Did Chief Justice John Roberts Send a Warning Shot to Congress With The ACA Ruling?

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The Washington Post’s Dan Balz has a fascinating – if speculative – piece that unpacks the psychology behind Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion in the Affordable Care Act case.

No one in Washington doubts that John Roberts is an avowed conservative. He was a George W. Bush appointee and he has been a consistent right wing ideologue during his brief tenure on the high court, voting almost 99% of the time with the Scalia-Thomas-Alito wing of justices whenever contentious issues come up.

Nowhere has that last 1% been more significant than in last week’s ruling to uphold the ACA’s individual mandate.

Balz suggests that, ideologically, Roberts would have loved to strike down a Democratic president’s landmark legislative reform. What he contends is that Roberts voted against his political predisposition to preserve the prestige and reputation of the Court.

How does this implicate congress?

Simple. Roberts was leading by example, according to Balz. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was demonstrating how partisanship can be set aside to reach consensus and preserve the sanctity of our governmental institutions. has an interesting blog discussing the same Washington Post article. They provide a list of ten things polling better than the United States congress. They are, in descending order:

1.    President Obama (46%)

2.    The Internal Revenue Service (40%)

3.    The airline industry (29%)

4.    Lawyers (29%)

5.    Richard Nixon at his lowest (24%)

6.    The banking industry (23%)

7.    The oil and gas industry (20%)

8.    BP during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (16%)

9.    Paris Hilton (15%)

10. America becoming a Communist nation (11%)