Friday, June 29, 2012

The Robert's Switch

The "conspiracy theory" (which is in quotes because the conjecture doesn't rise to the level of delusion this blog usually uses to discuss conspiracy theory) is that back in, what? May? Roberts sided with the conservatives and it was 5-4 against the ACA.

But there's evidence he switched during that time to come over to the dark side. This is Exhibit A. You can read the theory there:

  1. The dissent reads like a majority opinion
  2. The response to Roberts is tacked on at the end rather than woven in.
  3. There is extraneous stuff in there about Medicare Expansion and the Commerce Clause which aren't really relevant.
So did he switch? If so, why? Here are some theories (I've included the first six--the 7th is "it was good for the Insurance business!")
1. He switched at the last minute because the other conservatives went too far;2. He cared about the legacy of the “Robert’s Court”;3. He could help undermine Lochner by rejecting the commerce clause by relying on the tax aspects of the mandate;4. His “seizures” caused him to go all goofy (good ol’ slimy Drudge)5. He was blackmailed by David Axelrod;6. He decided he was the worst traitor since Benedict Arnold or Barack O’Clenis.
What Do I Think? 
Ultimately it doesn't matter if or why he switched--but if he did (and I'll go with "he did" since it seems unlikely that he had this in mind from day one) then I'll go with the legacy one if I have to choose. Going down in history as a partisan court might not serve him well and I do buy the "it's up to the electorate--don't trust a 5-4 partisan vote" perspective). 

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