Constitutional Torture: Sharia Law Arrives in the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States handed down two historical milestone rulings last week.
First, they supported the use of subsidies in State-run health insurance exchanges under The Affordable Care Act.
Next, same-sex marriage is now legal in all 5o States.
At the center of these rulings is Chief Justice John Roberts.
For many, the twisted logic used to arrive at these two decisons is cause for serious concern. Does the Supreme Court function as the Founders intended, serving as a important check and balance that the laws Congress passes are Constitutional? Or are we now living in a different sort of Republic?
Constitutional torture is an art, and Chief Justice John Roberts has emerged as its Andy Warhol: an impresario who will put his name on anything.
It is uncomfortable to think about, but our Supreme Court functions in much the same way as Iran’s Guardian Council: It is a supralegislative body of purported scholars, distinguished by ceremonial black robes, that imaginatively applies ancient doctrines “conscious of the present needs and the issues of the day,” as the ayatollahs over there and over here both put it, deciding — discovering! — what is mandatory and what is forbidden as the shifting currents of politics dictate. The main difference is that the Iranians take their sharia rather more seriously than we take our constitutional law: John Roberts’s opinion in Burwell wasn’t just wrong — wrong can be forgiven — it was embarrassing, craven, and intellectually indefensible.
Chief Justice Roberts went one way on The Affordable Care Act, then reversed field on same-sex marriage.
Is Roberts committed to following the rule of law and upholding the Constitution?
Or is he a “pop culture” Chief Justice swayed by popular opinion and majority (and monied) influence?