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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 29, 2012/ 9 Tamuz, 5772

The umpire blinks

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Chief Justice John Roberts famously defined himself as an umpire in his confirmation hearings. But an umpire is willing to make the toughest calls.

In his ObamaCare decision, Roberts the umpire blinked. By issuing a decision that forestalled the tsunami of criticism that would have come his way had he struck down the law (as an activist, a partisan and an altogether rotten human being), Roberts effectively rewrote the constitutionally problematic portions of it. He overstepped his bounds. The umpire called a balk, but gave the pitcher a do-over. The ref called a foul, but didn't interrupt the play.

As a result, there's ObamaCare as passed by Congress. Then there's ObamaCare as passed by the Supreme Court.

ObamaCare as passed by Congress had a mandate to buy health insurance and a penalty for failing to comply. ObamaCare as passed by the Supreme Court has an optional tax for those without health insurance. ObamaCare as passed by Congress required states to participate in a massive expansion of Medicaid, or lose all their federal Medicaid funds. ObamaCare as passed by the Supreme Court makes state participation in the Medicaid expansion optional.

In pursuit of a judicial modesty deferential to Congress, Roberts usurped its role. ObamaCare as passed by Congress didn't pass constitutional muster. ObamaCare as passed by the Supreme Court didn't pass Congress -- and might not have passed Congress had it been presented for an up-or-down vote festooned with yet another tax.

Roberts vindicated the core of the constitutional argument against the individual mandate that had been sneered at by the legal establishment and pronounced preposterous by the likes of Nancy Pelosi. The mandate is unprecedented in that it doesn't regulate existing activity; it compels people to undertake an activity -- namely, buying insurance -- that Congress then regulates under the Interstate Commerce Clause. This stretches the Commerce Clause beyond the breaking point.

The chief even reverted to the widely derided broccoli argument: If the federal government can make you buy insurance, it can make you eat vegetables. The government's logic, Roberts wrote, "authorizes Congress to use its commerce power to compel citizens to act as the Government would have them act. That is not the country the Framers of our Constitution envisioned."

Then, Roberts went out in search of some way, any way, to find the mandate constitutional. He alighted on the argument that the mandate isn't a mandate at all, but a tax. Never mind that the tax argument was an afterthought in the administration's defense of the law. Never mind that administration officials, from the president on down, vociferously denied that it was a tax during the debate over the bill. Never mind that the law itself never defines it as a tax and includes the mandate (and its penalty) in a different title of the act from the revenue provisions.

"To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to re-write it," the four conservative dissenters from the Roberts opinion write. The chief was willing to take out his rewrite pen to avoid striking down the mandate. He did the same to keep from throwing out the Medicaid expansion. He considers it, too, an offense against the constitutional order. Wherever exactly the line for impermissible coercion of the states falls, he noted, "this statute is surely beyond it."

Roberts gets points for cleverness. He set clear constitutional boundaries without striking down the law. He largely sided with the critics of ObamaCare without enraging its supporters. He came up with the only 5-4 decision that wouldn't subject his court to the calumny of the Obama administration and law-school deans everywhere. All the op-eds that had been drafted trashing the legitimacy of the court have been filed away for now.

As chief justice, Roberts has competing priorities, of course. But it's not his job to redraft laws under the guise of judicial restraint. On ObamaCare, the umpire struck out.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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