“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
- In defense of John Roberts (management.fortune.cnn.com)
- John Roberts Is Man Of The Hour (johnhaydeninmd.com)
- Conservative Republicans Turn On Former Hero, Chief Justice John Roberts (thinkprogress.org)