When elected or appointed individuals contort the originalist meaning of the US Constitution, they hold the American people in contempt. There is no papering over, sugar coating the monstrous ruling handed down by the US Supreme Court of hacks (five out of the nine, the four dissenters earn or praise and thanks).
Mark Steyn: There’s nothing constitutionally seemly about a Court decision that says this law is only legal because the people’s representatives flat-out lied to the people when they passed it.
By Mark Steyn
Three months ago, I quoted George Jonas on the 30th anniversary of Canada’s ghastly “Charter of Rights and Freedoms”: “There seems to be an inverse relationship between written instruments of freedom, such as a Charter, and freedom itself,” wrote Jonas. “It’s as if freedom were too fragile to be put into words: If you write down your rights and freedoms, you lose them.”
For longer than one might have expected, the U.S. Constitution was a happy exception to that general rule — until, that is, the contortions required to reconcile a republic of limited government with the ambitions of statism rendered U.S. constitutionalism increasingly absurd. As I also wrote three months ago (yes, yes, don’t worry, there’s a couple of sentences of new material in amongst all the I-told-you-so stuff), “The United States is the only Western nation in which our rulers invoke the Constitution for the purpose of overriding it — or, at any rate, torturing its language beyond repair.”
Thus, the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision. No one could seriously argue that the Framers’ vision of the Constitution intended to provide philosophical license for a national government (“federal” hardly seems le mot juste) whose treasury could fine you for declining to make provision for a chest infection that meets the approval of the Commissar of Ailments. Yet on Thursday Chief Justice Roberts did just that. And conservatives are supposed to be encouraged that he did so by appeal to the Constitution’s taxing authority rather than by a massive expansion of the Commerce Clause. Indeed, several respected commentators portrayed the Chief Justice’s majorityvote as a finely calibrated act of constitutional seemliness.