2012
1:43 pm

Amen @ Mark
Please get a grip! Obama was just re-elected and you Repubs cannot stand it!

Stop the (gop) clown circus.
Reelect President OBAMA 2012

Middle America

June 28th, 2012
1:43 pm

As for how this ruling affects Mitt Romney…trust me, he doesn’t want healthcare to be front and center. He created the system that was a forerunner of the Affordable Care Act in Massachusetts. All Pres Obama has to do is keep referring to that and say “is this the man you trust to make decisions about healthcare? A man who supports something when it is politically expedient in Mass, but opposes it vehemently when he runs for President.”

Its a losing issue. Obama is already polling higher nationwide (with huge advantages in favorability, with women, with hispanics) and in battleground states like Ohio, PA, Florida. It will only be enhanced when they stand side by side in a debate. Romney’s got nothing.

I didn’t think it was possible to put out a worse GOP candidate than John McCain. I was wrong, at least people liked McCain.

JRHD

June 28th, 2012
1:46 pm

I think everyone is missing the very nuanced point that JC Roberts made when he referred to the individual mandate as a tax. IMO, he pointed directly at the President and said without saying, we will let this bill stand for politicians to decide. By using the most vile term he could (tax), he just lobbed a grenade in the middle of the room and shut the door.

Attack Dog

June 28th, 2012
1:49 pm

1. There was nothing racist or bigoted tweeted about Thomas unless it was from Dixiecrats. 2. Criticizing Thomas’ opinions have never been in isolation because he has been in lock step with Alito and Scalia. 3. Roberts could not have failed his party because justices are not suppose to have a party affiliation.

kjf

June 28th, 2012
1:54 pm

Middle America

June 28th, 2012
1:22 pm

they can’t deny coverage, but they can name their price for it.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
1:56 pm

@Liberty – Fear not. We feel EXACTLY the same way about you, even the hippies who are too nice to say it.

Only we have Science. SCIENCE! AHAHAAHHAAHAHAH! :D

Gordo

June 28th, 2012
1:57 pm

The public be damned. The Constitution be damned. We are all slaves now.

Auntie Christ

June 28th, 2012
1:58 pm

And now get ready for another round of ’selective memory’ from our con friends. We’ve seen it over and over, e g Executive Orders were ‘necessary’ when bush used them, but terrible when used by Obama; individual mandates were the bomb when nixon, romney, getrich, and the heritage foundation proposed them, but suddenly an anathema when Obama implements it; secrecy and executive privilege was a sine qua non to a functioning government during the bush presidency, but applied to fast & furious, it’s an impeachable offense.

Now watch, all the accolades laid on by pox news and the con community regarding roberts will suddenly be null n void, and never mentioned again by these same memory impaired entities as the excoriation of roberts unfolds on drudge, pox, and other right wing propaganda outlets. Play a game like “pass out,” and take a drink every time you here one of them say something on the order of “I was always a little leery of roberts…..” But don’t plan on sobering up for a month at least.

Bob Loblaw

June 28th, 2012
1:59 pm

Now that I have health insurance (pre-existing condition rendered me denied from every private insurer I applied with), then I am officially better of now than I was four years ago.

Centrist

June 28th, 2012
2:00 pm

@ Middle America – I, and a majority of voters have been for forcing insurance companies to stop excluding or charging exorbitant premiums for pre-existing conditions. All the big insurance companies announced that option, no lifetime exclusions, and up to age 26 children coverage would continue regardless of the SCOTUS ruling. That was going to happen under both Obamacare and the GOP alternative – as it should. It is INSURANCE, and slight premium increases for the large pool to cover the added costs have already happened. Your comments are a straw dog issue – you are simply a liberal Obama supporter.

clyde posted, and I wholeheartedly agree “the working folks of America pay all the bills.They’ll just be higher than they are now.”

HELP ME, MAMA posted “Centrist, are you including Chief Justice Roberts in that category of ‘liberals’ and ’socialists’?”

No, he is part of the ruling elite that will always have unlimited access to top premium, free healthcare. It is the proletariat working surfs who will pay more and be rationed.

Auntie Christ

June 28th, 2012
2:00 pm

Gordo said: We are all slaves now.

Great! Now if you please, my car needs washing. Chop chop.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
2:06 pm

@Fat – Funny how the constitution only matters when you want it to.

Ignore international treaties ratified by the senate? @#$@ the constitution.
Authorization of congress for Iraq? @#$#$ the constitution. (Until they did then they’re all over that.)
Federal intervention in Oregon’s assisted suicide law? @#$@#$ the constitution.
Supreme Court Precedent? Of course it matters except for Roe V Wade then we nickle and dime it until you can’t actually run a clinic. @#$@#$ the constitution.

