For Once Conservative Justices Do the Right Thing… for Raisins?

Why couldn’t the conservative justices (including Roberts) show this kind of judgment when it came to Obamacare?

I am sorry if I seem ungrateful. I am truly happy about the Supreme Court decision to stop the Federal government from plundering raisin famers. The decision is everything I was hoping for.

As Damon Root reports at the Hit & Run Blog at Reason.com, “In Major Victory for Property Rights, SCOTUS Strikes Down USDA Seizure of California Raisins.”

In a decision issued today in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the USDA’s raisin confiscation scheme as an unconstitutional violation of the Fifth Amendment.

“The reserve requirement imposed by the Raisin Committee is a clear physical taking,” observed Chief Justice John Roberts. “Actual raisins are transferred from the growers to the Government. Title to the raisins passes to the Raisin Committee.” That is a textbook example of an uncompensated government taking of private property, Roberts held, and it therefore must fall under the plain text of the Fifth Amendment.

Roberts’ opinion was joined in full by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. 

So, for once, our conservative justices actually pulled their act together and voted to uphold the Constitution. That’s wonderful. I rejoice for the raisin industry which will no longer be hammered every year by the Feds.

But Roberts, where were you when you had a chance to speak the truth about Obamacare?

In this case, many of the liberal justices were in partial agreement with the conservatives with one exception:

Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, concurred in part and dissented in part. Justice Sotomayor filed a solo dissent, in which she sided entirely with the USDA. “The government may condition the ability to offer goods in the market on the giving-up of certain property interests without effecting aper se taking,” Sotomayor asserted.

Is anyone surprised that Sotomayor thinks the government gets to do whatever it wants? I’m just surprised that Ginsburg and Kagan didn’t join her.