Let’s face it, most people, me included, are shocked that the U.S. Supreme decided to uphold “ObamaCare”. After the oral arguments by the lawyers supporting and challenging the constitutionality of the law and the grueling questioning of them by the Justices, it looked like the Court’s decision was going to divide along party lines much like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Of the 9 member Court, you had 4 moderate-liberals on the court: Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. They were viewed as 4 sure votes to uphold the health care law.
On the other end of the spectrum, you had 5 conservatives, Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts, who were viewed as 4 sure votes against the statute. However, Justice Anthony Kennedy, was viewed as the “swing”, tie-breaking, or “deciding” vote.
Instead, the vote did not go completely as expected—at least on the conservative side, as Chief Justice Roberts broke ranks and voted for the health care bill along with the 4 liberal justices. Justice Kennedy however stayed conservative and voted with the conservative block of the court against the health care bill. The result was a 5 to 4 decision upholding the constitutionality of the bill. This result gives hope that conservatives and liberals can break from party lines in support of making this happen in this country.
Partisan politics has paralyzed US and world politics resulting in harm to the US and world economy. Ambitious infrastructure projects which would create jobs and lay the foundation for increased growth and commerce such as highways, bridges, pipelines, and significant repairs to existing infrastructure, can not get bi-partisan support. Ambitious programs such as health care for everyone—an idea previously supported by Republicans, gets adopted by Democrats and then Republicans drop their support. Democrats have done the same thing on other issues. Each party accuses the other of inappropriate actions or positions, but then takes these same positions themselves or has done so in the past.
It is past time to stop all the partisan politics for the good of society as a whole so we can stop damaging domestic and foreign economies and people’s lives. The ability of the average person to “get ahead,” save money, and build wealth has been stunted as a result. Whether you were a supporter of ObamaCare or not, maybe Chief Justice Roberts has shown us an example of bi-partisan action that politicians around the world can follow for the good of the world economy.