Friday, June 29, 2012
Roberts: The Republicans unmentionable justice
Such hostility toward a Republican chief justice has happened before. That was back in the 1950s when racists and anti-communists joined their attacks on Chief Justice Earl Warren, calling for his impeachment on billboards and other public places. Their grievance: Warren's progressive positions on desegregation as well as the rights of criminals. As we know, their virulent campaign didn't work. Nor will today's assault on Roberts.
Still, for the other side, Roberts is a double windfall. He not only shocked the pundits and the right-wing panderers in sustaining the health care mandate. He offered the Democrats a rare opportunity to praise a Bush appointee to the Supreme Court. Can you imagine how much worse it would have been if a liberal chief justice had saved the health plan? I don't want to think about it.
It was often said that only Richard Nixon's own fixation against the Red World could have steeled him against charges of treason as he headed to China - the first president ever to do do - to open relations between the U.S. and Chairman Mao. Considering the state of anti-Communist fervor in this country at that time , inflamed by the late Sen. Joe McCarthy, a Democratic president who would have dared to go to China on a diplomatic mission would have been barred from returning to these shores.
In Ohio, the current response from the GOP mandarins was hardly surprising: Now that the milk has been spilled, there was only one solution: Throw out President Obama in November and repeal the law. With what? They don't say. But what else can a senseless party of hollow suits, from Romney on down, say?
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also serves as the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, has already rejected an insurance exchange under the law, arguing that she doesn't have enough information from the Feds. A woman in her lofty position could ask, don't you think?
Meantime, Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine, who has staked his reputation as a minor legal scholar on his belief that the mandate is unconstitutional, was among the AGs who joined the lawsuit that drove the issue to the Supreme Court. He told the Associated Press that the health care reform law will be the "preeminent issue of the presidential campaign". He said he will continue to fight the law because it compels people to "violate their religious principles". He's been wrong before. He was the Romney supporter during the GOP primaries who jumped ship and endorsed Rick Santorum when he erringly concluded that Santorum would be the party nominee.
Religious principles? Oh, now we're getting to the bottom of this, which leads me to wonder whether the AG wants to serve as the state's top lawyer or as a robed bishop or preacher.
The coming months will be pretty ugly. If totally senseless, too.
P.S. The A.P.'s long wrapup of the comments of Ohio Republicans did not contain a single mention of Justice R-----s.