There is no way for me to express how delighted I am with the decision that was handed down by the United States Supreme Court this morning regarding the health care law. Let us not forget the health care law President Obama signed, and made a central part of his first term, was something this nation has been trying to deal with–in one way or another– since the time of Theodore Roosevelt. The court ruled the law that created white heat in the nation, for the most part, will stand.
The ruling is great news for many who stress about health care in this nation, and how to obtain it. It is fantastic news for President Obama and his administration as we enter the final months of the campaign for reelection.
But equally important, from my perspective, is the positive news this ruling delivers for the political and judicial process.
I was greatly dismayed with the anger that was created from those in the nation who gathered at town hall meetings and shouted down members of congress over the health care legislation. Our political atmosphere was so polluted that we even saw a black congressman spat on while walking to the House of Representatives. We heard a Republican congressman shout “baby killer” at a Democratic member during floor debate on this bill.
It was very ugly.
The Tea Party movement that resulted from the health care law, and the stimulus funding legislation allowed for the most illogical and crazed elements of our political culture to find a home. When they came together they acted out in ways that no responsible parent would ever allow their child to behave.
From just a common-sense perspective there was no way that this behavior should ever be rewarded. I was heartened when the final vote was taken for health care in congress, and it was then signed into law by President Obama. I was pleased–though not at all surprised–that the teabagger candidates who raged against the health care law for the Republican presidential nomination were defeated. The loudest and shrillest voices were shut down by the most moderate candidate for the nomination.
Though I had wanted, and argued for a tougher and more comprehensive approach to health care in the nation, I also fully understood the significance of getting this law, and pleased with how the whole issue has progressed. This nation has indeed kicked the ball far down the field.
Today came the grand news that conservative Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the powerful decision affirming the central legislative pillar of President Obama’s term. The 5-4 decision is more than just a judicial ruling. It is a sign that even under the ugliest of political conditions–and make no mistake about it the teabaggers have concocted such conditions–sanity and comity can still prevail. That is extremely important for our political process.
I think Roberts wanted history to show that not only the law was sound when congress passed the historic legislation, but by the fact he wrote the ruling political differences should not be the final decision maker on how we deal with complex policy questions. Roberts wanted to show the power of congress to make laws concerning large complicated matters is very much in-tact. I praise Roberts for helping to forge the majority, and being a strong vocal part of it.
Chief Roberts’ actions are mighty important not only to the political process that the ruling falls down upon, but also to the judicial branch that often gets tarred with unfair slurs. Unity on the bench is important, and I yearn for more blending of the two sides when opinions are handed down. I sincerely applaud Roberts’ role in this case..
The Chief Justice also demonstrated that when someone is African-American, and a Democratic president is not enough reason to attempt to frame every policy as evil or part of a communist plot. As absurd as that may seem to some, in the current political landscape created by the Tea Party, it is a statement that needs to be heard.
What Roberts so powerfully wrote is an important reminder in this time of fractious government that just because an issue gets exaggerated attention under the hot lights from Fox News does not mean it is unconstitutional. Framing the health care debate in pure legal reasoning, and elevating it above the shouts and anger hopefully will be seen as a turning point in our nation on this matter.
I suspect, in spite of those who will try to do otherwise, it will.