“INFLUENCED” BY AMICUS BRIEFS, OR SOMETHING ELSE?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 12, 2016) — In an email released by WikiLeaks dated February 14, 2016, one of Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s strategists provided to several others a summary of public statements made by the candidate about the importance of nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to cabinet members, the president nominates federal and Supreme Court judges, who must receive confirmation from the U.S. Senate via the “advice and consent” clause contained in Article II, Section 2, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
As The Post & Email reported on Friday, prior to the high court ‘s ruling on the meaning of a clause contained in the Affordable Care Act in late June 2015, Democrat operative and President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden wrote to Clinton strategists in a June 2, 2015 email:
It is most likely that this decision has already been made by the Court, but on the off chance that history is repeating itself, then it’s possible they are still deciding (last time, seems like Roberts went from striking the mandate to supporting it in the weeks before). As Jennifer will remember, it was pretty critical that the President threw the gauntlet down last time on the Court, warning them in the first case that it would politicize the role of the Court for them to rule against the ACA. As a close reader of the case, I honestly believe that was vital to scaring Roberts off.
Tanden was undoubtedly referring to the first major ruling of the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act in late June 2012 when Chief Justice John G. Roberts, in a surprising move, upheld the individual mandate part of the bill as constitutional if it were regarded as a tax and not a penalty. Following oral arguments in the case, Obama addressed the court publicly as to what he believed the ramifications would be if its “conservatives,”according to Reuters, were to strike down the individual mandate.
“‘Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,’ Obama said at a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico,” Reuters reported.
Following the issuing of the 2012 ruling, Roberts made a rare political statement:
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
Approximately seven months after the 2012 elections, Rep. Steve King told Glenn Beck that Republicans became aware that “their movements had been monitored during the 2012 election cycle,” meaning their internet activity, through the newly-disclosed “PRISM” program revealed by Edward Snowden. At the time, Beck had appeared to believe that Roberts held some type of secret. Beck also said that he was investigating “blackmail,” perhaps as it related to public servants.
However, a revelation Beck had promised to make involving an alleged whistleblower which he said would “rock the U.S.” never came to pass.
Divulged in June 2013 to The Guardian, Snowden’s revelations of domestic and overseas surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) led to a replacement bill of the Patriot Act which had ostensibly permitted it after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
Snowden revealed, and The Guardian reported, that the NSA collects “a vast quantity of emails, chat logs and other data directly from the servers of nine internet companies. These include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and Apple” as well as phone call metadata from cellular providers.
The Obama regime has dealt with “whistleblowers” in a particularly harsh manner as compared to previous administrations, and Snowden remains in exile in Russia.
“I’m Looking For People Who Are Experienced In Life As Well As In The Law” *“I think that, you know, Justice Roberts’ decision in the Affordable Care Act really was influenced by the amicus briefs. And I was glad to see that, because that at least meant that he was open to the arguments that were coming from economists and hospitals and nurses and doctors and nurses and others who were saying, you know, ‘Please don’t undo this system. It’s not perfect, but it’s all that we’ve got.’ So I’m looking for people who are experienced in life as well as in the law. Who can put themselves in somebody else’s shoes. Who can imagine, and empathize, with what it must be to be in love with someone you can’t marry. Or to be denied healthcare when you can barely afford to pay your rent. So I want people who are like that. And I think if you get people like that—I may not, I will say, I will certainly probably not agree with every decision that they’re part of a majority in. But I will have more confidence that they are doing what should be done through the Supreme Court. Which is trying to look at the law, look at the Constitution, and then figure out what the real-life impact of those decisions will be.” [Glen, NH Organizing Event, 7/4/15]
In the Supreme Court ruling focusing on the meaning of the phrase “established by the state,” both Roberts and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with the “liberal” wing of the court to extend “the state” to also mean “the federal government” in creation of healthcare exchanges.
Kennedy, a Catholic, was the deciding vote and wrote the opinion in favor of the arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, which was interpreted to have “legalized” same-sex marriage nationwide through a “constitutional right” embodied in the 14th Amendment.
Kennedy wrote in his opinion for the Court: