Will ObamaCare decision provide a redefining moment for federal power?

posted at 12:41 pm on June 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Now that Mandate-mas has been firmly scheduled for Thursday, a few final analyses are now in order.  After all, between the Issa/Holder confrontation over Operation Fast and Furious and the Supreme Court, not much else is making news this week anyway, is it?  In my column for The Week, I game out the possible outcomes and predict their impact on the political landscape in this election season — and warn Republicans about the perils of static analysis if the court does the unexpected and upholds ObamaCare in its entirety:

To hear the way some critics talk, Obama finds himself in a no-win position. TIME‘s Mark Halperin argued on Monday, before it became apparent that the Supreme Court wouldn’t issue its decision until later in the week, that every outcome would be bad news for Obama. Halperin told Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that “a lot of Democrats” tell him the same thing. The idea is that the bill is so unpopular, even a win at the Supreme Court can’t turn it into a net positive for voters. Democrats on the campaign trail, Halperin said, “largely hide from it.”

Republicans had better not bet the house on that interpretation, although obviously, a large number of them believe it. It’s true that the ACA has remained remarkably unpopular, with some polls showing as many as two-thirds of the country wanting the Supreme Court to overturn the mandate or the whole bill. The mandate in particular rankles Americans, most of whom are stunned to think that the federal government can order them to buy a product at all, whether it be health insurance or broccoli, the counter example that has grown inexplicably popular as the horrific reductio ad absurdum of limitless government power. (Shouldn’t the worst-case scenario really be Brussels sprouts?)

But let’s get real: Assuming that a positive ruling from the Supreme Court would have no impact on the ACA’s popularity is quite a leap. Public opinion could easily change if the Supreme Court upholds the ACA and the mandate, especially if the vote is something other than a narrow 5-4. Such a decision won’t make ObamaCare popular overnight, but it might prompt some of those who disliked the bill for its reported unconstitutionality to rethink the matter. Many voters would similarly re-evaluate the Republican lawmakers who insisted that ObamaCare could not possibly survive constitutional scrutiny.

Given the oral arguments from March and the tea-leaf reading this week, I’d call that a slim possibility anyway.  The Supreme Court seems ready to strike down at least some portion of the PPACA on Thursday, and as I wrote in my column, those options are almost unrelentingly bad for Obama.  But will a partial overturning really settle anything?  Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon argue that the court might be inclined to strike the whole thing, rather than endure years of continued litigation on the remnants.  For instance, the tax application may already be a prime target for a complaint about the PPACA’s  constitutionality, as well as its funding:

Even if the Affordable Care Act survives its first Supreme Court test— a ruling is due as early as today — the lawsuits won’t end. Citizens have already filed challenges to what critics call the law’s “death panel” and its impact on privacy rights, religious liberty and physician-owned hospitals. Still another potential lawsuit poses as great a threat to the law as the case now before the high court.

Under the guise of implementing the law, the Internal Revenue Service has announced it will impose a tax of up to $3,000 per worker on employers whom Congress has not authorized a tax. To make things more interesting: If the IRS doesn’t impose that unauthorized tax, the whole law could collapse.

The Act’s “employer mandate” taxes employers up to $3,000 per employee if they fail to offer required health benefits. But that tax kicks in only if their employees receive tax credits or subsidies to purchase a health plan through a state-run insurance “exchange.”

This 2,000-page law is complex. But in one respect the statute is clear: Credits are available only in states that create an exchange themselves. The federal government might create exchanges in states that decline, but it cannot offer credits through its own exchanges. And where there can be no credits, there is nothing to trigger that $3,000 tax.

If anything, leaving the remnants in place makes this a bigger headache for the courts, not less of one, just as it does for Obama and Democrats (as I also argue in my column).  With Congress explicitly excluding language for severability in the bill, the court has a Mack truck-sized opening to dump the whole bill rather than just surgically excise any offending portion.  The more I think about this, the more I think a middle ground solution might be less likely.

