Fifty, sixty years, from now, this week will be viewed as one of the most pivotal in American history. The seismic shifts of this huge, diverse country took hold.
Within twenty-four hours, the Supreme Court blew up. On Thursday a courageous Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority (6-3) opinion reaffirming Obamacare. In short, it is now part of the American ethos that everyone is entitled to health insurance. No one who is poor or struggling should die sooner than the affluent. The law voted in two years ago is that simple, that basic, no matter what pouty Justice Scalia and disappointingly myopic George Will write. These two affluent, insured American elites need to take a deep breath and switch to decaf. If indeed Mr. Will’s self-dramatic pronouncement of constitutional death is accurate, a highly suspect prospect at that, I for one would like to celebrate how many lives it will save.
On Friday same-sex marriage became the law of the land on a 5-4 Court vote. This time Chief Justice Roberts, though seemingly understanding of its advocates, nonetheless felt this issue should have been decided democratically. He reasons that now this law will be jammed down everyone’s throats instead of proceeding through the legislative process. A tough call on this one. The Court was ahead of the curve on civil rights. But on abortion both liberals and conservatives acknowledge the Court overreached.
Both Supreme Court decisions were huge victories for President Obama. But they will also live on well beyond his administration in the fabric of America. As if this wasn’t enough for twenty-four hours, the president flew to South Carolina to eulogize those felled by a racist’s bullets in a church. He seems liberated. In so doing, he is reintroducing black America to the rest of the country.