Is Roberts Departing from Radical Conservatives?

Rumors are flying around that Chief Justice Roberts changed his position on healthcare reform because the conservative justices were "scaring him away" with their zealotry. Via Huff Post:

He certainly didn't trust the dissenters, as he clearly instructed his law clerks to begin working on an alternative majority opinion (the final product was too polished and too long to have been written at the last minute). And he waited to see what was written.

Roberts is smart enough to understand that his name will be forever associated with this gaggle of justices -- four/five of which are batshit crazy. I don't think Roberts particularly likes the idea of history judging him alongside Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

[Thanks to Kush Arora Attorney at Law.]

  • D_C_Wilson

    It’s hard to divine if this is the beginning of a trend based on one data point. Everyone seems to have a theory about why Roberts strayed from the herd. Time will tell if he is on the verge of steering the court away from the brink of insanity. Let’s hope so.

  • Buffalodavid

    While this is a few degrees short of a conspiracy theory temperature, I gotta admit, it makes sense. Bear in mind that Roberts’ (no relation by the way) legacy up to this point would be “that guy who sold us to the highest corporate bidder.”

    • IrishGrrrl

      Maybe Roberts was thinking of the Court’s (and his) long term reputation…I do have to wonder, what the hell was he thinking with Citizens United? I mean, anyone with half a brain should have known that many Americans would hate that ruling. If he was all that concerned with the “legacy” why make such a shitty decision before? I don’t know what to think, but I am not inclined to look this “gift horse” in the mouth right at the moment.

      • Lazarus Durden

        It’s one thing to be a principled conservative, or philosophical conservative, and it’s another thing to be an ideologue or fundamentalist. One takes hard stances, even principled abstract stances without concern for changing empirical reality. It’s coming from an a priori place.

        The latter, the fundamentalist, must constantly up the ante. You have to because some else will go that much further and accuse you of being too soft, or not pure enough. The greatest example of this was in Iraq when Al Qaeda gained support in a region, then came down hard on the people there trying to make them conform to their brand of fundamentalism even separating vegetables by their “sex”. Soon those Iraqis were like “Fuck this noise bring the Americans back.”

        Look at the Tea Party. They keep going further right. Their ideology gets more and more extreme because that’s its nature. It has to. There is no other choice and eventually those who were merely principled like Roberts say “Whoa hang on a minute. This is crazy. I can’t do this.”

        That’s why this will burn out. It cannot sustain itself because eventually they’ll just be a nut fringe and everyone else backs out of the room slowly. The tough part is trying to limit the damage