Of course, an adverse ruling will have the liberal legal establishment up in arms, angrily denouncing the Supreme Court — a process some have already begun as a means to shape the political battleground if ObamaCare gets overturned in part or in whole.  How can the Court turn its back on eighty years of commerce-clause precedent, they will scream, and find limitations of federal power?  Charles Lane, a center-left columnist at the Washington Post, reminds them that those precedents took place in an era when federal intervention was new and unprecedented itself, and that eighty years of experience may have America at a point where a consensus is developing that it’s neither proper nor beneficial:

In the 1930s, expanding federal power was innovative, promising. By blessing it, the court aligned itself with the wave of the future, in this country and globally. Ditto for the 1960s. Much of the legislation that resulted — from Social Security to the Voting Rights Act — was indeed progressive.

Today, however, there is nothing new about federal intervention — and much evidence from the past 70 years that big programs produce inefficiencies and unintended consequences.

The post-New Deal consensus about the scope of federal power has broken down amid national, and global, concern over the welfare state’s cost and intrusiveness — a sea change of which the tea party is but one manifestation. Obamacare itself, which has consistently polled badly, fueled that movement.

Much has been made of the fact that Republicans had no objection, constitutional or otherwise, when the individual mandate first surfaced. But that was two decades ago. In today’s changed intellectual, fiscal and political environment, seemingly lapidary constitutional phrases such as “commerce … among the several states” can acquire fresh meaning, as they did for the New Deal and at other points in the past.

In that sense, a rejection of ObamaCare would match the consensus we’ve seen in the polling over the last two years.  Americans don’t want a federal government that can mandate purchases of private-sector goods and services, no matter how beneficial the governing class believes them to be.  This could very well be a turning point that redefines and contracts federal reach — and if so, then the last two years will have been well worth the trouble.


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…Omaha says…youbetcha!

KOOLAID2 on June 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM

The law means nothing…….when YOU are the Law.

Just happy American subjects if Doctor Obama let’s you escape the Death Panels.

PappyD61 on June 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM

…Electron…dittos that!

KOOLAID2 on June 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Just BE happy American subjects if Doctor Obama let’s you escape the Death Panels.

…..and now that I think about…….isn’t Obamacare Americas’ Death Panel?

PappyD61 on June 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

According to a HA poster last night, Marc Ambinder’s twitterfeed said that Obama is readying a bunch of executive orders in case it is struck down. Ambinder didn’t know what kind of EOs. Take it for what it’s worth, considering it’s Ambinder.

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

…Electron…dittos that!

KOOLAID2 on June 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM

:)

Electrongod on June 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I’m hoping that they strike down Wickard in this.

wildcat72 on June 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

whatever happens with Obamacare the King will make his own law. When can we start marching in the streets with pitchforks?

neyney on June 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

The mandate in particular rankles Americans, most of whom are stunned to think that the federal government can order them to buy a product at all, whether it be health insurance or broccoli, the counter example that has grown inexplicably popular as the horrific reductio ad absurdum of limitless government power. (Shouldn’t the worst-case scenario really be Brussels sprouts?)

Dude. I made steak, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts for dinner last night ….

besser tot als rot on June 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

If, as Justice Scalia hinted last week Obamanationcare is ruled unconstitutional and the SCOTUS also revisits Wickard, then the repercussion will resemble the sonic boom and shockwave created by a 100 Megaton nuclear blast.

SWalker on June 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

How can the Court turn its back on eighty years of commerce-clause precedent, they will scream, and find limitations of federal power?

Because this is the moment when we decide if the Commerce Clause is unlimited or not. Either interpretation will be unprecedented, that’s the point. Either we have a limited government, or we don’t. Either the Constitution is law, or it’s a guideline. There is no in-between on this case.

I have no doubt liberals will be up in arms if their ox gets gored, but make no mistake: this case is the most important decision on American government’s role in individuals lives we’ve ever seen.

