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10 Polemics from the Supreme Court Decision

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 2, 2012

2. "The broccoli horrible"
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used this phrase somewhat sarcastically in her ridicule of Justice Roberts' rejection of allowing the individual mandate to be enforced under the Commerce Clause.

Roberts wrote, "Under the Government's theory, Congress could address the diet problem by ordering everyone to buy vegetables."

Ginsburg countered: "As an example of the type of regulation he fears, the Chief Justice cites a Government mandate to purchase green vegetables ... One could call this concern 'the broccoli horrible.' Congress, the Chief Justice posits, might adopt such a mandate reasoning that an individual's failure to eat a healthy diet, like the failure to purchase health insurance, imposes costs on others."

3. "A loan shark's extor­tionate collections from a neighborhood butcher shop."
Variations of this phrase refer to a precedent case from 1942 in which the Commerce Clause authorizing Congress to regulate interstate commerce was extended to allow federal regulation of loan-sharking. This version was found in Justice Roberts' majority opinion in which he ruled that the individual mandate could not be enforced under the Commerce Clause, but could be as a tax.

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2 comments on "10 Polemics from the Supreme Court Decision"


Stuart Showalter (7/2/2012 at 10:50 AM)
The [INVALID] marks in the previous comment were meant to be dashes.

Stuart Showalter (7/2/2012 at 10:24 AM)
Cheryl's article says, "Ginsberg implied that her fellow Justice is ill-tempered and surly." When I read the opinion I wasn't sure if that was the meaning she intended for the word crabbed or whether she might have meant "complicated and difficult to understand." Or do you suppose she was being clever and leaving the interpretation to the reader? I would like to think that the justices are not ill-tempered and surly [INVALID] Scalia to the contrary notwithstanding [INVALID] but I'm not sure.