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SCOTUS 2012 — How Our National “Circuit Breakers” Have Failed Us

SCOTUS 2012 — How Our National “Circuit Breakers” Have Failed Us

After reading John Roberts’ opinion in the PPACA (Obamacare) decision and the Conservative pundits’ articles thanking him for the wakeup call, I decided to hold a meeting with my family and make the following announcement:

It’s up to us as individuals to make sure that we use electricity responsibly in this house.  The whole house could burn down if we aren’t careful.  Our circuit breakers are no substitute for diligence.

Therefore – 

As a wake-up call, I am going to do our family a “favor” by removing the circuit breakers from our electrical panel, wiring the circuits straight through without any protection at all.  Now it’s up to us alone to be diligent.

Absurd?  You bet it is.  But that’s the metaphor I offer to illustrate the absurdity of the message that Chief Justice Roberts sent us on June 28.

Our Constitution was created by the Founders to limit the power of government over its citizenry.  The SCOTUS Justices were intended to be our national “circuit breakers” for the US Constitution. In the event that Congress were to run amok with its taxing power, even with most of its citizenry seduced or asleep, the black-letter law of the Constitution was to be there to protect us, and the Justices were to make the call when Congress went too far.

Well, the SCOTUS circuit breakers failed to trip as they should have on the PPACA decision.  And it’s not Justice Roberts’ fault alone, although under the “doctrine of last clear chance,” he is certainly responsible.  Dusty, tired, and corrupted by 100 years of leftist / progressive / liberal / redistributionist / collectivist / neo-Marxist infestations, those old numbed SCOTUS circuit breakers failed to provide the intended protection.

Worst of all, by failing on this most critical case, SCOTUS has set the precedent that they will almost surely fail again when Big Government next tries to control our lives and freedoms through taxation.  And thanks to PPACA, that day is right around the corner.

Limiting federal powers of taxation was one of the prime motivators of the Founders in drafting the Constitution itself. Indeed, “Taxation without representation is tyranny!” was the battle cry of the American revolution.  Now, SCOTUS has aided and abetted taxation by misrepresentation.  What a letdown.

Thomas Sowell, as usual, put it well when, on July 4 of all days, he wrote:

Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. Yet there are people in Washington — too often, Republicans — who start living in the Beltway atmosphere, and start forgetting those hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the Beltway who trusted them to do right by them, to use their wisdom instead of their cleverness.

How far do you bend over backwards to avoid the obvious, that ObamaCare was an unprecedented extension of federal power over the lives of 300 million Americans today and of generations yet unborn?

These are the people that Chief Justice Roberts betrayed when he declared constitutional something that is nowhere authorized in the Constitution of the United States.

One of the Chief Justice’s admirers said that when others are playing checkers, he is playing chess. How much consolation that will be as a footnote to the story of the decline of individual freedom in America, and the wrecking of the best medical care in the world, is another story.

There are many speculations as to why Chief Justice Roberts did what he did, some attributing noble and far-sighted reasons, and others attributing petty and short-sighted reasons, including personal vanity. But all of that is ultimately irrelevant.

What he did was betray his oath to be faithful to the Constitution of the United States.

Who he betrayed were the hundreds of millions of Americans — past, present and future — whole generations in the past who have fought and died for a freedom that he has put in jeopardy, in a moment of intellectual inspiration and moral forgetfulness, 300 million Americans today whose lives are to be regimented by Washington bureaucrats, and generations yet unborn who may never know the individual freedoms that their ancestors took for granted.

Some claim that Chief Justice Roberts did what he did to save the Supreme Court as an institution from the wrath — and retaliation — of those in Congress who have been railing against Justices who invalidate the laws they have passed. Many in the media and in academia have joined the shrill chorus of those who claim that the Supreme Court does not show proper “deference” to the legislative branch of government.

But what does the Bill of Rights seek to protect the ordinary citizen from? The government! To defer to those who expand government power beyond its constitutional limits is to betray those whose freedom depends on the Bill of Rights.

Amen, Dr. Sowell, amen.

Should we give up?  Of course not.  Has the past week been enough time to rationalize and agonize over Roberts’ June 28 betrayal?  I think so.  I’ve had enough.  Dr. Sowell’s article tied a ribbon on it for me.

The next step for Conservatives is to pound away at that Obamacare bill, making it clear to We-the-People how deeply in debt we already are, how close we are to the edge of Obama’s seductive cliff (see cartoon at right), and how a Congress run amok with no SCOTUS circuit-breaker protection is going to set our house ablaze in debt just before we sail off that cliff into darkness.

Forget the differences among mandatespenalties, and taxes, America’s voters need to understand what Obama’s regime will do to them and their families through the freedom-robbing leverage of taxation, over-spending, and over-borrowing.  With SCOTUS now having abdicated, getting this message out to all Americans is the best November election strategy to win back a positive future for our republic, our children, and our grandchildren.


  1. A brilliant analysis by Thomas Sowell. Now if we could only be assured that Brewer isn’t moving to set up the exchanges in the law and the expanded medicaid provisions. She needs to be deluged with objections to these.

  2. Tax –
    1. A contribution for the support of a government required of persons, groups, or businesses within the domain of that government.
    2. A fee or dues levied on the members of an organization to meet its expenses.
    3. A burdensome or excessive demand; a strain.

    Penalty –
    1. A punishment imposed for a violation of law.
    2. A sum established by a contract to be forfeited in lieu of actual damages in the event of a breach of the contract.
    3. The disadvantage or painful consequences resulting from an action or condition

    Civil penalty –
    A civil penalty or civil fine is a term used to describe when a state entity, government agency, or private party seeks monetary relief against an individual as restitution for wrongdoing by the individual.

    Maybe instead of teaching constitutional law in Malta after stabbing America in the back – twice- John Roberts should be seeking further education for himself in the English language. Nowhere in our vernacular do the terms “tax” and “penalty” become interchangeable. As has been charged, he simply re-interrupted and re-wrote Obamacare for the sake of legalizing it. The question is why? This was not a case of semantics.

  3. The government went amok with taxes way way back. I don’t see anyone here railing against the income tax. The individual mandate is a “sin” tax — a tax on behavior that the government wants to discourage — it puts not buying health insurance into the same category as buying alcohol or cigarettes — behaviors that the government wants to discourage. I would like to point out that most of the “R”‘s on this site are in favor of sin taxes. I am ambivalent about them — I can always get my tequila cheaper in Mexico, so I only pay the sin tax if I don’t budget my supply carefully, and I don’t smoke.


  1. […] Sonoran Alliance – Staff – SCOTUS 2012 – How Our National “Circuit Breakers” Have Failed Us […]

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