Monday, December 13, 2010

Obamacare and the Court


The news is all a-chatter tonight (as I write this) about a federal judge striking down the mandate portion of Obama/Pelosi/Reid's health care law as unconstitutional. Please allow me to join in some of the chatter and a bit of prognostication.

The first thing I found interesting about today's coverage is that the AP and other media breathlessly reported that it was a Bush-appointed federal judge that struck the law down. In passing, they casually mentioned that two other judges had ruled to uphold the law. Wouldn't it have been more fair and balanced if they had mentioned the party affiliation of the president who appointed those judges? Can I guess that it probably was a Democratic president? Just asking.

Next, a couple of things to watch. The governors, state attorneys general and others are planning on asking the Justice Department's concurrence in bypassing the appeals courts and taking this directly to the Supreme Court to get it settled. It is possible that the Obama Administration might try and run out the clock on this one, dragging it out as long as possible in hopes of being able to appoint more justices to the court. That is, assuming one or more of the conservative justices either retires or dies. Barring that scenario, if it does actually get to the Supreme Court, it is no guarantee that the law will be found unconstitutional there, despite a 5-4 split between conservative vs. liberal justices. Justice Anthony Kennedy has largely taken Sandra Day O'Connor's place as the "swing" justice. He could go either way on this one.

I would like to see more federal courts tell the executive branch and the legislative branch they have gone too far in ignoring the Constitution and usurping states' rights. I'd love to see the Supreme Court do that in this case.

I won't hold my breath.

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