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The Roberts health care reform ruling is no precedent

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Not only did the Roberts ruling save healthcare, it has provided endless employment for journalists and legal scholars as they speculate on the 'precedent' set. In the week since, we have been told that the Roberts ruling will stop defunding of planned parenthood, enable states to lower the drinking age and many other projects. And of course we have been told that this is really a victory for the right.

But all this analysis overlooks the rather obvious fact that the far right of the Supreme Court is only going to consider something precedent when it suits their politics. As with 'original intent' (remember that?) the new 'precedent' on the Commerce clause and attaching strings to federal grants is going to prove remarkably flexible. Corporations are people my friend, but not unions.

In their moments of supreme hackery, even the right wing partisan judges recognize what they are. The ruling in Bush vs Gore even has a disclaimer to state that no precedent is set, just in case they might want to reverse the ruling to let a Republican get a recount in the future.

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