Show of hands: Do you think high court’s ruling on ObamaCare was an example of judicial activism?


U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s reaction to yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act no doubt represented the sentiments of more than a few of her fellow Republicans.

 “[T]his was an activist court that you saw today,” opined Bachmann, invoking one of the GOP’s favorite bugaboos — judicial activism.

Judicial activism, if you don’t know, is basically defined as a court ruling that overturns a democratically-enacted law. When it suits their political purposes, conservatives like to pretend that any such ruling amounts to judicial usurpation of the legislative function. They say it amounts to judges making law from the bench rather than just intepreting law.

The hypocrisy in all of this is that right-wingers have no problem at all when judges overturn democratically-enacted laws that right-wingers don’t like.

Of course, this whole thing about judicial activism is silly on its face. The only basis for overturning any law — whether it’s one that conservatives favor and liberals dislike or vice-versa — is that it arguably violates the U.S. Constitution. I say “arguably” because judges don’t always agree on the constitutionality (or lack thereof) of certain laws. Moreover, interpretations of the Constitution have evolved over the past 200-plus years. There have been cases, for example, in which what was eminently constitutional according to the courts of the 19th century was found to be fundamentally unconstitutional by the courts of the 20th or 21st centuries.

So, Michele Bachmann’s disappointment with yesterday’s ruling is that it did not represent judicial activism. It did not overturn a law that was duly enacted by the people’s representatives in Congress. Her first impulse was to invoke the hobgoblin of judicial activism, but she was flat-out wrong.



  1. Milton Waddams

    Bachmann flat out wrong? Shocking.

  2. Annie Jo

    Yes, I do. It is evil and wrong, but it happens on both sides. It is up to the American people, to decide this one. We do know one thing, Obama is a big Fat Liar. It is a TAX. A big FAT TAX. You get nothing for free. You have one lazy do nothing group, refusing to do anything, sucking off of those who are productive. Well, what is to keep the productive from becoming lazy do nothings? Nothing. When the tit runs dry, the baby dies.

  3. Annie: As usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about. All you offer is Limbaugh-like rhetoric, but no factual evidence to support your ridiculous claims.

  4. expdoc

    Her factual evidence is the majority opinion of the Supreme Court.

    The opinion is that the law mandates a new tax on the middle class.

    Obama broke his promise of no new taxes on the middle class.

    He is a liar. He isn’t fat, but he is a liar.

    He is just lucky that Justice Roberts bailed him out.

  5. expdoc

    Her factual evidence is the majority opinion of the Supreme Court.

    The opinion is that the law mandates a new tax on the middle class.

    Obama broke his promise of no new taxes on the middle class.

    He is a liar. He isn’t fat, but he is a liar.

    He is just lucky that Justice Roberts bailed him out.

  6. doc: That so-called tax will affect about two percent of the population.

    I guess you don’t mind that absent that “tax,” everyone else will have to pay for the care of people who don’t buy insurance.

    Oh, and explain to us, please, how the ObamaCare “tax” differs from the one imposed in Massachusetts by the guy for whom you’ll be voting in November.

  7. expdoc

    Are you saying that 2% of the middle class that is impacted by the tax doesn’t matter? That it isn’t a tax increase?
    How many people exactly is 2% of the population?

    Why would you think I don’t mind that everyone else pays for the care of people that don’t buy insurance? I am impacted many times more that you by the current system. Much more than 2% of the quality work I provide is never reimbursed because of people who can’t or won’t pay for insurance. Much more than 40% of my work is not reimbursed completely by the government (Medicare and Medicaid).

    Why would I think the Obamacare tax is different than what Romney did? Did Romney promise to not raise taxes on the middle class? If he did, then he is a liar just like Obama.

  8. Annie Jo

    The Supreme Court made their decision, now the American voters will make theirs.

  9. Annie Jo

    Obama is not a FAT LIAR. He is a slender LIAR, but a LIAR just the same. It is a TAX.

  10. Annie Jo: Wouldn’t you feel more at home at some lunatic right-wing Web site? The Internet is full of them.

    Oh, and no more gratuitous capitalizations, please. We call that “shouting,” and we don’t allow that here.

