By Mark Rhoads
On Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts spoke at a judicial conference of 300 judges in Pennsylvania and he was asked what he thought the legacy of his court might be 100 years from now in light of a "recent decision." He dodged the obvious reference to yesterday's health care decision but then said this,
"Well, I won't answer anything that has to do with the second part of that," But he said he hopes that the court under him is remembered as one that "did our job according to the Constitution, of protecting equal justice under the law."
Wrong answer? Yes, and here is why.
Set aside for the sake of charity that one cannot even diagram that sentence under normal rules of grammar. Wht is the subject? What is the verb? To what does the dependent clause refer? If Roberts had stopped his senence by saying "we did our job according to the Constitution." Period. Then that would have been fine. But it seems clear now that Roberts thinks the very subjective interpretation of the term "equal justice" is more important to his value sysem than protecting individual freedom, which used to be the core idea of America. Thank you Geoge W. Bush team for such a swell job of vetting your nominee in 2005 and your hasty switch from his nomination for associate justice to Chief Justice upon the death of Chief Justice William Rhenquist. Roberts did not suddenly change to the dark side just yesterday, he has been there for while if he thinks some value in the penumbra of the Constitution allows him to fix flawed bills from the bench by changing defintions not found in the bill and ignore the primary idea of America which is individual freedom. Freedom is the only big idea that makes America special in world history. Without personal freedom, America is just another formerly rich country dominated by secular values of the majority elites where citizens serve the government and not the other way around.