Friday, July 6, 2012

High politics vs. Low politics

The Sturm und Drang on the right continues about Justice Roberts' switching sides to become the swing justice upholding the healthcare act. The right is accusing Roberts of selling out his principles for political considerations. 

To the extent that Roberts acted from political motives, and surely this played a big role in this decision, he was playing high politics. He acted in the interest of the court and the nation and contrary to his partisan interest. High politics is unavoidable and often necessary.

T-A-S-K (Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and Kennedy) engaged in low politics. The charge, and it is as serious a charge as it is plausible, is that if the ACA had been proposed by a Republican Congress and Republican President there would have been a 9-0 vote to uphold it. To the extent that this is true, whether they admit it to themselves or not, T-A-S-K acted from low partisan political motives. Low politics undermines the court and the rule of law.

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