Healthcare Decision Shows Justice Is Not Just, It's Politics

Judges may wear black robes, but it's clear those robes are lined with red or blue.


I was one of those kids who liked to argue—about anything, with anyone. So my family thought it best that I become a lawyer. They imagined me winning great battles in a courtroom. When I graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, where I hail from, I got a job as a temp at a law firm and decided to embark on a legal career. But that would be short-lived. I didn’t have the funds and already had huge student loans to pay back for my undergraduate degree. But that wasn’t the main reason; in preparing to attend law school, I was disappointed to find the scales of justice aren’t just.

I have always thought the image of Lady Justice with her blindfold and her scales is beautiful: a system in our nation where judges sit high up on a bench and are truly impartial. Yeah yeah, and if I put a tooth under my pillow, a little fairy will fly around with wings and leave me money. Sure…..

The federal judge's ruling on the constitutionality of the mandate in the Affordable Care Act further plays upon my disappointment with our system. Although federal judges have always been appointed by a president either right or left, Democrat or Republican, I can never remember more times in my life than now of the decisions being made by politics and not by an impartial judge. Is it any coincidence that Judge Roger Vinson was not only appointed by Ronald Reagan, but that both the governor and district attorney of his state are Republicans? Hmm? And the same can be said for the rulings upholding this mandate as being constitutional: Those two federal judges were appointed by Democrats. [Read the U.S. News debate: Should the healthcare law be repealed?]

Now we all know that regardless of these rulings on the state level, the big decision comes from the highest court in the land; the Supreme Court. (Senator Schumer, that would be the judicial branch.)

And didn’t we all believe at one time the Supreme Court was almost like God on the throne? The final judge with, dare I say, the “final answer?”

Yes. They are. And yes, they will be. And to further my disappointment, how can I trust this court, the highest court in the land, with this decision when certain judges, such as Justice Alito, are meeting with political organizations like the Tea Party behind closed doors? Where is that in the Constitution!? How can a Supreme Court justice blatantly participate in such a meeting where there is clearly a conflict of interest on his part when it comes to the Affordable Care Act? And will we see him recuse himself? Doubt it. I also doubt the court will truly look to our Constitution when it comes to deciding the truth with regards to this mandate. They will look to where their partisan loyalty lies, left or right. Wouldn’t it be refreshing for a conservative judge to just once side with the document that sets us apart from any other nation in the world?! Isn't this the same kind of document the people of Egypt are revolting in the streets to have just a tiny piece of for their own?!  [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on healthcare.]

The Constitution is clear and open to interpretation, and it’s a judge’s job to interpret it, politics aside. But for now, I am glad I didn’t become a lawyer, to stand before a judge wearing a black robe, which clearly has a lining made of red or blue. For now, Lady Justice needs to keep that blindfold on, for if she removed it, she would surely cry at what justice in America has become today.

  • Check out a roundup of political cartoons on healthcare.
  • See a slide show of 10 ways Republicans can take down Obamacare.
  • See who in Congress gets the most money from the health services industry.