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Supreme Court reconvenes This Week with new controversies ahead

Jim Kouri

October 1, 2012
By: Jim Kouri

(Jim Kouri is a frequent guest every other Tuesday at 7:07AM MDT on KGAB’s Morning Zone. He the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.)

The Supreme Court building will be the scene of several controversial hearings including one on Affirmative Action.

On the traditional First Monday in October, the nine members of the United States Supreme Court reconvened today and will take up another batch of important — often controversial — cases in the coming months, according to several legal experts.

More than a few conservatives have revised their opinions of Chief Justice John Roberts and the eight associate justices whose decisions more often than not have an impact on the American people, their economy, their culture and their relationship with their own government, according to Jeffrey Schoen, an attorney and former law professor.

“A large number of Americans are still angry with the Roberts Court after its 5-4 decision to uphold President Obama’s healthcare law. Contrary to the pundits, it wasn’t Justice Kennedy who held the deciding vote, it was the so-called staunch conservative Chief Justice Roberts who ruled in favor of Obamacare,” said Schoen.

Opponents of the law — a majority of Americans, according to polls — claimed the mandate was nothing short of the federal government intruding on the private lives of citizens. While the high court was divided on this issue, the majority ruled that Congress’ taxing power was more important than a citizen’s right to be free from government intrusion.

In addition, non-government legal groups had filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in the federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, (Susan Seven-Sky, et al v Eric Holder, Jr. et al.(No. 11-5047)). Their attorneys, most of whom worked pro bono, were completely surprised and disappointed with the supposedly conservative Supreme Court.

Many lawmakers also were angry with the Roberts Court decision on Obamacare. “When most people think of health care reform they think of more doctors’ exams, not more IRS exams,” said Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas, a top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee. “Isn’t the federal government already intruding enough into our lives? We need thousands of new doctors and nurses in America, not thousands more IRS agents.”

According to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Scalia was furious with Roberts over the healthcare ruling in which Roberts sided with the court’s traditionally liberal-left justices. Toobin claims his source said Roberts wanted to only strike down the individual mandate but didn’t wish to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act.

On the other hand, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy believed the entire Obamacare had to be squashed.

But not all conservatives have given up on Roberts. Several right-leaning jurists say — off the record — that Roberts will show conservatives he’s indeed a Constitutional originalist in upcoming cases such as another legal challenge to affirmative action on university campuses

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