American Elephants

ObamaCare is Narrowly Upheld 5—4. by The Elephant's Child

The very idea that we sit on the edge of our seats, eyes toward Washington DC, waiting on the deliberations and dispositions of nine mortals to tell us how much of our liberty we get to retain is preposterous.  —Dave Carter, Ricochet  

—The Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is not constitutional under the Commerce Power, which was how Congress framed the mandate to avoid a political backlash from calling it a tax. Congress and the president swore up and down that the mandate was not a tax. Yet the Court upheld the mandate as a valid use of that disavowed taxing power. What Congress said the individual mandate is, the Court said is not constitutional. What Congress said the mandate is not, the Court ruled is constitutional. Everybody got that?

Where does that leave us?

  1. The Supreme Court just enacted a law that Congress never would have passed.
  2. The Court just told Congress it is okay to lie to the people to avoid political accountability.
         —Michael F.Cannon, CATO                 

—  We  do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions.”
—Chief Justice Roberts from the decision, for the majority

—Today’s decision validates our claim that a Congressional power to compel that all Americans engage in commerce was a constitutional bridge too far.  By rewriting the law to make it a ‘tax,’ the Court has now thrown ObamaCare into the political process where the People will decide whether this so-called ‘tax’ will stand.  And the People will also decide whether future Supreme Court nominees will pledge to enforce the Constitution’s restrictions on the power of Congress.
              — Senator Mitch McConnell

 —Salvaging the idea that Congress did have the power to try to expand health care to virtually all Americans, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutionality of the crucial – and most controversial — feature of the Affordable Care Act. By a vote of 5-4, however, the Court did not sustain it as a command for Americans to buy insurance, but as a tax if they don’t. That is the way Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., was willing to vote for it, and his view prevailed. The other Justices split 4-4, with four wanting to uphold it as a mandate, and four opposed to it in any form.
—Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m not giving up on Roberts yet…. think about it. By doing this, he accomplishes many things.
a) Expressly limits Congress from abusing the Commerce Clause
b) Restores faith in the Supreme Court so that left-wingers can’t call it “partisan” for awhile.
c) Makes the repeal of Obamacare an election issue. With a majority of the country supposing it, the fact that it’s survival on the table might actually help Romney.
d) If Romney DOES get elected, the Senate would need only 51 votes to repeal it.

Maybe he knows what he’s doing.


Comment by consideragain

I have trouble with b) Why would we care that left-wingers might call us ‘partisan?” They will not be that nice, but call us racist, and an assortment of really bad words. We had the opportunity to get rid of ObamaCare in one fell swoop, and Roberts blew it by getting all wishy-washy about the purity of the court. We had the usual waffler firmly on our side. The majority of the country probably thinks they will get free healthcare. Most people just don’t pay much attention until after Labor Day, and haven’t followed what the law actually does. The Left can’t even study up enough to understand the unintended consequences that will inevitably come from their regulations. Where’s Harriet Miers when you need her?


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Sorry, the second sentence in point (c) was supposed to read “with a majority of the country OPPosing it, the fact that its (took out apostrophe) survival…”

Two typos within a few words! I need to sleep.


Comment by consideragain

Not us, but the Supreme Court. Here’s my thinking. First off, I haven’t read the opinions yet. So I can hate Obamacare all I want, but that doesn’t automatically make it unconstitutional. Why? Because I do not know the laws and precedents near as much as the justices. So I’m reserving my judgment on Roberts.

But still just thinking about the possibility. He may have realized that striking down the law would basically cause everyone to assume that the Court is a “conservative-liberal” thing, and the dissent would have a complete endorsement of the continued abuse of the Commerce Clause. By joining the majority on the other side, he got to diffuse that criticism while writing the Court’s opinion – giving a stern warning about the Commerce Clause and forever enshrining it in Supreme Court precedent, a victory far greater in relation to our future. Just thoughts. I don’t know yet, and I haven’t read his decision. But I think there’s a possibility that he’s smarter than we think.


Comment by consideragain

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