“Follow The Money” & “Blackmail”: Conservative Media Floats Conspiracy Theories To Explain Roberts Vote On Healthcare Case


Conservative media figures are floating conspiracy theories to explain Chief Justice John Roberts' decision in favor of the Obama administration, reaffirming the Affordable Care Act in the King vs. Burwell case.

Writing for the 6-3 Supreme Court majority, Roberts' opinion preserves the nationwide tax credits in the health care law that assist poor and middle-class people in the purchase of health insurance.

On his June 25 show, Rush Limbaugh promoted the theory that Roberts -- who in the past has more typically sided with the conservative justices -- had been influenced by outside businesses in order to come to his decision affirming the law.

Limbaugh highlighted a link on the Drudge Report to CNBC, which explained that health care stocks had increased after the decision was announced. He told his listeners to “follow the money,” claiming the stock increases were evidence that some in the Republican Party are more responsive to “money people” and “donors” over voters.

While Limbaugh said “I'm not accusing anybody of anything,” he also argued that “when you follow the money, a lot of questions that seem unanswerable become clear.” He accused Chief Justice Roberts of rewriting and interpreting the Affordable Care Act “outside the bounds of law” in order to come to his desired conclusion.

Limbaugh said “there's a clear benefit to certain people” resulting from the Supreme Court decision. Rhetorically asking himself if “moneyed interests” could influence a Supreme Court justice, Limbaugh said, “I don't know” but added that it was “obvious the law was not used in rendering this decision.”

Limbaugh also characterized the court's decision as “maybe even an economic opinion,” but not a legal one.

Meanwhile, writing at Glenn Beck's news website, The Blaze, occasional FoxNews.com opinion columnist (and conspiracy theorist) Wayne Allyn Root promoted another conspiracy about the decision. Root asked, “Has Supreme Court Justice John Roberts been blackmailed or intimidated?”

Root went on to ask, “Is it impossible to believe that Obama and his socialist cabal that learned from Saul Alinsky that 'the ends justify the means' would hold something over a Supreme Court justice's head?”

Root noted, “It's time to assume the worst of this government ... All it takes to destroy America and pass Obama's agenda is to control a few key powerful positions in Washington, D.C.”

He then laid out the scenario of how the purported blackmail would go down: “They threaten to expose something terrible like an affair, or corruption, or malfeasance, or immorality that would shock the nation, ruin their career, destroy their legacy, cost their marriage, destroy their relationship with their children and leave them unemployable by any respectable law firm or lobbyist.”

Root concluded, “Republicans are being blackmailed, intimidated, extorted and bribed. That explains Justice Roberts and the Supremes ruling against the American People again,” darkly adding, “The Obama Crime Family is in charge.”