Dem Congressman Suggests Supreme Court Justices Might Bring 'Specter of Politics' into Obamacare Case Because They Are 'Close' to Libertarian Philanthropists
(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) wondered aloud in a congressional hearing on Wednesday whether members of the Supreme Court might bring the "specter of politics" into an expected Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the health care law because, Johnson said, they are "close" to the Koch brothers, who are philanthropists who support libertarian causes.
Johnson, questioning Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the House Judiciary Committee about the mandate, which requires people to carry health insurance or be penalized, said that the controversy was about politics. Johnson then went on to question whether a Supreme Court decision might be politicized.
“It’s politics. That’s what we have here with this health care argument in the courts, and unfortunately due to the activities of a couple of our Supreme Court justices and how close they are to the Koch brothers I am disappointed at the specter of politics coming into a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on this very issue,” Johnson said.
The Koch brothers, Charles and David, run Koch Industries, based in Wichita, Kan. The brothers are strong supporters of limited government and free markets.
Charles Koch established the Charles G. Koch Foundation, which places interns at various conservative and free-market institutions in Washington, D.C. Also, Koch Industries is known for its lobbying efforts to prevent cap and trade legislation and other regulations.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) challenged Johnson, asking Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) whether Johnson’s comments were out of order.
“I know that under the rules of the House one is not allowed to call into question the motivation of a member of Congress in the House or the Senate and the President of the United States,” Lungren said. “Does that rule of the House also refer to members of the Supreme Court?”
Johnson responded saying, “I did not comment on what the Supreme Court has already ruled. It’s what I fear that they may rule.”