Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let's not....get too excited

Naturally, I'm pleased about the events at the Supreme Court today:
Today was the most important day in the history of the individual mandate. And it might be the day the individual mandate died, based on the conservative justices' creative and painstaking assault on the law. "This was a train wreck for the Obama administration," Jeffrey Toobin told CNN. "This law looks like it's going to be struck down."
Of course a ruling won't be made until June but the overwhelming impression is that the conservative justices took the position - never really refuted by the other side - that the individual mandate gives the government limitless powers.  One of my favorite parts was when Justice Kennedy took on the idea that health care is "unique": "And in the next case, it'll say the next market is unique."

I'm sure the other side will say that the justices are "ignoring the law."  But I wonder how much of the Court's considerations are influenced by the fact that Americans have never liked Obamacare and, two years later, dislike it even more.  It's gotta make it easier, listening to the will of the people.

Extra - NY Magazine: "How Paul Clement won the Supreme Court's oral arguments on Obamacare."

More - Links at Instapundit.

And this - Opinion Journal: "A bad day for unlimited government at the High Court."


Anonymous said...

Read the transcript, and it's clear that both sides' lawyers got hammered, from both the liberal and conservative sides of the Court, and that neither side was able to defend its arguments in a full, coherent way.

Justice Kennedy, generally considered the linchpin to the decision, was openly skeptical of both arguments.

Kennedy to the government: “When you are changing the relationship of the individual to the government, do you not have a unique obligation to show authorization under the Constitution?”

Kennedy to the plaintiffs: “The young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries."

With Justice Roberts also showing some ambiguity, your headline is excellent advice for anyone who has a strong opinion about what needs to happen.

Also, from the "be careful what you wish for" department, tomorrow's session is also huge. If the Court strikes the mandate but upholds the rest of the law, costs will explode and single-payer will follow as night follows the day.

Anonymous said...

Well, when the White House has to put out a statement saying "Verilli wasn't so bad"...you know it was bad.

Roger Bournival said...

Look! Up in the sky"

It's a bird!

It's a plane!

It's a plane wreck!
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeff Toobin: “This still looks like a train wreck for the Obama Administration, and it may also be a plane wreck. This entire law is now in serious trouble. It also seems that the individual mandate is doomed. I mean, Anthony Kennedy spent much of this morning talking about if we strike down the individual mandate, how should we handle the rest of the law? Now, it is less clear that they are going to strike down the whole law. There does seem to be some controversy in the court about that. Certainly there are some members of the court, Antonin Scalia, Justice Alito, who want to strike down the entire law, but it seemed almost a foregone conclusion today that they were going to strike down the individual mandate, and the only question is does the whole law go out the window with it?”

Whitfield: “Oh, my goodness. Okay, so I have got about 20 seconds or so left. How might this impact arguments later on this afternoon, Jeff?”

Toobin: “Well, it's hard to imagine how things could be going much worse for the Obama Administration, but now they're going to be dealing with the Medicaid portion, and they may decide to get rid of that as well.”