Meric1837 on June 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Day One of the Romney Presidency: Rescission of every Obama EO. Every one.

de rigueur on June 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I can only imagine. In fact I imagine it well enough while watching the scene from “Apocalypse Now” where Sheen is being briefed by the general about Kurtz having gone insane.

Bishop on June 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

If the mandate is deemed constitutional, then yes it will. The republic is dead at the point as federal authority becomes almost limitless.

NotCoach on June 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

I fail to see the political advantage in that, if he is trying an end run. Surely, he isn’t that arrogant. Is he? Is he?

a capella on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

My predictions, based on the assumption that Roberts writes for the majority and Ginsburg the minority, as discussed in AP’s posts yesterday:

6-3, striking the mandate, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan dissenting.

5-4, finding non-severability, same plus Sotomayor dissenting.

TXUS on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I’m hoping that they strike down Wickard in this.

wildcat72 on June 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Your words to God’s ear.

Rebar on June 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Good one Ed

Dropkick this sucker tomorrow

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Meric1837 on June 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Yep. It’s all about the commerce clause and how it can control our lives if the abuse is allowed to continue.

a capella on June 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

According to a HA poster last night, Marc Ambinder’s twitterfeed said that Obama is readying a bunch of executive orders in case it is struck down. Ambinder didn’t know what kind of EOs. Take it for what it’s worth, considering it’s Ambinder.

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

What is he going to do, make the law apply anyway but only to illegal immigrants in Arizona?

rockmom on June 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

It sure would not surprise me to see bho so gobs of eo’s if this goes bad for him? What bho/big sis did yesterday to AZ after the SC rule, dictator/king bho thinks(and probably correct) he can do anything he wants without anything happening to him?
L

letget on June 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM

OMG… Listening to Rush Limbaugh, he just pointed out the Huma Abedin Hillary Clinton Muslim Brotherhood connection… Has Rush been reading my poor little tiny blog?

SWalker on June 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Will ObamaCare decision provide a redefining moment for federal power?

I think the redefining moment for federal power came when our Constitution became seen as a set of guidelines instead of the law of the land.

MessesWithTexas on June 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Wethal i can definitely see dear leader usurping law and throwing a bunch of EOs in our face

Didnt like the courts decision so im going to do things my way

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

I fail to see the political advantage in that, if he is trying an end run. Surely, he isn’t that arrogant. Is he? Is he?

a capella on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

If he thought it would energize the factions in his base to give money, and GOTV, he’d do it. Re-election is all that matters now.

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

This could very well be a turning point that redefines and contracts federal reach — and if so, then the last two years will have been well worth the trouble.

The pendulum always swings back.

hopeful on June 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

But let’s get real: Assuming that a positive ruling from the Supreme Court would have no impact on the ACA’s popularity is quite a leap

Indeed. Opposition will increase as the fail continues to unfold, and the intensity of opposition will increase immediately amongst those of us who already oppose it. I know it will with me. Obama is through if this law is upheld.

On the other hand, striking down all or part of it will open up almost unlimited opportunity for Obama and Democrats to lie and demagogue about what the law “would have” done, and what the mean ol’ Republicans “took away”. Every person who dies in the country going forward will get blamed on those who opposed this law.

forest on June 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

TXUS on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I sure hope so, but, I have this nightmare of Kennedy relishing his moment of fame a little too much.

a capella on June 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Marc Ambinder’s twitterfeed said that Obama is readying a bunch of executive orders in case it is struck down.

Of course he is. Anybody who thinks Obama will abide in any way by a Supreme Court verdict that goes against him hasn’t been paying any attention the last week, or for the last three years.

He is a lawless tyrant who ignores court rulings he doesn’t like, and I’d like libfree, inthemiddle or any of his other apologists on these forums to cogently argue otherwise.

Right Mover on June 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Brussel Sprouts?

Quite apropos, Ed. It reminds me that this is what a lot of Europeans fear – all those laws that sprout from the bureaucrats of Brussels.

Drained Brain on June 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Dude. I made steak, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts for dinner last night ….

besser tot als rot on June 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Two green vegetables on one plate. How gauche!

- Anna Wintour

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:05 PM

We’re not out if the woods yet. If 0 gets re-elected, all this is for naught once the SCOTUS becomes liberal and declares socialism to be the true constitution.

pedestrian on June 26, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I predict that Obama will use any outcome to:
1) Claim victory and
2) Campaign on the need for him to nominate more judges

tomg51 on June 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Debt, inflation and war are the last redoubts of a failed ruling class. Keyesianism is how the corrupt bail themselves out at our expense and try to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. It’s how politicians buy votes by squandering the future prosperity of our own progeny.

FloatingRock on June 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Surely, he isn’t that arrogant. Is he? Is he?

a capella on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

You just come out of a coma or something?

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

the left will not suffer a defeat lightly…they never have. Fallows pointed the way on the language that will be used. Erza Klein had a piece on the conspiracy that was at work behind the scenes…a real piece of work, sounding vaguely like how the left always talks about people on the right (you know, backwards and paranoid).

but that is today’s Left. And they have billions and billions of $$$$$$…and 100s of leftists like Fallows in the media. they will launch an all out war.

(btw, i’m not yet convinced that barry.care won’t be upheld…entirely. That would be the easiest route for the Court)

r keller on June 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Wethal i can definitely see dear leader usurping law and throwing a bunch of EOs in our face

Didnt like the courts decision so im going to do things my way

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

…I’m starting to think everything from now until January will be EOs…the frequency has been increasing.
I’m starting to wonder, if JugEars is looking for an armed revolt?

KOOLAID2 on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Wethal i can definitely see dear leader usurping law and throwing a bunch of EOs in our face

Didnt like the courts decision so im going to do things my way

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Let’s review BHO lawlessness, shall we?

DOMA
Oil drilling in the Gulf
Arizona SB 1070

Nah, no chance in H**l that BHO will throw out a bunch of EOs.

/

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Possibly koolaid

War

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM

:) gramny

Is it too early for a drink

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Possibly koolaid

War

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Sure starting to look that way.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:14 PM

The only thing I want to see after the SCOTUS drives the final nail into the Obamacare coffin is how Obama and the Democrats will find some way, any way to………….wait for it………wait for it…..

BLAME BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

pilamaye on June 26, 2012 at 1:14 PM

:) gramny

Is it too early for a drink

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Back in the day, I would say *clink.*

These days, I survive on Coke and cigs.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM

My predictions, based on the assumption that Roberts writes for the majority and Ginsburg the minority, as discussed in AP’s posts yesterday:

6-3, striking the mandate, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan dissenting.

5-4, finding non-severability, same plus Sotomayor dissenting.

TXUS on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I don’t have that much faith in Roberts. He seems squishy. I don’t if he’s always been this way, but I started noticing it after Obama’s dress-down of the court. The guy is not very strong, and he seems terrified at thought of someone not liking him or his Court.

Conservative Independent on June 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Anything less than a complete overturn would be a nightmare.

catmman on June 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Democrats on the campaign trail, Halperin said, “largely hide from it.”

largely hiding from it? Is there even a single dem out on the campaign bragging about voting for this POS other than queen nanzi?

Dude. I made steak, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts for dinner last night ….

besser tot als rot on June 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

So you’re the gassy one. How ’bout cracking a window before you drop one of those.

Lost in Jersey on June 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Anything less than a complete overturn would be a nightmare.

catmman on June 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Yes, and to go one step further, anything less than a complete turnover in November would be a monumental disaster.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

This could very well be a turning point that redefines and contracts federal reach — and if so, then the last two years will have been well worth the trouble.You just made my day Ed, thanks!

JusDreamin on June 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

(Shouldn’t the worst-case scenario really be Brussels sprouts?)

No. There is actually a window–about 15 seconds–in which Bruseels Sprouts aren’t bad, and are maybe even good. There is never a good time for broccoli.

Kevin K. on June 26, 2012 at 1:21 PM

whatever happens with Obamacare the King will make his own law. When can we start marching in the streets with pitchforks?

neyney on June 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

But the NALEO lady says forks are not allowed in Obama’s presence!

Steve Z on June 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I think Washington would have to be razed to achieve a redefining moment for federal power.

Axion on June 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I’m starting to wonder, if JugEars is looking for an armed revolt?

Sure he is. He thrives on crises, and can use a “crisis” to suspend elections. Put nothing past this psychopath. Seriously.

Right Mover on June 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

No. There is actually a window–about 15 seconds–in which Bruseels Sprouts aren’t bad, and are maybe even good.

15 seconds, between the eating and the vomiting?

Steve Z on June 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Let’s review BHO lawlessness, shall we?

DOMA
Oil drilling in the Gulf
Arizona SB 1070

Nah, no chance in H**l that BHO will throw out a bunch of EOs.

/

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

You forgot:

Firing IG Walpin which violated a law he helped write.
Signing unconstitutional NDAA (lots of blame to go around there).
Drone assassinations (kill list).
EO forcing Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives.
Asserting executive privilege over Holder’s documents.
Telling DHS to ignore reports of illegals from Arizona.
Leaking secrets for political gain.

I know I’m missing a half dozen or more… it’s hard to keep up.

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Did George Bush know how Roberts would vote on immigration when he appointed him?

We’ve been stabbed in back so many times its just not such a far gone suggestion.

Speakup on June 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

These days, I survive on Coke and cigs.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM

How can you afford Coke in this economy??? Oh, you mean Cola…

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I don’t have that much faith in Roberts. He seems squishy. I don’t if he’s always been this way, but I started noticing it after Obama’s dress-down of the court. The guy is not very strong, and he seems terrified at thought of someone not liking him or his Court.

Conservative Independent on June 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Same here.
Hopefully it is just the coverage he has been getting, but since he has been in DC this long, perhaps he has gotten used to getting the A-list invites…

Nathan_OH on June 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM

but it might prompt some of those who disliked the bill for its reported unconstitutionality to rethink the matter

This is one of those ridiculous, unsupportable pieces of contra-intellectual absurdity that makes me question why I read this blog at all.

People intuitively know this bill is unconstitutional. To mandate that Americans buy a product, irrespective of the particular or allegedly unique aspects of that product, is the most grotesque trampling of individual rights in our history. In fact, I would argue one could not pick a more intrusive “product” to mandate the American people buy- whether they want it or not.

To wit, where does “health care” end? Can the government now mandate you exercise, eat broccoli, don’t consume alcohol or soda? Will some bureaucrat dictate what treatment or medications you receive? How about dictating who is worth saving?

This is a despicable bureaucratic unconstitutional overreach akin to some old style Soviet policy.

The people of this country know the aforementioned in their American hearts. Nine justice in black robes saying they are wrong won’t change that. Nor will it stop the march towards repeal. Ever.

This is just the beginning.

Marcus Traianus on June 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

PPACACA!!

If the SCOUTS doesn’t strike this down – IN FULL – then there will be no legitimacy left to our judiciary. The mandate is clearly and offensively un-Constitutional and the idea that anyone on the SCOTUS would strike that down and then (even though a severability clause was INTENTIONALLY left out) proceed to wade through 2000+ pages of total cr@p (which none of the Criminal Congress Critters who voted for this monstrosity bothered to do (or were even able) and formulate totally new law out of this mess would be a travesty and a mockery of civilization and the Rule of Law.

The only acceptable decision is for ObamaCare to be slashed and burned down to the ground, leaving not even a heap of ashes. The only lasting consequence of this horrendous PPACACA perversion of our federal government should be people donning orange jumpsuits for what they tried to do bring about America, Fundamentally Deformed. There was enough fraud and illegality surrounding the passage of this monster to fill a couple of federal penitentiaries for many decades.

