“In fact, if the Court rules against the ACA, the other 90+% of the U.S. government loathed by libertarians will still be going strong.”

May 23rd, 2012

David Bernstein makes a good point about the libertarian bogey-man argument against the ACA challenge.

Those Supreme Court watchers who are pushing the “liberarians are coming” meme are well aware that the Supreme Court has historically never strayed much from mainstream public and elite opinion, both of which remain decidely not libertarian. Nor is there any particular reason to believe that John Roberts, Samuel Alito, et al., are in thrall to libertarian ideology. So all we have left is the disreputable rhetorical technique of trying to asssociate in the public mind sound legal arguments with unpopular “radicals”, and to eke out a victory on the basis of the libertarian equivalent of red-baiting rather than on the merits. To say the least, such arguments do no credit to those advancing them.

The Court won’t go Libertarian. As the WSJ pointed out the other day, the Justices (save Justice Thomas) totally rejected the Privileges or Immunities Clause argument in McDonald v. Chicago.

The Court will stay mainstream, and libertarians will still be cranky.