American Elephants


Act of Great Cunning? Too Clever By Half? Complete Disaster? by The Elephant's Child

The ObamaCare decision was a shock. We had been hearing about the huge numbers of  the public who wanted ObamaCare repealed. Intrade was running over 70% for repeal.  And Chief Justice Roberts joined the left to uphold ObamaCare. For many Republicans, the instant reaction was outrage.

With Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the swing vote, joining the conservative members of the court, we seemed to have repeal guaranteed and Chief Justice Roberts voted to uphold. Why?

Trying to understand was interrupted by a more plebeian problem, of the plumbing variety. You know how it goes. You try all the home remedies hoping to avoid having to call the plumber, and it’s always late on Friday or on the weekend, when the cost is way higher.  Nevermind. You know how it goes.

Here are a variety of serious people with fine minds offering their take:

Paul Rahe is a professor of History at Hillsdale College and an outspoken critic of ObamaCare.

Sean Trende is Senior Elections Analyst for Real Clear Politics.

Timothy Dalrymple writing at Patheos after listening to a talk from Paul Clement, who argued the case.

Mark Tapscott. Executive Editor of the Washington Examiner.

Richard Epstein Professor of Law at University of Chicago and NYU School of Law. Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Joshua Hawley Now a Law Professor, but a former clerk to Chief Justice Roberts.

Randy Barnett Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown Law, and a member of the team that argued the case before the Supreme Court.

You can easily find all sorts of articles filled with outrage.  These are more thoughtful. The Wall Street Journal has several pieces, but is behind a subscription barrier.


2 Comments so far
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What’s an elephant doing using indoor plumbing?

If the Obamacare mandate is unconstitutional, then why aren’t things like the ethanol mandate unconsitutional? Where were all the conservative lawyers when that went into effect?

I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not trying to argue the case one way or another. I’m genuinely interested in what makes the two cases different. The ethanol mandate is also enforced through a fine, which equally could be seen as a tax.

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Comment by Subsidy Eye

Hopefully, the reasoning used in this case will shoot down that ethanol subsidy, too.

While I disagree with the Roberts decision, it does cause some very interesting problems for the Obama people. Roberts said that the fee collected by those who don’t get health insurance is valid only as a tax. The administration is still bending over backwards telling people that it’s not a tax, even though that’s the only way that the law is valid (that, and the whole “only 1% of the population would be expected to have to pay it” (that comes to about “only” 3.1 million people!)). The Obama spokespeople are in for a very rough 4 months on this subject.

(trying to palm Obamacare off on Romney won’t work for the mass audience, either. However Romney feels about the subject, or even the Massachusetts system, he has promised to overturn the PPACA, and nobody is going to let him off the hook for that.)

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Comment by Lon Mead




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