Does that sound like hyperbole?
Well, as T.S. Elliott said, "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper."
On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court finally abandoned its role as an independent and impartial defender of the Constitution and admitted it was just another political body.
There are many nits to pick with the ruling on the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare").
But among them are the destruction of the freedom to exercise one's religion under the First Amendment, the destruction of the prohibition against involuntary servitude under the Thirteenth Amendment, the final abandonment of the right to freely enter into contracts under Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, the final death of the principle of "ripeness" in judicial proceedings.
What does all of this mean?
All federal judges are held to the ethical standards of the Code of Conduct for United States (federal, not state) judges.
Under the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 1 (the canon of judicial ethics), a judge should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
Under Canon 2, a judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.
An appearance of impropriety occurs when reasonable minds, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances disclosed by a reasonable inquiry, would conclude that the judge's honesty, integrity, impartiality, temperament or fitness to serve as a judge is impaired.
Under Canon 3, a judge should be faithful to, and maintain professional competence in, the law and should not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism. A judge should hear and decide matters assigned, unless disqualified, and should maintain order and decorum in all judicial proceedings. A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might be reasonable questioned, including, but not limited to, instances in which the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding (and) the judge served as a lawyer in the matter in controversy, or a lawyer with whom the judge previously practiced law served during such association as a lawyer concerning the matter.
At a bare minimum, Justice Elena Kagan, the former Solicitor General who advised the United States on the Constitutionality of "Obamacare," should have recused herself from this case, according to the rules written by the U.S. Supreme Court.
What else does this mean?
The Supreme Court did not find it unconstitutional to compel religious institutions to pay for things that are antithetical to their religious beliefs even though the First Amendment states that Congress shall pass no law abridging the free exercise of religion.
The Supreme Court did not find it unconstitutional to compel free citizens to purchase a consumer product and compel health care providers to provide services under conditions that are against their well.
Is there more?
The court finally ground into the dust the provision in Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution that states, "Congress shall not impair the obligations of contracts."
Moreover, among the powers specifically reserved to the states, not the federal government, is the power to regulate the health, welfare, and morals of the residents of the various states.
Finally, Chief Justice Roberts held that the "individual mandate" portion of "Obamacare" was a tax, not a regulation under "The Commerce Clause," of the Constitution.
For the past 200 years, laws that implement taxes are not permitted to be litigated. They are not yet ripe until the tax is imposed.
The individual mandate "tax" in "Obamacare" will not be implemented until 2014. That means the lawsuit should have either been thrown out until 2014, or the law should have been evaluated under the commerce clause, not as a tax.
Is the country now over? No. We have merely accelerated the decline.
We have possibly made the decline irreversible.
Chief Justice Roberts states that spineless legislators should not be kicking the political football to the judiciary.
That the judiciary will not step into intervene in bad political decisions. Who knew that multiple violations of the Constitution were merely bad political decisions?
In the end, while the news cycle makes this decision a "bang," the long term effect is that it will bring us to a whimper as our great nation stumbles, wobbles, slowly sinks to its knees and the greatness of this "unique political experiment" comes to an end.