There’s a fantastic article at The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s non-news news website for people who can’t handle the newsiness of Fox News. The headline is “Was Justice Roberts Intimidated Into Voting For ‘Obamacare’? Senator Mike Lee Presents The Evidence.” The article is a retelling of Glenn Beck’s radio interview of Mike Lee (R-UT), in which Lee explained his belief — meticulously written up, I’m sure, in his new e-book — that Roberts originally supported repeal of the Affordable Care Act and then was obviously intimidated into changing his vote.
Toward the bottom of the article, is this fantastic paragraph:
Lee continued to say that he has “no evidence” that Roberts was being blackmailed, but said that doesn’t mean Roberts wasn’t under any kind of “direct pressure.”
But even if he wasn’t, Lee reminded the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers were open in their warnings to the court, “denigrating the authority of the house,” and saying the Supreme Court would become irrelevant if it failed to uphold ObamaCare.
“Was Justice Roberts Intimidated? Senator Presents Evidence” screams the headline. And the evidence? Oh, there isn’t any. But buy the guy’s e-book; there’s also no evidence in there.
Here’s how The Blaze ends the article:
The argument that Roberts changed his vote has been made in the past, but is certainly lent additional credibility when a U.S. senator writes a book making the case.
Lee and Beck and tons of conservatives either don’t understand the ruling or don’t agree with it (or a little of both) so they assume that Roberts must have been intimidated; they even go so far as to suggest that the NSA might have blackmailed Roberts with pictures of himself or his family members. This is precisely the kind of conspiracy-mongering I always expect from Glenn Beck … but now we also get to enjoy it courtesy of a sitting U.S. Senator.
Really, there are two questions here:
- Did Justice Roberts change his vote on the Affordable Care Act?
- Was Justice Roberts intimidated into changing his vote?
Lee believes there’s some evidence that Roberts changed his vote between hearing oral arguments and writing the majority opinion. He seems to think this is the same thing as having evidence that Roberts was intimidated into changing his vote … because Lee apparently believes that one changes one’s mind only through intimidation.
You should watch the full fourteen minute interview because it’s a great example of what a whole bunch of people in this country are thinking. Of course, there are only a few moments in it that aren’t completely awash in lunatic conspiracy theorizing … and those are the moments when Lee repeatedly urges people to buy his e-book: