After two years, the travesty of governmental tyranny will have its day in court. There will be a total of six hours of arguments. It’s been decades, perhaps since before WW2, that amount of time has been allocated for argument.
The arguments will be spread over three days. Four of the issues are: The Individual Mandate, Expanded Medicaid Requirements to the States, Is the Fine associated with the Individual Mandate a Penalty or a Tax, and Severability.
A PDF summary of the issues can be found here.
That last item, or the lack of it, is critical. Usually, in large bills such as Obamacare, there is a clause that states that if any part of the bill is later deemed unconstitutional, the rest of the bill can still stand, i.e., if the individual mandate is unconstitutional, all the rest of Obamacare, the death panels, the insurance pools, pushing more unfunded medicaid cost to the states, the rape of Medicare, with severability, all that still stands.
The democrats screwed up. There is no explicit severability in Obamacare. Therefore if any part of Obamacare is unconstitutional, the entire bill is unconstitutional. So we all hope. We want that. It’s the last nail in the coffin of Obamacare.
Obama’s minions will argue that severability, while not explicitly written into Obamacare, was implied. Therefore Obamacare may remain even if parts of it is unconstitutional. The other side will argue that if the authors of the bill thought severability would be an issue, they should have said so.
Most folks around the country appear to think it’s a done deal—that Obamacare will be declared unconstitutional and the whole thing will be repealed. Constitutional lawyers and other knowledgeable experts aren’t so confident.
Rick Ungar, ContributorI know what you’re thinking.When it comes to how the Supremes are likely to vote on the constitutionality of Obamacare, all this back and forth over the fine and complicated points of law is little more than a useless exercise in legal mumbo jumbo.At the end of the day, the Supreme Court Justices will vote their politics and ideology—not the law.At least that is what’s on your mind if you are one of the 75 percent of all Americans who, according to a recent Bloomberg Poll, believe that our Supreme Court is all about fulfilling the ideological political agenda of the president and party who handed the Justices their lifetime appointments and not about deciding the issues on their legal merits or an objective interpretation of the Constitution.I don’t know about you, but I find this verdict to be extremely depressing.Of the 75 percent polled who believe that politics will have an impact on how the Court comes down on this week’s review of the Affordable Care Act, those who call themselves politically independent were the most skeptical as 80 percent of these folks think that the politics will creep into the court’s rulings. Republicans were just slightly less cynical with 74 percent of the GOPers answering the survey responding that politics is definitely in play.Oddly, considering that the Court skews to the conservative side these days, only 65 percent of Democrats polled believe that the Court’s decision will be tinged with ideological considerations.The good news is that the Supreme Court may be feeling your cynicism and looking to go out of its way to avoid the appearance of political creep.
It’s an interesting argument. I’m unsure I agree. Regardless how careful SCOTUS acts, it will be viewed as partisan from one side or the other. All too often, I’ve seen common knowledge end up with uncommon results.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to see the whole kit ‘n kaboodle struck down. The Frank-Dodd Banking Act too and a number of other liberal acts going back to the creation of the NLRB.
But I’m not going to hold my breath. It’s not a sure thing.
I note one change announced in the last few days is that audio, perhaps video as well, of the arguments will be released at the end of each day. Usually those records are not released until the end of the year or at the end of the judicial term a number of months down the road.
Whatever the reason, you can be assured that over the next few days, the speculation, analysis, re-analysis, the pundits spouting forth on one item or another, will splash across the media and not one will know the final decision for months when, in its own good time, SCOTUS speaks.
Already, I can hear the spinmeisters spooling up to speed, getting ready.
In the end, my guess will be as good as theirs. Frankly, I doubt we’ll get everything. But I’m still hoping the lack of severability will kill the monster.