For weeks now I've been reading opinion pieces from lefty pundits, reaching new heights of hysteria as this week approached, proclaiming that 5-4 Supreme Court decisions are a catastrophe. They undermine the "legitimacy" of the high Court, don'tcha know. Now, all of a sudden, 5-4 decisions are just fine. Wonder why?
While we're on the subject, why is the Court's "legitimacy" never an issue with the big decisions that liberals like: banning prayers in schools, setting criminals free because a cop made a mistake, or Roe v. Wade? Just asking.
Interestingly, yesterday's ruling upholding the Obamacare Tax is like an inverse Roe v. Wade. Roe got the policy outcome right, by means of what even liberal legal academics admit (quietly) was a pathetic travesty of legal reasoning. Chief Justice Roberts's opinion on the health law was mostly an exquisite piece of legal reasoning, my lawyer friends say, but it produced a monstrosity of a policy outcome.
Anyway, if this was what Roberts needs in order to be comfortable doing the right thing in future rulings, so be it. We've got a big one coming up next year, giving the Court a chance to outlaw racism in college admissions by means of preferences given to members of favored ethnic groups. The Court's likely to get that one right. Justice Thomas famously put a "15¢" grocery sticker on his Yale diploma, to illustrate what he says is the stigma of a degree attained in the era of affirmative action. He'll write a great decision.