John Roberts? Meet John Marshall.

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Posted by Brion McClanahan                               
The Obamacare Decision and State Sovereignty

In 1823, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “this case of Marbury and Madison is continually cited by bench and bar, as if it were settled law, without any animadversion on its being merely an obiter dissertation of the Chief Justice [John Marshall].” Jefferson was pointing out a fact – that Supreme Court decisions are nothing more than the politically motivated constitutional ruminations of politically appointed justices.

This is why several members of the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, most notably John Dickinson of Delaware, worried over the possibility of so-called “judicial review,” and why the John Roberts majority decision in the “Obamacare” debacle is no different than the 1803 decision of Marbury v. Madison, or any other from the Marshall Court.

Unfortunately, the political leanings of the Supreme Court justices have made Roberts and Anthony Kennedy the most important members on the bench. They are the swing votes between the “liberal” and “conservative” wings of the Court. As a result, Americans understand that the so-called independency of the judges is a mirage. That would have Founding Father and Supreme Court Justice John Rutledge squirming, for he considered the independence of the judiciary to be the most important safeguard in forcing compliance with its decisions.

How could the public trust politically biased judges?

Hence Roberts’ “obiter dissertation” holds the same weight as Marshall’s often disingenuous rulings between 1801 and 1835. As Jefferson and others of his persuasion noted, Marshall was nothing more than a politically motivated hack who declared republicanism to be the work of terrorists. According to recent reports, Roberts is no different.




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One Response to “John Roberts? Meet John Marshall.”

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