David Brooks: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts: Modesty and Audacity

Recommended by Alan Hickey

Deseret News

Published: Monday, July 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: Justice Roberts' move to side with those affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, took many Republicans by surprise. In this article, David Brooks seeks to explain a different take on Roberts' actions and how his modest opinion holds to conservative values of restricting the size of national government.

Washington is full of arrogant people who grab power whenever they get the chance. But there is at least one modest minimalist in town, and thats John Roberts Jr.

In his remarkable health care opinion Thursday, the chief justice of the United States restrained the power of his own institution. He decided not to use judicial power to overrule the democratic process. He decided not to provoke a potential institutional crisis. Granted, he had to imagine a law slightly different than the one that was passed in order to get the result he wanted, but Robertss decision still represents a moment of, if I can say so, Burkean minimalism and self-control.

Read more about Modesty and Audacity on NYtimes.com.

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