But even that would be too neutral for the Times. Not content to blame Bush, the remainder of the editorial blames Reagan and conservatism in general for all the ills of society:
[T]he conservative legal battles of our modern times are being waged by the most powerful, often against the weak and oppressed. They began with a carefully planned and successful effort to reshape the courts to be sympathetic to conservative causes. They are largely aimed at narrowing rights, not expanding them -- except where property and guns are concerned. And beginning with the Reagan administration, conservatives became impatient with the pace of change brought about from within the mainstream. They sought to remake law into a weapon of aggressive action.This is 180 degrees wrong; it is the left which embraced the "hail Mary" pass through the legal system, bypassing the slower, but Constitutional electoral process. Can you say "Roe v. Wade"?
The editorial continues:
The court’s health care reform case arose from a decision by Judge Roger Vinson of Federal District Court in Pensacola, Fla., striking down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional. It demonstrates the enduring influence of the Reagan administration, which put a premium on picking judges who would carry out its ideology and on countering liberalism with pointed conservatism any way possible.Huh? Are the Times' editors now members of Generation Y--and believe the world began no more than four Facebook posts ago? The Obamacare controversy started with -- wait for it! -- Obama. It was the President, plus the Pelosi Congress, who passed and codified a Federal individual mandate. One that even the non-partisan Congressional Research Service warned (at 3), prior to passage, that its lawfulness under the Commerce Clause was "perhaps the most challenging question posed by such a proposal." Blaming the first of what turned out to be several judges who since have voided at least some of Obamacare conveniently scapegoates a single Judge who happened to be a Republican nominee, and happens to sit in a traditionally conservative -- heck, let's call it as the Times doubtlessly sees it -- redneck jurisdiction (Vinson's district covers the Florida panhandle).
Besides nominating Judge Vinson and getting him confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate, the Reagan Justice Department published conservative positions on states’ rights and other issues in executive-branch opinions to promote them before courts took them seriously.
Citing conservative scholarship about the narrow meaning of the Constitution’s commerce clause, the Vinson opinion presents the Reagan view of economic liberty -- an idea that was judged faulty by established scholars during the Reagan era but now carries great influence.
That the Supreme Court not only agreed to take the case but allotted 5.5 times the normal period for oral arguments alone demonstrates the absurdity of the Times trying to pin the rap on a lone Judicial gunman, and through him, President Reagan.
The sole comfort to take from the Times' monumentally vapid editorial is that, were the entire problem summoned from nowhere last year by Judge Vinson, the issue couldn't have been invented either by the Heritage Foundation or Mitt Romney.