Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act came courtesy of a surprise flip by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. Today, everyone's scrambling to write SCOTUS fanfic about why it happened — what he was thinking, whether or not he really thought the individual mandate should be upheld, whether he was being threatened by a gang of the President's thugs (this is actually a thing that some crazy dude wrote). But one of the most interesting theories comes from a conservative radio host and another far right pundit: John Roberts didn't realize what he was doing when he wrote the majority opinion, because he's epileptic, so he must have either had a gran mal left wing seizure or been drugged into agreeing with the President.
The "epilepsy did it" theory is brought to you by conservative radio host Michael Savage, who implied on his radio show that Roberts' epilepsy-addled brain was ill-equipped to rule on the Affordable Care Act, because seizures make people change their political ideologies. The full quote, per Think Progress,
Let's talk about Roberts. I'm going to tell you something that you're not going to hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to. It's well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts' writings you can see the cognitive dissociation in what he is saying.
But Savage wasn't alone. Bryan J. Fisher, another conservative pundit, echoed his concerns after the ACA ruling.
Where were these epilepsy concerns when former President Bush nominated Roberts for Chief Justice? Maybe each of them, at the time, was on epilepsy medication that made them mentally slow. That must be it.
I've heard people accuse medications of making them gamble, of causing them to gain weight, and of turning them into an evil rapist, but I've never heard of a drug that actually takes a career conservative and forces him to write several pages of legal opinion as though he were liberal.