Nothing short of the complete removal of ObamaCare from our nation will be an acceptable decision. Period. End of story.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I’m starting to wonder, if JugEars is looking for an armed revolt?

KOOLAID2 on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I started thinking that a long time ago. I don’t think anything would make Obama more happy than seeing blood in the streets. He hate us and this country with great passion.

Axion on June 26, 2012 at 1:28 PM

(Sorry, my comment earlier is only tangentially related to Obamacare but it is about federal overreach and there isn’t a thread on economics here yet today.)

FloatingRock on June 26, 2012 at 1:28 PM

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I was too lazy to list anymore. Besides, I knew one of my buds at HA would oblige. Thx. Good job.

How can you afford Coke in this economy??? Oh, you mean Cola…

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

If you say so (kidding, just kidding).

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Let’s review BHO lawlessness, shall we?

DOMA
Oil drilling in the Gulf
Arizona SB 1070

Nah, no chance in H**l that BHO will throw out a bunch of EOs.

/

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

You forgot:

Firing IG Walpin which violated a law he helped write.
Signing unconstitutional NDAA (lots of blame to go around there).
Drone assassinations (kill list).
EO forcing Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives.
Asserting executive privilege over Holder’s documents.
Telling DHS to ignore reports of illegals from Arizona.
Leaking secrets for political gain.

I know I’m missing a half dozen or more… it’s hard to keep up.

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Delete

Don’t forget his recess appointment of Cordray to CFPB even though Senate never went into recess.

Bitter Clinger on June 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Charles Lane is a leftist hack. The court is only “activist” when it goes against his Utopian ‘dreams’.

Leftists are never truly liberal or progressive. Their hypocrisy should make them spontaneously combust.

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I don’t have that much faith in Roberts. He seems squishy. I don’t if he’s always been this way, but I started noticing it after Obama’s dress-down of the court. The guy is not very strong, and he seems terrified at thought of someone not liking him or his Court.

Conservative Independent on June 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

I know it seems that way, particularly looking at his vote/concurrence on Montana’s Citizen United decision the other day coupled with his siding with the majority in the AZ decision and not Scalia. However, as to the latter, I sense a trade — “I’ll give you concurrence for that if you’ll join us on killing the ACA mandate and/or non-severability.” In so doing, he gets at least one of the libs to join in the majority opinion so as to blunt the “right wing runs the court” crap. This stuff happens far more than many people think.

TXUS on June 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM

To mandate that Americans buy a product, irrespective of the particular or allegedly unique aspects of that product, is the most grotesque trampling of individual rights in our history.

Marcus Traianus on June 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Actually, I think forcing whatsisname to stop growing his own wheat so that he’d have to buy it was the worst assault on individual rights in the history of abuses of the commerce clause. The appropriate response would be, “This is my land; I’ll grow whatever the f*ck I want.” But this is a very close second.

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I’m starting to wonder, if JugEars is looking for an armed revolt?

KOOLAID2 on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

He’s looking to do what husseins do:

-> Intentionally dump tens of millions of barrels of oil into the gulf – check

-> Light every oil well in Kuwait city in America on fire as he’s retreating in a humiliating loss – still open

Barky just wants to exact some demented and retarded third world sense of revenge on America and the West. That’s all he ever wanted – to bring pain and chaos to us. Every single thing he’s done has been oriented around this clear goal. America just chose to ignore the obvious from the very beginning.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM

To wit, where does “health care” end? Can the government now mandate you exercise, eat broccoli, don’t consume alcohol or soda? Will some bureaucrat dictate what treatment or medications you receive? How about dictating who is worth saving?

This is just the beginning.

Marcus Traianus on June 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I’ll add another:

One child only and forced abortions, a la China.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Uh-oh, Rush just said we’re in real trouble if Obama cancels elections.

First time I’ve ever heard him even hint at that.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

I’m starting to wonder, if JugEars is looking for an armed revolt?

KOOLAID2 on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I suspected that shortly after he was elected, and all the lies about the Tea Party only reinforced my suspicion.