    Funny how you wingnuts love to capitalize everything. You seem to think it adds something to the idiocies your peddling.

  11. expdoc

    You keep deriding Annie Jo Pat, but you haven’t been able to refute her central truth.

    Obama, via health care reform legislation that he enacted, has raised taxes on millions of middle class Americans. Something he vowed not to do.

    He is a liar, just like Bush was a liar. Just admit it and move on. It will be so much easier to accept your disappointment in the man.

  12. doc: When it comes to dishonesty, your candidate for president makes mine look like a rank amateur.

    Romney is the single most dishonest presidential candidate in my lifetime — and that includes Nixon. It’s not even close.

    And as for Annie, she’s just a hateful Obamaphobe who spews mindless rhetoric. Of course, you’re free to admire what you apparently see as her pearls of wisdom.

  13. expdoc

    Pearls of truth which cannot be denied. Just ask Justice Roberts and look at Obama’s speeches from 2008.

    He lied. Just as Bush lied.

    Admit it. Acceptance is the first step on a long road to recovery.

  14. expdoc

    By the way, just as we recently removed any charges of flip flopping as legitimate for the 2012 election. The events of the last 2 days have removed any and all charges of lying when it comes to the Presidential race of 2012.

    Looks like we might have to discuss actual issues on this blog.

    Do you think you can do it?

  15. expdoc

    While you’re at it, you should probably shelf any of the “fat cat’ donor BS as well. These fat cats don’t even have the decency to live in this fine country.

    I am a 1%er and I could never afford tickets to an event like this.


    Charles Adams, co-president of the campaign’s European outreach effort, told the newspaper Tribune de Geneve that Clooney will address a crowd of about 150 at an evening reception, which will be followed by a more intimate — and expensive — dinner at which the star will be the guest of honor. Tickets for the latter event will go for $20,000 for singles and $30,000 for couples.

  16. Bachmann and the rest of her loonie tea pot crowd are sore losers. The health care system desperately needed fixing and it took this president to push it in the right direction. Is it perfect? By no means but it’s a start to help millions of citizens without coverage. Wasting good time and money running it through the Supreme Court was just an effort to keep health care a privilege for the cafe society and fortunately it backfired when Roberts realized it’s not about us but them.

  17. Truth About Energy

    Would healthcare become a privilege if medical professionals chose not to practice, except for cash, Steverino?

    Your point of view makes no sense, Steverino. If medical care was “free,” what you would call medical care would be nothing of the such since no one would provide a service for free. If you’ve learned anything in the last year, I hope it is that education has an extraordinary cost, as does medical care. I just hope that this administration approaches education reform the same exact way. psssshhhhhh

  18. Brian s

    The Supreme cout says it is a tax. Don’t we need a 2/3 vote from the senate to impose a tax? Obamacare was said to be a mandate. The SCOTUS changed it into a tax. How did that happen? We have lost our Republic.

  19. TAE – Oh yes, let’s continue to provide services for the uninsured at the emergency room. That’s really cost effective.

  20. expdoc

    What about the new healthcare law will stop people from seeking care in the ER?

    ER docs and administrators that I know are planning on increased utilization.

    More people with insurance.

    No penalty for using the most convenient option (albeit the most costly).

    And a uniformly agreed upon shortage or primary care advisors.


  21. expdoc

    Thats providers, not advisors.

  22. Laura Nichols

    Unfortunately politics is theater. I agree with you Doc, that politicians lie…some more than others. I suppose that it depends on one’s background and belief systems as to how one sees political actions. I am not a medical doctor, but can see that medical costs are a large part of the rising costs of my expenses. Anything that the government can do to help refrain cost and force health insurance companies to put more of their premium dollars into health practices and not into CEO and stockholder profit makes sense to me.

    All large worthwhile law and change that has been made in this country has come with dissent. I can understand some fear in change, but where was the kind of vitriol that this President enjoys (as he is cleaning up the mess left by the last Administration) when the last guy (Bush) led us into 2 wars and put them on credit (not on the budget)? Now there is a war criminal! What other leader has been allowed to lead a country to the edge of a monetary cliff and begin 2 wars (one without provocation) and is not being investigated by the World Court?

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