John Roberts’ “Can-Do” Doctrine Scandalizes Conservatives

“I will find a way or make one.” — Admiral Robert E. Peary, American explorer

“As between two possible interpretations of a statute, by one of which it would be unconstitutional and by the other valid, our plain duty is to adopt that which will save the act.”  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

By all accounts, Chief Justice John Roberts believes that the Supreme Court of the U.S. should try to find a way to uphold  a law enacted by Congress, rather than declare it unconstitutional. In other words, declare a Congressional act unconstitutional only if it really is unconstitutional.

As I understand it, that is the doctrine that Justice Roberts followed this week in finding a way to uphold the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

Roberts’ decision is breathtaking because it exemplifies the traditional American “can-do” attitude, the “find a way or make one” attitude, which has been lost and forgotten in recent years.

American politicians have adopted the approach of finding an excuse, not a way forward, of refusing  to cooperate, always whining that “it can’t be done.”   Unfortunately, ordinary Americans in our everyday lives often display the same can’t-do attitude.

Justice Roberts’ “can-do” approach caught us all by surprise.

— John Hayden

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