But if that’s what he wants, he’s pretty incompetent at bringing it about.

The Rogue Tomato on June 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

However, as to the latter, I sense a trade — “I’ll give you concurrence for that if you’ll join us on killing the ACA mandate and/or non-severability.” In so doing, he gets at least one of the libs to join in the majority opinion so as to blunt the “right wing runs the court” crap. This stuff happens far more than many people think.

TXUS on June 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM

The lady wearing a blind and holding a scale weeps.

Flora Duh on June 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

The lady wearing a blind and holding a scale weeps.

Flora Duh on June 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

s/b blindfold

Flora Duh on June 26, 2012 at 1:38 PM

The lady wearing a blindfold and holding a scale weeps.

Flora Duh on June 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

She was killed and buried when “empathy” became officially ratified by our feral government as a legitimate main criterion for a judge or judicial decision. Over 3000 years of Western jurisprudential tradition (and foundation!) flushed down the sh!tter on that one.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 1:42 PM

O/T: It’s an Obama world. Run and hide.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM

What is he going to do, make the law apply anyway but only to illegal immigrants in Arizona?

rockmom on June 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Maybe he’ll just order AZ taxpayers to provide “free” healthcare to the hundreds of thousands of illegals living in the state.

Oh wait . . . we already have to do that.

AZCoyote on June 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

+1 azcoyote

cmsinaz on June 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM

According to a HA poster last night, Marc Ambinder’s twitterfeed said that Obama is readying a bunch of executive orders in case it is struck down. Ambinder didn’t know what kind of EOs. Take it for what it’s worth, considering it’s Ambinder.

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Of course he has contingency plans, just as he did with the Arizona decision. The contingency plan re Arizona was triggered within a few hours of the USSC decision.

Let’s also remember that it’s a near-certainty that little Bammie already knows the outcome of all the Supreme Court cases. They have insider information.

slickwillie2001 on June 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM

How is Obama Care unconstitutional?
Let me count the ways:

1. Individual mandate.
2. All spending and revenue generating legislation must originate in the House. Obamacare originated in the Senate (in theory). Definately not in the house.
3. Forbids patients over 76 years old from spending their own money for cancer treatment. Wow, what was Obama Smoking? (read his bio to find out).
4. The thread of death (denial of coverage) will stifle all opposition to the ruling party. The phrase “to secure the blessings of liberty to our selves and our posterity” is in the preamble. Obamacare enslaves. It does not liberate.

The Rock on June 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Prepare for an epic temper tantrum following a ruling.

Narcissists cannot handle the slightest hint of criticism without lashing out. There is no telling how the Narcissist in Chief is going to respond to a Supreme Smackdown.

bitsy on June 26, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Today, however, there is nothing new about federal intervention — and much evidence from the past 70 years that big programs produce inefficiencies and unintended consequences

We evolved! Yeah that’s it! Now we know they can’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag. Evolved yup, that’s what happened.

landowner on June 26, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Uh-oh, Rush just said we’re in real trouble if Obama cancels elections.

First time I’ve ever heard him even hint at that.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Oh dear Lord, can we please take off the tinfoil hats? Or put them back on, or something?

Bat Chain Puller on June 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I don’t have that much faith in Roberts. He seems squishy. I don’t if he’s always been this way, but I started noticing it after Obama’s dress-down of the court. The guy is not very strong, and he seems terrified at thought of someone not liking him or his Court.

Conservative Independent on June 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Don’t forget the 9-0 smackdowns in Sackett and Hosanna Tabor. Both clipped Obama’s wings as far as expanding the power of the federal government.

Wethal on June 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

the federal reach must be contracted at the very least and amputated at the most…..

ted c on June 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Oh dear Lord, can we please take off the tinfoil hats? Or put them back on, or something?

Bat Chain Puller on June 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Right, because all of Obama’s recent actions don’t in the least suggest a tyrant capable of such an overreaching power grab?

