Thursday, June 28, 2012

Roberts' quote of John Marshall

I've started reading the Obamacare ruling and the most striking thing, aside from the fact that Chief Justice Roberts came down on the side of the more liberal Justices on the Court in the first place, is this passage:

"Nearly two centuries ago, Chief Justice Marshall observed that 'the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted' to the Federal Government 'is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.' McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 405 (1819)."

In interviews I've read, particularly a long one from the Atlantic Monthly nearing the end of his first term as I recall, Roberts often name checks John Marshall as the model of Chief Justice he wants to be.

Now, I need to read the rest of the ruling before drawing any conclusions, but I thought that passage being cited near the beginning was rather noteworthy. This could mean Roberts
(and, for that matter, Marshall himself) is simply espousing the fatalistic view regarding the trajectory of all Empires, but I guess I need to go back and look at McCulloch after I manage to finish the current ruling at hand.

I doubt many in the coming months of hellfire 'til November will bother to do that, and certainly among the loudest of voices you'll hear. I am certain by the time he gives his speech, President Obama will have read it. And that is the kind of person we need to keep in office, certain disappointments notwithstanding. In fact, once Obama's second term is up, and maybe about fifty years or so have passed, 44 will go down as one of a very few voices in American politics with any dose of reality, or sanity, for that matter. As I've mentioned often in here, in today's climate, President Eisenhower (and the GOP Congress he had in 1954) would be considered a "tax and spend liberal." Obama extends that to Reagan too but that is a bit of a stretch IMHO. Summer reading, here we come!