Does public disdain for Supreme Court bode well for ruling on constitutionality of ObamaCare?

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich SAYS the American public’s low regard for the U.S. Supreme Court might militate against a 5-4 ruling against the Affordable Care Act:

The public’s growing disdain of the Supreme Court increases the odds that a majority will uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare.

The latest New York Times CBS Poll shows just 44 percent of Americans approve the job the Supreme Court is doing. Fully three-quarters say justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal political views.


The immediate question is whether the Chief Justice, John Roberts, understands the tenuous position of the Court he now runs. If he does, he’ll do whatever he can to avoid another 5-4 split on the upcoming decision over the constitutionality of the Obama healthcare law.

My guess is he’ll try to get Anthony Kennedy to join with him and with the four Democratic appointees to uphold the law’s constitutionality,



  1. Carol Foster

    I don’t feel we should be talking politics in the same breath as the Supreme Court. The Constitution gives them all jobs for life to keep politics out of it. It makes no difference which political party they belong to now, or don’t, they will rule how they feel the laws of the land work with the healthcare act before them.
    No matter the ruling, some will be upset rather than attempt to understand what the Justices said in why each ruled as this did and try to make politics out of it.
    Responsible people will talk about what the Justices have written in reference to how they see it according to our laws. If you talk about this based on Politics that will cause rancor and we certainly have an over-supply of that commodity right now and no need for more.

  2. Luke Fredrickson

    They can’t keep politics out of this decision because the case itself is so politically charged, and is a product of the biggest political battle of the last decade or more.

    Plus, the campaign season puts a huge spotlight on the ACA, as Obama campaigns on his signature legislative victory and Romney runs away from the MA version.

    The Court should have pushed the case to next year’s docket, but Roberts acceded to his party’s pressure.

  3. expdoc

    Of all the places we visited on our recent trip to DC the Supreme Court was one of the most impressive. Other favorites were the Library of Congress and the MLK memorial.

    I agree with Carol 100%. Reich’s piece seems like just another threat to the Justices which I can only hope they will ignore.

  4. expdoc


    The Supreme Court needed to rule on this case now for very practical reasons. In fact, given the magnitude of change currently going on in the health care system I wish they would have ruled on it sooner.

  5. Carol Foster and expdoc: Let’s be clear about this. Reich is not advocating political bias in Supreme Court decisions. He’s merely speculating on how Chief Justice Roberts might react to a poll showing that most Americans think the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal political views.

    expdoc, I don’t know how the hell you can argue that Reich’s column is a “threat to the Justices.” It’s nothing of the sort.

  6. Blessing Citizens United is all we need to know about the Supreme Court and their political agenda.

  7. Mike Hunt

    There is no question that the Justices of the US Supreme Court have political leanings. And, those political leanings are how and why they get appointed by a particular president. And for the same reason, their nomination to the court will either sail through congress, or will be fought vigorously by congress, depending upon who controls congress, and which way the judge leans. Therefore, if we have a President from a different party than the one that controls congress, the President will nominate a more moderate candidate, so his candidate can be approved by congress. That may seem like a good thing, because you will end up with more moderates on the Supreme Court. But it is not. These moderate justices can be swayed by their colleagues, because they do not have very strong principles, in terms of ideology. So, for this reason, they are subject to political influence, both within their group, as well as from the outside. So, we have a few justices like this, but most are strongly influenced to their ideological beliefs. This is not what our founding fathers intended, but that is the way it is. You can almost count the Justices’ votes in advance… But now we have a situation where certain justices are concerned about the public perception of the Supreme Court, and that may likely influence their decisions on some very important cases on their docket. Why should they care? They have a lifetime appointment! It is unfortunately very political. That includes the appointments and confirmations, as well as the decisions. If you remove politics from this scenario, then all judges would rule according to Constitutional principles. But, some have been appointed to circumvent the legislative process, when a certain president or party could not get their legislation passed. Carol, you have described a ‘dream’ scenario, which is similar to the vision of our founding fathers, but it is not the modern-day reality, unfortunately…

  8. Carol Foster

    I’d like to remind you of how often newspapers have counted those votes in advance and beeen wrong in the high court’s decision making process. SAid silly things like telling us all one or the other of the Justices are strickly liberal, or the opposite way, and than say ruling after ruling reflects those Justices vote very differently.
    Politics may bring a case before the High Court. That’s where politics ends.
    We are all very emotional over items before them like Healthcare. They, on the other-hand, see it from a legal point of view in relationship to what is and not Constitutional. What is the intent of the law being challanged in the court.
    I feel they will make the correct choice this month and I plan to try my best to understand it no matter the outcome. It will be the law of the land and our responsibility as citizens to respect it.
    Many will attempt to make it politics as usual. Winners and losers. It’s really about our system works very well. Lifetime appointments work. One of the few places that’s a true asset.
    I personally think the court will strike down portions of the Heathcare and it will end up back in the Congress for repairs. It never seemed right to use commerce as the reason why the Federal Gov. could enact such a widespread thing. I doubt the ruling will be straight up or down on it as there’s so much involved to be considered with it.
    Hey, I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t feel Reich is advocating anything. He’s just guessing like the rest of us until the ruling comes down.

  9. Mike Hunt

    Dear Carol,
    I appreciate your sincere comments! I agree with you, in that I also wish that politics could end with a truly sincere consideration and ruling from the Supreme Court, based upon the laws of our constitution. However, it may have been that way in the past, especially after the founding fathers set up our system of gov’t, but unfortunately, it is no longer that way. And that is a shame. This is merely one area of our gov’t that reflects politicization of various processes and areas of our gov’t . And the politicians always seek to take advantage of this… If I had the power to fix this, I do not know where I would start… Some of the Justices of the US Supreme Court have started to look at things from a political perspective. Some Justices have looked at things from a political perspective for many years and voted accordingly… So, that means the lifetime appointment no longer works… What shall we do?
    We could have a wonderful economy and every citizen doing well, but some people would still come forward and say that it is not fair, and they would find a way to play the race card. They will never give this up, even if all racism is eliminated, coz that is their only means of staying in power…
    America is the land of opportunity. That is why so many immigrants have come here for hundreds of years. And they are still knocking on our door! I love them all, know people from their countries, and have been to their countries, because my employer sent me. And, It was a wonderful experience, always! Ya, I even have Muslim friends, who are very nice! I have learned that some Muslims are very nice and human, and are not extremists, and want the same things that we do… just to live in peace without being bothered by anyone. Well, that is what all Americans have always expected…

  10. A no confidence vote was taking. Only 44% aprove of these no moral POS. We don’t need the supreme court. Moral decisions are made by people with no morals

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