What makes you think there’s a limit to this president’s assaults on freedom?

Right Mover on June 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Uh-oh, Rush just said we’re in real trouble if Obama cancels elections.

First time I’ve ever heard him even hint at that.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM
Oh dear Lord, can we please take off the tinfoil hats? Or put them back on, or something?

Bat Chain Puller on June 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Read a book called “The Last Centurion” by John Ringo.

TIdbIT on June 26, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Oh dear Lord, can we please take off the tinfoil hats? Or put them back on, or something?

Bat Chain Puller on June 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

What would you call the Indonesian Imbecile’s move just hours after the SCOTUS decision on Arizona to just stop enforcing THE LAW that he took Arizona to the SCOTUS because he said that Arizona would force him to enforce it? You do understand what he did, right?

Honestly, how would characterize that ILLEGAL act and what makes you think the Third World Retard and noted America-hater thinks that there are any limits to his power – especially as the gutless GOP has watched him rend the Constitution time and time without even mentioning the word “impeach” let alone moving forward on it?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Oh dear Lord, can we please take off the tinfoil hats? Or put them back on, or something?

MoonBat Chain Puller on June 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Do you see any Birthtards here? Any Alex Jones types? Or even any mention of you-know-who Paul?

No?

Then kindly sit down and shut up with your talk about tinfoil hats.

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Do you see any Birthtards here?

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:09 PM

STFU, already. Some of you people are really pathetic.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM

STFU, already. Some of you people are really pathetic.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Excellent advice for and an accurate description of yourself.

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Oh dear Lord, can we please take off the tinfoil hats? Or put them back on, or something?

MoonBat Chain Puller on June 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Please read this, then tell us the boy king isn’t capable of doing what Rush suggested.

Flora Duh on June 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Excellent advice for and an accurate description of yourself.

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM

LOL. Get a brain and stop trying to intentionally ignore the Constitution. It’s unseemly, in addition to being retarded.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 2:22 PM

LOL.

Look in the mirror?

Get a brain

Getalife.

and stop trying to intentionally ignore the Constitution.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Stop trying to intentionally ignore the evidence that sent all you peabrained sore losers slinking back to your caves.

♪Birthtard, Birthtard, stupid f*cking Birthtard!♪

Hey everybody, join in!

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:26 PM

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Totally uncalled for. Shame on you.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Totally uncalled for. Shame on you.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Stay outta this, grandma. I know you’re not a Birthtard.

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Totally uncalled for. Shame on you.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Save the finger-wagging, grandma. This is a political site, not a knitting forum.

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

(can an admin please remove one of my 2:31 posts? computer had a hiccup.)

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Save the finger-wagging, grandma. This is a political site, not a knitting forum.

MelonCollie on June 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I see. You can post your thoughts, but I can’t post mine.

Got it.

GrannyDee on June 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

MelonCollie, what is wrong with you? You called for others to come to your side and you didn’t get what you wanted so you have to beat up on a grandmother?

I rest my case.

And if you had any sense you would know that those of us who wanted the COnstitutional eligibility issue resolved were accurate in predicting what this adiministration would do from way back before the election. Go back and read what was written in 2008 and think back to what the “brilliant” anti-birthers (whose main argument was to ignore the clear language of the Constitution) were saying about Barky. You’ll see who was right from the very start. You can even go back and read allah’s cute little post about “well, even if he isn’t eligible, it’s still a stupid requirement”. Yeah … all those “brilliant” people who maintained Barky the Dog-Eating Retard’s intelligence (in the face of tons of evidence to the contrary) and have only lately come around to what the rest of us were saying from the start.

You don’t like the eligibility issue? Fine. Don’t think that harping on those of us who care makes you look the least bit intelligent. It doesn’t. It makes you look stupid.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 26, 2012 at 2:36 PM

let the Dictatorship of the Proletariat begin ( well, continue, i guess…)!

since when has the law or Constitution stood in It’s way?

mittens on June 26, 2012 at 2:41 PM

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