Conservitards don’t get to talk about the Constitution. And I believe that Auntie is waiting for you to wash her car.

@Strawman – Uh ohz! Thems commie words! Join comrade!

Auntie Christ

June 28th, 2012
2:08 pm

clyde posted, and I wholeheartedly agree “the working folks of America pay all the bills.

Well that’s your own short sighted fault isn’t it.. Elect representatives who don’t campaign on the promise of not taxing paris hilton, donald tramp, and other gazillionaires. While you’re at it, tax the churches, who literally have more money than god. If you don’t make these groups pay taxes, that leaves only the working stiff to do it. What else did you expect?

Redcoat

June 28th, 2012
2:12 pm

Who’s going to pay for all of this? Someone please itemize a list of revenues (taxes) that will be covering the cost. I’m paying mine and someone else’s already! So what is the medical profession going to do?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
2:13 pm

@RedCoat – We’ll pay for it by ending all corporate subsidies and taxing Republicans an extra 50%. :)

DannyX

June 28th, 2012
2:14 pm

It has been a very bad couple of weeks for Republicans.

First Obama announced that young law abiding illegal immigrants would not be deported, a policy that is popular with the American public. Then the Supreme Court ruled the Arizona immigration law was mostly unconstitutional. Next, polls showning Obama with good leads in swing states. Of course Republicans see today as Black Thursday because of the Obamacare ruling.

At least Republicans still have their $5 a gallon summer gas price rant. Oh wait…

Its desperation time. When Boehner stops crying he will have no choice but to start impeachment proceedings against liberal socialist Cheif Justice Roberts.

SAWB

June 28th, 2012
2:15 pm

So, Obama continued to insist that this was not a tax and in the end all that saved him was the fact that it is a tax? Oookaaay…

Redcoat

June 28th, 2012
2:16 pm

A Mexico……..Corporations then move or shut down….more unemployed(non-tax payers)….now what?

Redcoat

June 28th, 2012
2:20 pm

A Mexico………Does government produce…….anything? What is their purpose?

Kris

June 28th, 2012
2:22 pm

Victory for the American people …
Please take time to read this. Sorry Jim..
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/27/a-health-care-judas-recounts-his-conversion/?hpt=hp_c1
“people who struggle every day for basic needs such as medical care while the wealthy have access to modern medicine, he wrote.
“This society-gone-bad scenario of denying basic care to citizens based on their income or social status seems on the big screen not only cruel and unusual but even incomprehensible,” he wrote. “In fact, it’s occurring every day in what is still called the United States.”
Potter didn’t have to see that future on the screen. He’d already seen it in Virginia, where doctors cared for Americans in animal stalls.
Obama-care is better than what we have now…which is nothing but a way for the GOP clown circus ti line their pockets.

STOP the GOP CLOWN car.
Re elect OBAMA 2012

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
2:22 pm

@Redcoat – Not if we shoot them if they close. :D We’ll use the black helicopters.

Government produces more than aristocrats do living on interest. :D

Aaron Burr V Mexico

June 28th, 2012
2:25 pm

Oh and…by the way…how the @#$@#$ is it ‘free market’ if your corporate pal who’s fun to be with has to SHUT DOWN or MOVE if he doesn’t get a HANDOUT from someone who produces NOTHING? HMM?

Conservitard logic.

Auntie Christ

June 28th, 2012
2:26 pm

redcoat asked: Does government produce…….anything? What is their purpose?

As I told one of your fellow know nothing party members earlier, the Constitution isn’t just the name of a newspaper, it defines our government, it is the law of the land. Get someone to read it to you, you may be enlightened.

Georgia Native

June 28th, 2012
2:26 pm

Sorry Boner, turns out there’s no football to spike!! BWAAAAAAH!!!

Oh, the shocked looks on their faces!! Priceless!

Redcoat

June 28th, 2012
2:32 pm

A Mexico……a non-answer of sarcasm Obama style! In my view the government is producing the aristocrats living on the taxpayers producing nothing but their continued perpetuation. So what does government produce exactly? Will wait for a straight non-sarcastic answer….but not hopeful of one from you.

Redcoat

June 28th, 2012
2:35 pm

Auntie…….another non-answer….so typical……slick and Obama like too….you all are trained well! So what does government produce….anything?

Centrist

June 28th, 2012
2:35 pm

Redcoat posted: “Who’s going to pay for all of this?”

Premium payers, taxpayers, and consumers who pay for corporations that cover health care premiums.

“I’m paying mine and someone else’s already!”

You are going to pay more for less.

“So what is the medical profession going to do?”

Ration and use simpler (cheaper) solutions. Fewer and less qualified medical professionals will opt for long, expensive academics/ educational training/ internships/ residency which will lower the standards of care. We will be like Europe and Canada instead of leading the world in quality healthcare.