LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Roberts refused to legislate from the bench

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On Independence Day, I watched the musical “1776,” and one scene reminded me of the position of Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. when he rendered his decision last week on the constitutionality of Obamacare.

In the movie, John Hancock, as president of the Continental Congress, had to cast a tie-breaking vote on independence. This required a unanimous vote in the body. Hancock voted for the resolution, prompting John Adams to respond, “You sank us.” Justice Roberts‘ decision has angered many conservatives, but I believe he attempted to get at least one of the liberal justices to agree that the law was unconstitutional. I think once he realized that would not happen - and that his vote alone would overturn a law that was not only passed by a majority of Congress, but signed into law by the president - he saw he could not do it. To have done so would have constituted legislating from the bench, which is what conservatives have long fought.

Anyone who read Justice Robert’s judicial opinion as I have would understand his position was that the voters have the responsibility to replace those members of Congress who voted for the law with new ones who will vote to repeal it.


Newport News, Va.

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